Chelsea 2 Hull City 0
José Mourinho’s return to his people ended with a trademark win as Chelsea ran out 2-0 winners over Hull City. In a breathless opening twenty five minutes, Frank Lampard missed a penalty before Oscar put the Blues in front.
However, the England midfielder made amends with a scorcher from 30 yards and in typical Mourinho style Chelsea went on to see out the win without allowing the visitors a chance to get back into the game.
Kevin De Bruyne was handed his full debut in an otherwise settled side, with Fernando Torres preferred to Romelu Lukaku and Demba Ba up front.
New signings Andrew Shurrle and Marco van Ginkel were on the bench and were introduced in the second half.
The game got underway in an electric atmosphere with the Stamford Bridge crowd welcoming back the most successful manager in Chelsea’s history. However, keen to put things into perspective, he had been keen to stress beforehand that the main focus was on the football.
The players were certainly fully focussed on the task in hand and stepped up to the plate to start dictating the tempo early on. Eden Hazard won an early free-kick before De Bruyne smashed a shot over the bar as Hull struggled to cope with Chelsea’s creative players.
Hazard forced a save from McGregor but then the Hull keeper lost his head and gave away a penalty as the Blues had an early chance to take the lead. As Torres burst through into the box the City stopper came rushing out and caught the Spanish striker with his arm leaving referee Moss no option but to award a penalty.
Lampard, as usual, stepped up to take the spot-kick but McGregor redeemed himself and dived low to his right to save the vice-Captain’s effort as his side kept the scores level for a while longer.
However, it never really looked like it would take long for Chelsea to take the lead as De Bruyne threatened and Oscar fired wide. With 12 minutes on the clock, Hull’s resistance finally broke and it was the talented Brazilian who hit the back of the net. Hazard powered infield after picking up a long ball from John Terry and then found De Bruyne, who slipped it through to Oscar, leaving the young midfielder with a first-time finish on his hands. It was a cracking goal and gave Oscar a place in history as the scorer of the first goal of Mourinho’s second spell in charge.
Everyone else seemed keen to get in on the act, and Chelsea were knocking on the door against a newly-promoted side who looked simply unable to cope. Lampard drew a diving save from McGregor before being given a chance from range when Torres was brought down 30 yards from goal.
The man whose goals against Bolton delivered Mourinho’s first title in England stepped up and fired a screamer at goal, which swerved and curled to bamboozle McGregor and find the top corner. His side were two goals up and it seemed to be as good as over.
In truth, it could well have been more before half time as Lampard saw another effort saved by McGregor before the Hull ‘keeper did brilliantly to keep out a header from Branislav Ivanovic. Goal-line technology showed that the ball was not over the line and Chelsea had to be content with their two goal lead at the interval.
Mourinho was clearly happy and there were no changes made at the interval, although Chelsea were not to be quite as impressive in the second half. They continued to control the game but the early panache about their play was gone and replaced with a more conservative outlook.
The visitors, who hadn’t made any changes either, brought on former Sp*rs duo H*ddlestone and L*vermore but they didn’t help Hull to provide a greater threat. Chelsea had good calls for a second penalty turned down when Ivanovic was pushed to the ground by Brady, with the referee instead awarding a goal-kick. It was at that point in the game the Tigers did finally manage to put some pressure on the home side.
Koren came closest when he at least managed to force Petr Cech into a save, with a more speculative effort from a corner being comfortably blocked by Lampard.
Seeking to inject some more pace and energy into the game, Mourinho introduced Schurrle with 25 minutes left to play with the impressive De Bruyne making way. The new German signing had a good game as well, and provided a positive indication of our transfer activity this summer.
The game was heading towards its conclusion when Hull went close with a well placed header from Davies. For a moment he seemed to think he had scored, but Cech got there to save well and it was the last real chance the visitors would have.
Chelsea made another change with the introduction of Lukaku for Torres, who had another decent day without doing anything spectacular. Shortly after his introduction there was a good chance for the hosts, although it was Schurrle rather than the Belgian striker who went close. He raced towards goal and as McGregor game out towards him he lifted the ball over him and towards goal but saw it go just over the bar.
Lampard had another chance to add to his tally when he struck a second long-range free-kick at goal but this time couldn’t hit the back of the net. A late substitution saw Van Ginkel come on for his debut as the Blues saw the game out as they have done so many times before under Mourinho.
It was a bright start for the second-coming and with games coming thick and fast in the coming days a good way to get off the mark.
Chelsea; Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, De Bruyne (Schurrle 66), Oscar (Van Ginkel 84), Hazard, Torres (Lukaku 75)
Unused subs; Schwarzer, Essien, Mata, Ba
Scorers; Oscar 12, Lampard 22
Referee; J Moss