Jose Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge for the first time as Manchester United manager ended in misery for the former Chelsea boss as his side were emphatically beaten 4-0 by the Blues who now put themselves back into contention for the Premier League trophy.
Back-to-back wins over Leicester and United have helped the club close the gap on their rivals at the top of the table where they are now just a point behind Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool, who are all in a three-way tie at the head of the standings.
City have not won in three games in the Premier League under Pep Guardiola, while Arsenal were held to a goalless draw by Middlesbrough this weekend.
The run of form by Antonio Conte’s men has seen them cut into 13-2 in the football betting markets for the Premier League title. The Blues had drifted out to 12-1 following a slow start to their campaign but they were fortunate no team had been able to get on a roll and put themselves out of sight at the top of the table.
Chelsea made the perfect start to their fixture against United as Pedro opened the scoring in the very first minute to put a dent in the plans of Mourinho who had set his side out to be solid at the back just like in his team’s goalless draw at Anfield six days earlier. Pedro’s return to the team following a lengthy injury spell is a big boost to the Blues’ title hope as he offers depth to the squad.
Gary Cahill doubled the Blues’ lead just after the 20 minute mark. He took advantage of some poor defending when Eden Hazard’s corner bounced in the box. The England international then drilled the ball home past David De Gea in the United goal to make it 2-0.
Things got better for Chelsea in the second half as the lead was extended just after the hour mark when Hazard found the back of the net with an impressive strike. United struggled to handle the Belgium forward all afternoon and once he found a yard of space, he made the most of it, scoring from 15-yards out
N’Golo Kante added further misery on Mourinho when the Frenchman walked past the away side’s defence before beating De Gea to complete the scoring and ensure all three points were taken by the hosts. That was Kante’s first goal for Chelsea since making the switch from Premier League champions Leicester in the summer for over £30 million. The former Foxes man is proving to be a fantastic signing for Conte and Chelsea and could prove the difference between the title contenders this season.
Conte will be hoping his side’s run in the Premier League continues next weekend when they travel down to Southampton. The Saints held leaders Manchester City to a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium and have European aspirations themselves this season under former Lyon and Nice boss Claude Puel.
The win against United clearly signals that Chelsea are genuine title contenders this season. Not only has it helped them reduce the gap at the top of the table, but the whole squad will now believe they can continue getting results of this nature and that will stand them in good stead in their march towards league success this campaign.