SWANSEA: Jose Mourinho said Chelsea had produced the ‘perfect’ performance after a 5-0 win away to Swansea City on Saturday saw them extend their lead at the top of the Premier League.
Oscar and Diego Costa both scored twice in the first half at the Liberty Stadium to leave Chelsea 4-0 up before the break and substitute Andre Schurrle added a fifth goal 11 minutes from time.
“It was a perfect performance,” said Chelsea manager Mourinho, whose side made light of a potentially awkward encounter in south Wales. “The way everything went our way was just perfect.”
Chelsea may have scored five goals but their Portuguese boss praised the Blues’ defence, adding: “I thought the team played very well and were solid defensively.
“The team has a clear identity. Sometimes you have good teams who play well, but without a clear identity. This team has been going in a certain direction and with a certain identity.”
Subs save Man United
On-loan striker Radamel Falcao returned to the Manchester United starting eleven at second from bottom Queens Park Rangers, but spurned a good early chance to score when he was denied by a Rob Green double-save.
United manager Louis van Gaal persisted with a three-man defence and with the visitors toiling, their fans made their dissent plain at half time by chanting: “4-4-2”
Van Gaal introduced Marouane Fellaini and 19-year-old striker James Wilson early in the second half, tweaking United’s shape,
and within seconds the visitors were in front.
Antonio Valencia motored to the byline on the right and cut the ball back for Fellaini, who took a touch before languidly shooting past Green from 12 yards. Wilson completed a 2-0 victory in injury time, finishing at the second attempt after his initial shot was repelled by Green.
Liverpool climb to seventh
Improving Liverpool climbed to seventh, five points below the Champions League places, after winning 2-0 at Aston Villa.
With Steven Gerrard rested, Liverpool took a 24th-minute lead when Fabio Borini slid in to convert Jordan Henderson’s delicate cross before Rickie Lambert added a second with 11 minutes to play.
Christian Eriksen claimed an 88th-minute winner as Tottenham Hotspur won 2-1 at home to Sunderland, who gave striker Jermain Defoe a debut against his former club.
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace came from two goals down to claim a stirring 3-2 win at fellow relegation contenders Burnley.
Bottom club Leicester City remain three points adrift of safety after Bojan Krkic’s 63rd-minute strike earned Stoke City a 1-0 win at the King Power Stadium.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 19th, 2015.
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