Chelsea spare blushes with a Reading rout

Chelsea spare blushes with a Reading rout

Chelsea spare blushes with a Reading rout

The Royals were reigning. It was like kingdom come. After all, with only 21 minutes on the clock remaining, they were still 2-1 up. Stamford Bridge couldn’t believe it. If newly-promoted Southampton had nearly caused a heart attack to Man City, their partners-in-crime, Reading FC, were digging a grave for Roberto Di Matteo’s highly fancied mega-buys and superstars.

By the time Lee Mason had blown  the final whistle, Chelsea were sitting atop the Premiership grid, the first time since November 2010, after scoring three unanswered goals late on. 4-2 was the final score line, as a relieved Stamford Bridge faithful were sent to the stratosphere. Roman Abramovich had been given a glimpse of the ultimate state of play he desires for his London project. They were swashbuckling, their attacking intent meant to scare even the top sides.

Eden Hazard was breathtaking. His runs were brilliant, his passes beautiful. He was a constant thorn in the Royals’ flesh, winning a Frank Lampard-converted penalty that gave the Blues a deserved lead. This was a Blues side totally different from the defensive-minded one that went past Barcelona. But the scintillating attacking mindset came at a price.

The defense was found wanting, as the Pensioners soon succumbed to two goals that stunned Stamford Bridge, with Pavel Pogrebyank heading the equalizer and Petr Cech’s howler from a Danny Guthrie free kick, putting the Royals 2-1 up. Chelsea would restore parity, after keeper Adam Federici served up a howler from Cech’s pie, allowing Gary Cahill’s long shot to level matters. Fernando Torres put his team ahead with a controversial offside goal, before the sweet victory’s icing was put on the cake in injury time by Branislav Ivanovic’s second goal of the season.

It’s a tough balancing act by Roberto Di Matteo, what with the abundance of attacking talent at his disposal, and the desire to keep his defense as strong as possible. Many will expect goals galore from this multi-talented side, and the goals will come, what with Chelsea having scored six in just two games. However, given their defensive shape, one wonders what will happen if the Blues are behind against a top side, and Di Matteo goes broke by lining up his most probable attacking lineup. There’s more work to be done by the Italian gaffer.

The good news for the league, the neutrals and the purists is that, with Man City, Man United, Arsenal all scintillating going forward, Chelsea’s addition to that list, with Oscar being given a debut and Hazard outstanding, will add more spice to an already aromatic league season. When beauty conquers the beast, even the most uncomplimentary of hearts has to take a bow.

Next up for Chelsea is Newcastle this Saturday.

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