Jose Mourinho: The Return Of The Special One

Sunday afternoon saw a familiar face return to the Stamford Bridge dug-out—the ‘special one’ was back in West London.

Sunday afternoon saw a familiar face return to the Stamford Bridge dug-out—the ‘special one’ was back in West London.

Much has been written about how the return of the charismatic Portuguese coach will push Chelsea on to success and take the league by storm. However this first game was more about efficiency than flamboyancy.

Felt like a testimonial

There was a strange feeling around the game as a lot of the attention was on the manager and also that the game marked a decade of Roman Abramovich’s ownership of the club.

 It almost felt like a testimonial, however Mourinho was clearly focused on getting the three points as he tried to make a low-key entrance and focus his players.

Chelsea thoroughly in control

The game sparked into life after just five minutes when a collision between Hull City goalkeeper Allan McGregor and Fernando Torres resulted in a penalty. Frank Lampard’s resulting penalty was however saved by the Scottish ‘keeper, not exactly following the script of the day.

Chelsea were thoroughly in control of the game and after just thirteen minutes the deadlock was broken, with Oscar latching on to the end of a Kevin De Bruyne through-ball to poke the ball home. The afternoon was beginning to look very bleak for the Hull City players and their travelling fans.

Things were made worse in the twenty-fifth minute when Frank Lampard drove home a thunderous free kick from twenty five yards to make amends for his earlier penalty miss. The keeper’s efforts to get a hand to the shot were feeble and he will not look back up on it fondly.

Chelsea began to shut the game down

Chelsea were running the game, with their 4-2-3-1 formation bringing out the best of their assets, particularly the three man attacking midfield axis of Hazard, De Bruyne and Oscar.

After half-time Chelsea began to shut the game down, keeping possession, not doing anything risky and not committing too many players forward. This is a hallmark of Jose Mourinho’s sides, particularly his previous Chelsea team who used to go two goals up and then just look to see the game out rather than open the game up.  This cautious yet attacking approach is one of the many reasons Mourinho’s sides, whether it is: Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan or Real Madrid always seem to have phenomenal home records.

The second half at Stamford Bridge was something of a non-event, with Hull looking to limit the score-line and the damage to their morale, and Chelsea content to sit with a two goal cushion.

Fans have much to be happy about

Chelsea fans have much to be happy about though after the first weekend of this new Premier League season, they have their beloved coach back, and got off to a strong, if not overly impressive start. Also with good performances from the likes of Cech, Terry and Lampard they seem to be rolling back the years to their glory days.

There is an incredibly long way still to go this season, however if Chelsea remain as solid as they looked on Sunday afternoon then they look to be a real front-runner.

What do you think? Is the return of Jose Mourinho the key to Chelsea’s success this season? Have your say in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.