Saturday, 8 February 2014 | MYT 7:30 AM
Rampant Blues will rip Magpies apart
A file picture of Nemanja Matic (right). He has brought a touch of class and composure to the Chelsea midfield. — AFP
CHELSEA are high on confidence and it shows in their performance.
Much has been made of the Blues’ transfer activities last month, selling Juan Mata to rivals Manchester United while bringing in a relatively unknown Mohamed Salah as replacement.
While it’s sad to see Mata leave, in the end it was good business made completely out of respect for a player who is well loved by the club and their fans.
Besides, with the way Chelsea are playing right now, no one is going to complain.
Sure, there will be a minor blip every now and then, just like failing to beat West Ham.
But when the Blues are in full flow, they can be quite unstoppable. Just ask Manchester City ... and Manchester United.
That is just the beginning and an indication of how well the team are able to play.
And it’s obvious that Nemanja Matic is the man who played a key role in that really impressive win over City.
The Serbian was everywhere. Intercepting balls and making tackles and having a hand in some good passes. He could even have had a goal had it not been for the post.
Essentially, Matic is quite the upgrade on John Obi Mikel, who also does an excellent job shielding the defence, but lacks the cutting edge and speed on the ball.
Another key factor to Chelsea’s continued rise is the form of Eden Hazard.
The Belgian has truly come into his own this season, becoming a real game-changer, twisting and turning opponents inside out to create chances and score goals.
The link-up play with Willian and Oscar has also been amazing and it’s no secret that not having Mata in the team is bringing the best out of Hazard.
Of course Jose Mourinho has said that Chelsea’s challenge only starts next season.
It is probably the usual mind games … but this doesn’t give the team any reason not to play well.
Now we have Newcastle, a team who sell their best player for money and recruit nobody.
Yohan Cabaye’s departure was sorely felt by the Magpies as they were crushed 3-0 at home by relegation-threatened Sunderland.
Now with Loic Remy also suspended, and the likes of Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote, Yoan Gouffran and Fabricio Colocini all injured, I don’t see how an upset is likely.
With Arsenal facing Liverpool on Saturday and Man United next week, this is a golden opportunity for Chelsea to rake up as many wins as possible and close in on the top spot.
Keep the Blue Flag Flying High.
Kng Zheng Guan wishes Juan Mata all the best and thanks him for his contribution.