The match started prolificly for Chelsea right from the start, when Eden Hazard quickly capitalised off a marvellous shot outside the box that saw an early lead within two minutes of the referee's first whistle. It appeared that the match would become a repetition of the December 13th 2-0 win by Chelsea earlier in the season at Stamford Bridge. The Blues remained dominating possession throughout the first 10 minutes with a strong presence in the midfield supported by Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas. Furthermore, the Spaniard provided his flare of passing for his 16th league-leading assist of the season, where Diego Costa shrugged off a challenge from his marker on the far side and finessed an effort around 'keeper Allan McGregor to double the lead within minutes, making it seem as though Mourinho's men would perhaps go on and complete a rather comfortable rout.
However, like a drop of water from the sky, Chelsea soon had to call upon the heroics of Thibaut Courtois when Hull began to penetrate the Blues defence for a brief period when Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic struggled to maintain their defensive duties. A Chelsea failed attempt to counter attack resulted in an easy sliding goal for Ahmed Elmohamady off of a desiring cross in front of goal. Immediately after the Hull goal, Chelsea were forced to pass back from heavy pressure that sparked a chain of events that led to a communication and an unfortunate error which Courtois gifted a goal to Uruguayan striker Abel Hernandez. In under two minutes, the two battling sides were drawing 2-2 before heading into the half-time locker rooms. Costa remained in a frustrated mood as Hull gladly were getting into his mind with rough challenges throughout.
Chelsea just like the start of the first-half came out with heavy pressure and desire to keep possession. The ball remained in their third of the pitch with corners resulting a great fraction of the time. Ramires was subbed off for Oscar, most likely to give Chelsea the attacking flare they needed that Ramires was lacking the whole match. The second-half then began to paint a picture similarly to the first, where Hull took control and also began obtaining frequent corners and free-kicks. Costa towards the 75th minute was then subbed off for Loic Remy with an apparent hamstring injury. As soon as play commenced, Remy took advantage of a terrible display of goalkeeping by McGregor, giving Chelsea the lead once more, this time to make it 3-2.
Jose Mourinho immediately made a similar tactical change in which he sat down Juan Cuadrado who was set to go down for Kurt Zouma in order to hold the lead. Steve Bruce also used all three substitutions in order to pull back the goal with Aluko, Brady, and Quinn who all provide fresh legs for the Tigers. However, the "park the bus" philosophy by Mourinho led to Chelsea gaining the full three points.
Chelsea now with still a game in hand are six points above the rest in the Barclays Premier League table.
|Hull City (2)||Chelsea (3)|