Chelsea in our hearts

Exiting Fulham Broadway station on Monday evening to make the short walk to Stamford Bridge, there were two young Blues in front of me who were clearly very excited for the 90 minutes that awaited.

Walking with their dads up the station steps, one was delighted just to see the blue sign reading ‘stadium’. It reminded me of how thrilled I used to be when my Dad would take my brother and I to watch Chelsea when we were younger. I didn’t have a season ticket back then, so when we did get to go to a game, it was a real treat.

Back in the early nineties, when I first started going to Chelsea, the Blues would often finish the season mid-table. Everyone else in my class at primary school supported Arsenal or Manchester United, because they were dominant at the time. When I would announce in the playground that I was going to the Chelsea game at the weekend, it never earned me many brownie points. I hoped our league game with West Brom on Monday evening would give the two young Blues at the station better bragging rights when they went back to school. 

Thankfully the Blues read the script and duly delivered against the Baggies, and I’m certain those two young Chelsea fans left Stamford Bridge just as happily as they entered it. After two consecutive losses in the league and conceding seven goals, a convincing win and a clean sheet was exactly what we needed. Such a performance will do wonders for the confidence levels within the dressing room, which is vital as we continue our FA Cup campaign, enter the Champions League knock-out stages next week, and face some tough upcoming fixtures in the league.

Eden Hazard produced another master class, scoring two brilliant goals. It was a great starting debut for Olivier Giroud, who assisted the Belgian for his first goal, and who really made himself known to the West Brom defence. The two seemed to link up really well and I hope this partnership really flourishes in the future. It was also great to see Alvaro Morata out on the pitch after his recent back injury and hopefully our two strikers will be firing on all cylinders over the upcoming busy period.

It was a solid performance from the back three, in Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Toni Rudiger, meaning Thibaut Courtois had little to worry about for the majority of the game. Victor Moses’ acrobatic celebration after our second goal only further convinced me that he would make a good figure skater in the Winter Olympics!

Thinking back to my first Stamford Bridge experiences, it was rather apt that Chelsea legends Gianfranco Zola, Gianluca Vialli and Tore Andre Flo were the half-time guests on Monday evening. These were the players I grew up watching, who began Chelsea’s climb up the Premier League table in 1996 and it was extra special to see them on the hallowed turf once again!