Back to winning ways

There’s no better way to make amends for a bad defeat than to go out and beat one of your biggest rivals in the very next game.

On Sunday, Chelsea responded to the disappointment of last week’s Champions League loss at Roma by putting in a strong team performance as we beat Manchester United 1-0 at Stamford Bridge. 

Alvaro Morata’s goal early in the second half may have been all that separated the teams but there was no denying that the Blues were deserving winners as we dominated the Red Devils in all departments throughout the 90 minutes.

It is a mark of a good team that it can respond to a setback by picking itself up and showing their quality when the going gets tough, as the Blues have displayed on a number of occasions in the recent past:

Liverpool – January 2015

Chelsea were on the wrong end of a shock FA Cup result against Bradford City in January 2015 as we allowed a two-goal lead to slip in a 4-2 loss to the League One side at the Bridge. 

It was hardly the best preparation for the visit of Liverpool for the second leg of the League Cup semi-finals three days later but the Blues responded well in what proved a vibrant encounter against the Reds which went to extra-time. 

The enthralling contest was finally settled when Branislav Ivanovic rose above the Liverpool defence to head in Willian’s free-kick for the winning goal as the Blues won 2-1 on aggregate and went on to lift the cup after beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the final at Wembley.

Manchester City – April 2017

Chelsea’s march towards the Premier League title hit an unexpected speed bump on April Fool’s Day this year when we were beaten 2-1 by struggling Crystal Palace. While we retained a healthy lead over second-placed Tottenham Hotspur, there was a feeling that the gap could be closed further if we stumbled again when Manchester City arrived at the Bridge four days later.

However, the Blues rose to the occasion with Eden Hazard firing us into the lead after 10 minutes with an angled shot. An error by Thibaut Courtois allowed Sergio Aguero to equalise for City but Hazard restored the lead before half-time when he turned the ball in at the second attempt after his penalty had been stopped by Willy Cabellero. 

Chelsea held on to the lead after the break as we won 2-1 to maintain a seven-point gap over Spurs at the top of the table en route to clinching our second league title in three seasons.

Tottenham Hotspur – August 2017

Our defence of the Premier League title did not begin well this eason as we were beaten in our opening game for the first time in 19 years, suffering a surprise 3-2 defeat to Burnley.

With Cesc Fabregas and skipper Gary Cahill suspended and Eden Hazard out injured, it did not bode well for our next game against a Tottenham side eager to impress in their first Premier League game at their new temporary home at Wembley. Spurs duly dominated possession but it was the resilient Blues who took the lead with a brilliant Marcos Alonso free-kick midway through the first half.

That goal was cancelled out when Michy Batshuayi headed into his own net in the 82nd minute but the Blues were undaunted and grabbed the winner two minutes from time when Alonso fired past Hugo Lloris at his near post for his second goal of the game which also delivered our first win of the season.