Chelsea survive scare to eke out win over Hull City
Chelsea’s lead on top of the Barclays Premier League table was restored to six-points after their 3-2 win over Hull City on Sunday.
Chelsea, who have a game in hand on second-place Manchester City, looked to regain their form after starting off 5-1-3 in the Barclays Premier League since January 1, 2015 against Hull City who have achieved a 3-1-2 record in their last five games.
The Blues opened the game with much momentum, with Eden Hazard scoring in the second minute and Diego Costa scoring in the ninth minute. For the rest of the second half, Hull City looked the more eager and likely to score as Chelsea’s defense was not organized – Branislav Ivanovic, Chelsea’s right-back stalwart who has scored a multitude of big goals this season, played one of his worst games as he was beat for pace, lacked positional discipline and didn’t add much to the attack – and let runners run free. The wave of pressure finally resulted in a goal for Hull City when Ahmed Elmohamady tapped in Andrew Robertson’s cross in the 27th minute. Moments later – 76 seconds to be exact – Ivanovic’s poor back pass to goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois forced a loose touch, which set up Abel Hernandez for a simple finish to level the score at 2-2 going into halftime.
After the break, Hull City still looked more likely to score as they forced Courtois into a marvelous triple save – three consecutive saves in a few seconds – in the 64th minute to keep Chelsea level. This seemed to wake up The Blues as Chelsea restored their dominance and started piling on the pressure through their attacking-maestro, Eden Hazard, who led wave after wave of attack on the Hull City defense without a third goal for The Blues. In the 77th minute, Loic Remy came on for the injured Diego Costa, and within 90 seconds of being on the pitch, converted a Willian cross that squirmed through Hull City’s goalkeeper Allan McGregor’s legs and over the goal line.
Following the game, Chelsea’s captain John Terry said that, “the importance of the win showed on the players' faces and that of the manager afterwards” as the team was looking to restore confidence after recent draws against Paris Saint-Germain and Southampton.
Mourinho thinks the title race should be over, although he believes that the team should have “eight, 10, 12 more points than we have” at this point in the season “but football is unpredictable.”
Chelsea do not play this weekend due to international fixtures and will face Stoke City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, April 4.