Super Eagles star, Victor Moses had a spectacular game as table toppers Chelsea extended their lead to six points on the Premier League table with their 1-0 win against bottom-placed team Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday.
It was a year ago to the day that Chelsea were beaten at Leicester to leave them one point above the relegation zone. What a mess they were making of their title defence. It was too much for the club’s hierarchy and, by the end of week, Jose Mourinho was gone.
Compare that to the Chelsea of today. Six points clear at the top of the Premier League and guaranteed to be at the summit come Christmas. What Mourinho made look so difficult with largely the same group of players last term, Antonio Conte is making look so easy 12 months on, with games unbeaten.
There is an authority about Conte’s side. Nothing fazes their manager and the same can be said of his players. He even lets them enjoy a post-match beer. And it’s fair to say supporters are drunk on their success right now. Cesc Fabregas was one of the players at odds with Mourinho but he was the match-winner here with a first-half strike which oozed class.
For Sunderland and David Moyes, meanwhile, this match came one day after an interview from chief executive Martin Bain in which he revealed the club will not be able to spend its way out of trouble this January. Moyes, then, will have to find a solution from within and he might well look to Conte and Chelsea for inspiration.
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and Moyes, having praised Conte’s use of a three-man defence on the eve of the game, duly mirrored the selection of his opposite number; the Italian must be doing something right, after all.
Needles to say, however, Sunderland’s wing-backs were operating more like full-backs. Moses was later substituted, paving way for Branislav Ivanovic on the stroke of 90 minutes.
In the other games, Liverpool moved to second position after defeating Middlesbrough 3-0 at the Riverside Stadium, Manchester United defeated Crystal Palace 2-1, while Manchester City also defeated Watford FC 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium.