As familiar as defeat at Stamford Bridge became for Jose Mourinho last season, there was nothing as bad as this. He came home and was utterly hammered, suffering his worst Premier League defeat ever. A fiercely driven Chelsea battered Manchester United 4-0.
It was Antonio Conte’s side that came out like they had a point to prove, rather than their former manager, as there was never a second of this game when they didn’t look superior to United.
There were only 29 seconds, in fact, when Chelsea weren’t ahead. That was how long it took for Pedro to take advantage of a defensive mix-up between Daley Blind and Chris Smalling, and then round the exposed David De Gea to make it 1-0.
Chelsea kept that pace up for the rest of the half, and were just quicker than United to everything. It took only another 20 minutes, in fact, for it to be 2-0. Mourinho’s defence again switched off, as four players stood stationary around Gary Cahill at a corner, allowing him to volley in from close range. David Luiz was probably fortunate to stay on the pitch for whacking Marouane Fellaini, but Chelsea were still in control.
Eden Hazard made it 3-0 on the hour mark with the goal of the game, sliding the ball home after a fine passing move. It only added an extra layer to the many strands of this game that Juan Mata — the player Mourinho so infamously jettisoned from Stamford Bridge in 2014 — made the error for it.
By the time N’Golo Kante rolled in the fourth, United’s defence were barely challenging.
Chelsea just seemed so much more fired up, and applied themselves better in almost everything they did. Mourinho’s return was hugely underwhelming in that regard, but it also reflected the mood of the day.
For a manager as important to the club’s history, and after a campaign as extreme as last season, there was a strange indifference from the Stamford Bridge crowd to Mourinho. There was no big acknowledgement before the game, and some fans were even heard to chant, “You’re not special any more.”
The only time they sang his name was when they were 4-0 up. It was the only sympathy anyone from Chelsea showed all day.
A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morganview all posts by: Nana Kwesi Coomson
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