Three things we learned from Chelsea’s pivotal win over FC Porto

Chelsea will hope they have their season back on some sort of positive trajectory with their qualification to the third round of the Champions League.

Despite having a relatively easy group, the Blues were left needing victory on matchday 6 to win the group and they managed it thanks to their best performance of the 2015/16 season to date.

Whilst Willian shone yet again, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa begun to look like the players that were so crucial to their title winning campaign last season.

The removal of Cesc Fabregas from the starting XI raised eyebrows, but the tactical experiment from the Porto manager was the biggest mistake of the tie.

Fortunately for Chelsea, an own-goal gave them the lead and they never really looked back from that point. Diego Costa was at his powerful best whilst Nemanja Matic played with the assurance that made him such a rock throughout last season.

Here are THREE things we learned from tonight’s match..

Cesc Fabregas has been holding the team back

Cesc Fabregas

Chelsea fans rejoiced at the news that Cesc had finally been dropped to the bench, and his exclusion was justified in a quality Chelsea performance.

With Mourinho justifying his decision by saying he needed Ramires’ physicality, Fabregas’ work-rate may well be under question from the Chelsea boss and his woeful start to the season has been fundamental in Chelsea’s struggles.

The more Fabregas plays, the more work the rest of the team has to do and, when he is not creating, he is no more than a passenger.

Nemanja Matic has not forgotten how to play

Nemanja Matic 2

Matic was arguably Chelsea’s most important player during Chelsea’s title winning campaign last season. Unfortunately, he has had a dire start to this season and looked extremely sluggish, but Matic looked back to his best against a combative Porto midfield.

He imposed himself on the game throughout and was clearly thankful to have the extra work-rate of Ramires alongside him.

Unfortunately, Matic has struggled to carry the extra burden of Cesc Fabregas next to him in the pivot and the Serbian often ends up isolated when playing with the ex-Barca man.

Kurt Zouma deserves to be first-choice centre back

Kurt Zouma (centre)

As John Terry may well be in his last season at the Bridge, Kurt Zouma continues to highlight what a wonderful centre-back he will become.

Zouma, in my opinion, is already a far more accomplished defender than Gary Cahill and the French giant should be the first defender on Mourinho’s team sheet.

His pace and brutal strength were dominant throughout and, if Chelsea are to add John Stones to their squad at some point, would be boasting two of the best young centre-backs in Europe.