A day that started off well for Chelsea, with Manchester City falling to a 2-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield, got even better as Jose Mourinho guided the Blues to Capital One Cup final success against Tottenham Hotspur.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side were probably the better team for the opening 40minutes or so, however, apart from Christian Eriksen’s free-kick rattling the crossbar, the Lilywhites were made to pay for their inability to create any real clear goalscoring opportunities when John Terry smashed home right before half-time.
The goal from the former England international seemed to really kill off Spurs and Diego Costa made sure of the victory just before the hour-mark when his shot deflected in off of Kyle Walker.
After the former Atletico Madrid striker’s finish, the game seemed to just go through the motions with Spurs devoid of ideas and Chelsea stifling any Tottenham threat with ease.
So, what did we learn from the afternoon at Wembley?
It pains me to say it but Jose Mourinho is a fantastic manager – even if he is a vile human being. The Blues gaffer has a fantastic record in cup finals and although Tottenham fans will tell you different, it was never in doubt that Chelsea would be lifting the Capital One Cup today.
Mourinho has a mental edge, a tactical awareness and really is the most important player to this Chelsea side.
When Diego Costa’s deflected effort put Chelsea 2-0 up against Spurs at Wembley, everyone knew the Lilywhites had to change something to get back into the game. Mauricio Pochettino opted to bring off the ineffective Andros ‘cut inside and shoot’ Townsend for the languid Moussa Dembele; hardly a sub that is going to pull up trees.
Outside of Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen, Tottenham lack those game-changers and match-winners; Erik Lamela and Nacer Chadli have threatened to be those players but, ultimately, they’ve flattered to deceive during their time in north London.
Jose Mourinho sprung a surprise when he named three centre-backs in the starting XI for Chelsea. A lot of the pre-match talk suggest Gary Cahill would be slotting into the defensive-midfield role in order to compensate for the suspended Nemanja Matic. However, it was actually Kurt Zouma who was deployed in the more advanced role.
The 20-year-old, who has impressed in almost every appearance for Chelsea this season, took to the position like a duck to water and carried out the duties seamlessly.
Zouma will no doubt return to CB for Chelsea’s midweek clash against West Ham but it will be pleasing for Jose to see he has another option.