In yet another mostly comfortable win over a newly promoted side, Chelsea once again showcased a big difference to last year’s team: Having a capable striker in Diego Costa, who has opened his Premier League chapter with two goals in two matches.
After his horrible performance in the World Cup for a team that has no use for his talents and style, some were concerned that Mourinho overspent when paying £32 million for the Brazilian-turned Spaniard. However, Mourinho has called it a steal and while Costa is struggling to create chances, he’s been close to perfect when he actually has one to take advantage of, making it so that there are now complaints so far about his price tag.
This was another promoted team Chelsea had to see through and did with a 2-0 victory, getting the second goal through a solo act by Eden Hazard. The first goal was scored by Diego Costa, but it began with the best player for Chelsea through their opening two matches, Branislav Ivanovic. A centre back turned into a right back, Ivanovic seems very difficult to beat on defense, as always, but better than ever with his decision making, surging forward and supplying balls from the flank, combining this performance with his goal+assist from the opening match.
Thibaut Courtois was another special performer for Chelsea. Mourinho might have mentioned that Chelsea created all the chances, but there was more than one moment of scare for the fans at Stamford Bridge, with Leicester doing quite well on the break. Jeff Schlupp, Riyad Mahrez and David Nugent all had very good opportunities to convert but the young Belgian, pushing Petr Cech to frustration and the bench, was in the right place at the right time on each opportunity.
It’s not just his saves. Courtios seems to be having a comfortable time adjusting to the more physical Premier League, not showing any problems when it comes to communication with his defenders or when it’s time to rush out and clear the lines. Atletico Madrid aren’t exactly your typical Spanish team mind you, but one would expect for Courtois to have a few more growing pains. Maybe they’re waiting along with some tougher opposition, or maybe it’s simply that big of an improvement for Chelsea at goal.
It’s clear what Chelsea are aiming for this season. Last year their first loss came on a visit to Goodison Park, and the next weekend will give them their first big test of the season in the form of a tough yet defensively fragile Everton team. Jose Mourinho has upgraded his squad and it has shown against two of the weakest teams in the Premier League. Another similar performance against Everton will be very convincing as to their title credentials this season.