Chelsea came from a goal down to gain an emphatic 4-1 victory over Cardiff City at Stamford Bridge to climb to second in the Premier League table. Jordan Mutch gave the visitors a shock early lead, but the home side responded with an equalizer before half-time from Eden Hazard, before Samuel Eto’o, Oscar and Hazard again scored after the break to make the result safe.
The victory was Chelsea’s third straight in all competitions and means they have now scored an impressive 11 goals in that spell as the side has bounced back from an uneasy start to Jose Mourinho’s second spell in charge.
It looked like it might be another tricky 90 minutes early on, though. After a long ball forward from Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall, Ramires knocked the ball back toward his own goal and David Luiz made the suicidal decision to step out of the way and let it run through to Petr Cech. But Mutch was alert to the situation and simply ran onto the ball before cleverly dinking it over Cech.
But Cardiff, who came into the match amid mounting uncertainty and bizarre decisions off the pitch, could not hold the lead until the half-time break. And it was another bizarre goal that got Chelsea level. Eto’o lurked around Marshall and when the keeper bounced the ball took the opportunity to kick it away from his grasp. Marshall felt with apparent justification that the move should not have been allowed, but play went on and while Eto’o failed to score after being found by Hazard the Belgium made no mistake when it came back into his path.
Still looking for his first goal since his transfer from Anzhi Makhachkala, Eto’o would finally get it in the 66th minute. Again it was Hazard who supplied the pass and this time the striker showed his former clinical touch as he took the ball past a defender and then hammered it inside the near post.
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Soon after, Mourinho was sent from the sideline after berating the officials. From the stands, the Chelsea boss saw his team put the result beyond doubt. First, Oscar scored with a curling effort from outside the area, and then Hazard made it 4-1 after skillfully cutting in from the right and hitting a low shot that squirmed through Marshall’s dive.