Getting into a routine

Our recent league games against Everton at Stamford Bridge have tended to be anything but routine. However, it seemed the most apt way to sum up our match last weekend as we strolled to a fairly straightforward 2-0 win over the Toffees.

It’s a fixture that has often delivered a fair bit of excitement and drama; witness our matches in 2014 and 2015 when late goals by Frank Lampard and Willian respectively secured 1-0 wins and an epic clash in January 2016, which saw John Terry score in the eighth minute of stoppage time to earn us a 3-3 draw.

Last season’s game was not nearly as dramatic but the scintillating display by the Blues in our 5-0 win was so good that veteran football commentator John Motson, who has been in the business for nearly half a century, went so far to describe it as ‘the best 90-minute performance I have ever seen in the Premier League’.

Having said that, the match last weekend didn’t quite reach those heights as first-half goals by Cesc Fabregas and Alvaro Morata effectively killed off the game against an Everton side who seemed visibly exhausted as they played their third tough away match in six days.

While we didn’t take advantage of our chances to add to the lead, there was never a feeling that our opponents would come back to grab a share of the points.

So aside from the goals, the game probably won’t be remembered too much in time to come, even by the most passionate of Chelsea fans. However, that’s not something we’re likely to lose too much sleep over because a routine win was probably what we needed heading into the first international break of the season.

All of the talk of the Blues being in crisis after the unlucky penalty shootout defeat to Arsenal in the Community Shield and the surprise opening day loss to Burnley seems to have been quickly forgotten after back-to-back victories against a pair of teams which finished in the top seven of the league last season.

The negative murmurs might still have been there after our late win against Tottenham at Wembley, which we achieved despite our opponents enjoying more than two-thirds of possession. However, the routine triumph against Everton effectively put those feelings to rest for now with attention switching instead to the turmoil at Arsenal after their 4-0 loss at Liverpool and Tottenham’s continuing struggles at Wembley after their 1-1 draw with Burnley.

Routine wins may not live too long in the memory but I’m sure that most of us would gladly take that and the three points on offer over an exciting draw or defeat, any day of the week.

With the six of a possibly nine points on the board and the confidence of the squad restored after the galling loss to Burnley, we can look forward with greater assurance as we prepare to meet the challenges to come in our defence of the Premier League title.