As Chelsea thwarted an attacking Man City on Saturday evening, the chants began coming from the frustrated City support.
The words they sang were, “Boring, Boring Chelsea”, and after 45 minutes in which Jose Mourinho’s side were more than a little short on attacking endeavour, it wasn’t hard to understand the frustration of the Citizens.
After all, City were the only side trying to make something happen; the only side trying to win the game. Chelsea were very clearly ‘taking the point’; a fact illustrated by their shot tally for the second half reading zero.
But whilst one can understand City’s frustrations, the fact is that Mourinho’s men go into February five points clear, having extracted a point from one of the most challenging games of their season and odds on to win the title for the first time since 2010. There’s not a lot boring about that.
This is the way that Mourinho manages teams. He ensures that they do exactly what is required, and when that’s a point, it’s a point they deliver.
Shorn of their main attacking threat in Diego Costa, it was always unlikely that the Blues would be free-flowing and adventurous, and so it proved, with only three shots recorded in the entire game. But Mourinho’s men will not care where the point came from; what will matter is the fact that not only did they record a point, but they stopped City snaring three.
Despite the fact that this was not a game of note, this moment will perhaps be remembered as the moment where Chelsea’s title was won. Things may change between now and the end of the season of course, but a betting man would look at the fact that City have no more chances to damage Chelsea’s cause and look at the fact that the Blues’ next eight games all look very winnable and conclude that it would be silly to be on anyone else.
Should Chelsea win the title, as I think they will, Pellegrini will almost certainly go. How the Chilean may look back and regret that afternoon in London where his side failed to break the Chelsea resolve. For Mourinho, he’ll be as proud of this game as the landslide victories.