By Tim Harrison
You know those days when everything just clicks into place.
There’s enough milk in the fridge, the sock drawer is full (and some even match) and that thingumajig you ordered on eBay not only arrived on time, but actually worked.
Chelsea had one of those days at the weekend.
When Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City arrived, it’s fair to say there were a few seconds of initial nervousness. After all, performances have not been consistent or convincing this term.
But after about half a minute you knew, you just knew, everything was going to be fine.
A determination to do well for the bereaved Willian and a resolve to decry a betting industry rumour that preposterously painted Tony Conte as a quitter served to galvanise the troops.
The 3-0 victory was as accomplished as any in the past two years – it was that good.
Every pass connected, every passage of play linked up, and the positional work was crisp and inspired.
Were Chelsea to operate this smoothly on a regular basis, the Stamford Bridge carpenter could set to work on an additional trophy cabinet.
But while one old boss departed to focus on the European game that clearly influenced his selection, another arrives at the Bridge this weekend to see if he can conjure up the magic that deserted him a year ago.
Jose Mourinho’s 0-0 draw at Anfield, followed by a Europa tie at Old Trafford against Fenerbahce, means United will be less prepared than they’d like for this fixture, and Chelsea can capitalise.
But they’ll need the same resolve they showed against Leicester, and they’ll need the same dazzling displays that both Victor Moses and N’Golo Kante so ably provided; performances that also served to get the best out of Nemanja Matic and Eden Hazard, not to mention Captain Haddock.
Yes, Diego Costa was back on song and on target, if we draw a veil over the bizarre ‘substitute me’ signals he made on 72 minutes against the Foxes… which Tony blithely ignored!
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.