RADIO CLIVE'S FIVE: CHELSEA V HULL
Throughout the season former player Clive Walker provides radio and TV commentary on Chelsea's games. Here he selects five aspects from Sunday's successful sprint out the blocks that caught his eye…
As a start to a game we could hardly have asked for anything better. The team looked strong across the back and if you had asked me before the game I would have said those four would have played. Frank Lampard's selection may have been a surprise due to him not playing a great deal pre-season but it's a tribute to his fitness that he did well the whole game. Juan Mata didn't start having just recovered from injury but Oscar has been a big part of pre-season anyway and the tempo we moved the ball around was excellent. We took the game to Hull and dominated midfield. Frank and Ramires were excellent and Oscar was superb.
In the last couple of seasons and given the position he has played, people have said Lampard does not make as many runs forward as he used to but he seemed to have a pretty free role on Sunday. Ramires was sitting back most of the time but he got forward too so they were using their experience and their brains. Chelsea saw an opportunity with Hull to take full advantage of their lack of Premier League experience as a team.
Oscar in the no.10 role was asked to get beyond Torres at times. Juan Mata doesn't do that so much as he is a different type of player, more creative with passing that is second to none, but he has to find space to do that. Oscar is a player who runs beyond and drags defenders around and there was naivety from Hull City that caused them problems. Their back four were okay but the players in front allowed us to rotate and move. Kevin De Bruyne got the ball into feet rather than making a lot of crosses. It was play and move, one-twos around players, and that suits De Bruyne and Hazard, and the other players we have who can play in those roles.
With Oscar playing closer to him, the movement Fernando Torres was able to make to find space was an important factor in us playing well first half. In the second half the game changed and it was not so much Torres's type of match. Hull had more possession but a lot of that was in their half or around the halfway line. The two ex-Spurs lads who came on in the second half made a difference in their midfield but Hull's problems were more with their front three.
What we saw from Chelsea was a progressive style that plays slightly higher up the park and is not frightened to push on and squeeze the opponents, which we did well. Whether that is the same against the likes of Man United and Man City remains to be seen but in pre-season and on Sunday we saw it work well. Against weaker sides in the Premier League I am sure we will play that way often this season.