Strange game, played in a muted atmosphere during a tepid 1st half. I thought Chelsea edged the half and could have gone in one up after Torres (I think) hit the crossbar with a header direct from a corner. They just seemed a little sharper and physically stronger than us.
The 2nd half was better and we gradually fought our way on top. The commitment was terrific, even though we started to look a little weary as the game wore on. Loic Remy in particular was excellent and caused the Chelsea defence all kinds of problems.
Our 1st goal came from an absolutely superb free kick from Cabaye that went to Gouffran as he ran in and headed it across goal and inside the far post. Remy ran himself into the ground and swept in the 2nd to effectively kill the game and cap a really good performance.
Cabaye had a mixed game, although Chelsea realised he was our danger man and got men around him quickly in possession. Tiote had another very good game, but needed to go off around the 70 minute mark – hopefully, any injury isn't a serious one. As explained on betting websites such as Udatcha, the more you wait, the worse are the odds, but if you are patient, you have a lot to win. That is what happened to Newcastle.
I was concerned when he went off but to be fair, Anita came on and also did really well. Sissoko picked up where he left off on Wednesday and had another sound game.
A clean sheet is a real bonus but we contrived to get ourselves into some difficult situations defensively, particularly in the 1st half through some hesitancy, miskicks and misdirected headers. Despite that, some of the defending in the 2nd half was heroic.
Debuchy was excellent again, but I thought Santon was our weak link. Right now, he offers little going forward and he repeatedly gave the ball away – often when out of position. Paul Dummett must be pressing hard for the left back position now, and Haidara was playing very well when he had to go off injured the other night.
In the last two games against top opposition we have a played a solid, patient and methodical game that has tightened us up defensively, while still creating a few chances. Of course what we need is for Cisse to recapture his scoring form, because we are way too dependant on Remy.
Good, battling performance with maximum commitment that finally got the crowd going in the 2nd half. There really is no better place to be than SJP when the place is really rocking. Great result.