Chelsea 4 Cardiff 1 match report: Eden Hazard’s luck of the bounce sees Blues home

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay angered by Chelsea equaliser that sets up home victory with opposite number Jose Mourinho forced to watch from stands

Stamford Bridge

As David Marshall was left helpless by Chelsea’s points-clinching third goal, majestically struck by the substitute Oscar, the home support rose as one – and among them was a dapper 50-year-old once dubbed an “enemy of football”.

Yes, Jose Mourinho was in trouble again, banished to the stands – he eventually chose a vacant seat in the fifth row, directly behind the Chelsea dugout – for troubling the referee, Anthony Taylor, and fourth official Trevor Kettle on questions of time-wasting. But it was how his team extricated themselves from difficulty that carried more significance, even if this, too, involved controversy.

They, nevertheless, moved above Liverpool on goal difference and stayed nicely tucked behind the Premier League leaders, Arsenal, by coming from behind to beat Cardiff, Samuel Eto’o scoring his first for the club and Eden Hazard, challenged only by Oscar’s cameo for man-of-the-match honours, collecting a double.

It was a clinical, efficient and ultimately handsome prelude to the visit of Manchester City to Stamford Bridge on Sunday (after a trip to meet Schalke in the Champions’ League). But Mourinho declined to talk about it, preferring a League fine. He might also have been relieved not to face questions about David Luiz’s role in the Cardiff goal.

Malky Mackay was less reticent, powerfully arguing that Taylor had erred in allowing the equaliser. The Cardiff manager said he had spoken to the officials, who had told him they believed Marshall had dropped rather than bounced the ball before having it flicked away from him by Eto’o.

According to the law, a bounced ball is under the control of the goalkeeper and therefore Eto’o committed a foul, Mackay continued. “The explanation leaves us really disappointed.” Asked if the incident had been crucial, he replied: “It certainly was at that point.”

 Overall, the score was indeed unkind to a solid Cardiff. They lived in real hope for a time thanks to Luiz. Almost as soon as you come to the conclusion that the Brazilian might be maturing into the high-quality defender his talent renders feasible, he seems to do something stupid. And so it came once more to pass.

The Chelsea defender, John Terry, failed to deal with a long, high ball. That did not matter because it was deflected to Ramires, 25 yards out and under little pressure. Ramires chose to pass back towards Luiz, who ran past the ball, mane tossing, in what can only have been an elaborate attempt at a dummy.

Had Petr Cech called for it? The goalkeeper’s body-language suggested otherwise and he was late to the ball as Jordon Mutch, who had gambled on Luiz’s folly, dashed forward to dink it into the net.

Cardiff’s reaction did involve much wasting of time. Chelsea, meanwhile, moved the ball as quickly as possible and constantly switched attacking midfielders. With Oscar omitted from the starting line-up, Juan Mata might have been disappointed to find Willian in the No. 10 role and himself on the right. But this proved temporary.

When Chelsea equalised, Mata had moved into the central role. Hazard remained generally on the left and it was from there that he got the goal. Another bizarre one, it was.

Marshall had collected the ball and was bouncing it when Eto’o stole in. Hazard took a couple of steps and squared to Eto’o, who tried to go round Gary Medel before scoring but was brought down by the Chilean. The referee held his whistle while Hazard stroked the ball into an unguarded net.

Luiz was yellow-carded after getting too tight on Aron Gunnarsson as Cardiff tried to break out. But generally the tide continued to wash over the visitors, who were broken almost as soon as Oscar had taken over from Mata.

First the fresh arrival fed Hazard, who in turn played the ball through to Eto’o, and now the veteran rolled back the years.

Said to have lacked sharpness since his arrival from Anzhi Makhachkala, he skipped into space, danced round the challenge of Steven Caulker and shot low past Marshall before wildly celebrating at the Matthew Harding end.

Mourinho’s last act was to replace Eto’o with the defender Cesar Azpilicueta. A minute later, according to assistant coach Steve Holland, he encountered “a huge frustration” with the referee’s request to Bransilav Ivanovic to hurry with a throw – making liberal reference to Cardiff’s earlier delays – and was despatched to the stands.

He is unlikely to face serious disciplinary action – certainly no repeat of the Uefa ban that caused him once to exert remote control over a Champions’ League tie with Bayern Munich.

Anyway, the players seemed to fare well enough without Mourinho for the final quarter of the match yesterday, Oscar emphasising Chelsea’s superiority with that glorious dipper from just outside the penalty area and Hazard cutting in from the left to drive under Marshall.  


Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic , Luiz, Terry, Bertrand  (Torres, 63); Ramires, Lampard; Mata (Oscar, 58), Willian, Hazard; Eto’o (Azpilicueta, 68).

Cardiff City (4-1-4-1): Marshall; Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Turner, Taylor;  Medel (Kim, 55); Cowie, Mutch, Gunnarsson (Gestede, 80), Whittingham, Odemwingie  (Campbell, 53).

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Man of the match: Eden Hazard

Match rating: 7/10

Follow all today’s action from the Premier League by CLICKING HERE

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits