Stuttering Chelsea scramble win against Fulham

I was there when John Jensen scored!

That moment became a T-shirt.

So I was there when Mikel scored might be the same.

Chelsea 2 Fulham 0

First half was royal blue anxiety.

Coming off three defeats in a row, Chelsea stumbled and stuttered .

Fulham had more fluency. In a game of pass and move, the better you move, the slicker you pass.

With Eto\’o starting again, it looked like a case of Mourinho cutting off his nose to spite his face.

Chelsea were improvised, tentative, struggling to make it up as they went along.

While Fulham were very tenacious, as usual in this derby. I\’ve been to three Xmas derbies betsween these two clubs  at Stamford Bridge when Chelsea were playing far better than they are now, and all those games were close.

At such times, Hazard is a ball-juggler who slows the game down in the wrong way.

Having lost bets on Liverpool, who started and lost 1-0 to Southampton at Anfield, and Newcastle, who lost 2-3 to promoted Hull City, I had backed Chelsea to win this game. I watched and thought: Torres at least gives you shape, and comes towards the ball to give you spaces and options.

Samuel Etobarndoor did not impress me or anybody else.

When   Lampard started to warm up in   47, I thought: Eto\’o won\’t play him in!

In 51 minutes, Chelsea scored. Schurrle hit a cross low from the left, the ball rebounded to Eto\’o, broke for Oscar, who banged it in off a defender\’s heel.

After that goal, Chelsea improved by 80% immediately.
Before Oscar\’s goal, high anxiety.
After that goal, slick passing and bright ideas.

After 63, Torres for Eto\’o improved the attack and Ramires was denied a clear penalty by ref Andre Marriner. Torres headed a corner which keeper Stockdale tipped over for a corner on the other side. Lampard took it from the right, John Terry knocked the ball down invitingly, and Mikel, of all people, volleyed expertly in for 2-0 after 84.

Hallelujah! Mikel had not scored in 258 previous games for Chelsea. Have you checked out our surprise-packed Reviews Section?