Jose Mourinho was the star of the show in Chelsea’s 1-0 triumph over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Monday evening.
The win reignited the Blues’ assault on the Premier League title and confined disappointment of last week’s stalemate against West Ham to memory.
All 11 of the Chelsea players that started the game were outstanding, but it was their maverick manager who must take the plaudits and make the headlines.
For the first time in his second stint at Chelsea, the Portuguese looked to have finally shaken off his demons from his time at Real Madrid.
The Portuguese has cut a forlorn figure for the majority of the campaign, leading to many to suggest him to be a different man than the cheery, charming character who strutted so confidently onto English shores in 2004.
But on Monday, Mourinho yet again proved he truly is the Special One.
His team selection and tactics deployed on the night were flawless. Despite pressing late on, Manchester City looked a far cry from the team that had scored a stunning 68 goals in their previous 23 games this campaign.
The defensive approach used by the Londoners in the bigger games this season was altered instead to one of greater balance. They may have defended astutely, but they were also the more potent and attacking of the two sides and hit the woodwork on three separate occasions.
Led by the sparkling Eden Hazard, this was a Chelsea side that looked like they could win the Premier League. With the Belgian in their ranks they have a superstar to be treasured and who, under Mourinho’s intelligent eye, could go on to be the best on the planet.
The City midfield was stifled by the terrific trio of David Luiz, Ramires and Nemanja Matic. Yaya Toure, Martin Demichelis and David Silva all found spaces to manoeuvre too far and few between.
City and Arsenal may still pose great threats, but Chelsea fans can now begin to dream of a first Premier League title since 2010.
Their manager has his spark back. A challenging season for the Blues may just have a happy ending after all.
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