A Blues Day Afternoon
Written By: Robert Halter
After the international break, Chelsea resumed Premier League action against the new additions to the top flight, Cardiff City, back for the first time in fifty one years, although the Bluebirds were now in a change of colour, playing in red and wearing a dragon on their shirt. Although their opponents were the Blues, who were sitting third in the table and thirteen places above the Welsh outfit. Against the run of play, Cardiff took a shock lead in the tenth minute, when from a long David Marshall goal kick, a knock back by Ramires, deceived Blues defender David Luiz, and an unmarked Jordon Mutch, chipped the ball over Petr Cech, who was making his three hundredth Premiership appearance. In the sixteenth minute, Chelsea were close to finding an equaliser when from a Juan Mata corner, a header by Blues captain, John Terry, went inches wide of the right post. Although it was the Bluebirds that were near to increasing their advantage four minutes later, when after having his shirt pulled by Terry, the fouled player, Peter Odemwingie, had his header kept out by a flying save from Cech, off a Peter Whittingham free kick. But Terry nearly made amends in the opposing penalty area, with a solid header that went over from Mata’s corner, a minute later. A howler by Marshall handed the ball on a plate for Chelsea’s equaliser, as the Cardiff keeper bounced the ball in front of Samuel Eto’o, who from under his reach, squared a pass to Eden Hazard and when being pulled down by Gary Medel, Eto’o got another vital touch to Hazard, who added the finish as the game was back to level pegging in the thirty third minute. The Bluebirds waited until fifty five minutes for the first change as Medel was replaced by Kim Bo-Kyung. The Blues responded by taking off Mata for Oscar. A further Chelsea change was made as Fernando Torres took over from Ryan Bertrand. Finally, Chelsea’s persistence paid off in the sixty sixth minute, as Eto’o found the net for the first time in a Chelsea kit, after he turned past Cardiff’s captain, Steven Caulker, and drove the ball home, by snatching onto Hazard’s through ball. After the Bluebirds took off Odemwingie for Frazier Campbell, the Blues goal scorer Eto’o left the field for Cesar Azpilicueta. Then in controversial circumstances, Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho was sent off from his technical area by referee Anthony Taylor, after contesting a slow play decision against Branislav Ivanovic. In the seventy fourth minute, Cech was at full stretch to divert Bo-Kyung’s fierce strike from the right side of the area, after Andrew Taylor had paved the way. A piece of magic by Oscar, sealed the Blues victory in the seventy eighth minute, when Ramires won possession, leaving Oscar to bend the ball over Marshall, with a rasping strike. Three minutes later, Willian could have added to the score but his shot struck Marshall’s body, after Hazard had opened up the Bluebirds defence. In the final change, Cardiff replaced Aron Gunnarsson for Rudy Gestede. The Blues did however have the final say in the eighty second minute, when Frank Lampard set Hazard down the right wing and following a mazy run, Hazard took Caulker out of the equation, as his low drive was fumbled into the net by Marshall, as the Blues sent the Bluebirds packing with a convincing 4-1 win.