Chelsea Are the New Invincibles
Before going any further, spare a moment for poor Stoke City.
Who put the coal in their holiday stockings?
- First, on Boxing Day, the Potters were sent to Anfield, where they absorbed a 4-1 shellacking.
- Then, on New Year's Eve, they had a second straight road match against a second straight juggernaut.
After being drubbed, 4-2, by white-hot Chelsea, it seemed all Stoke was missing was a team appointment for root canals on New Year's Day.
The hell of it is, the Potters haven't been playing that badly. But Liverpool's finding their stride under Jürgen Klopp, and Chelsea's playing out of their minds.
The Blues have now stretched their winning run in the Premiership to 13 straight, and they've been equal-opportunity about it. They've been renting anyone asunder.
Dudes have matched Arsenal's record haul of 49 points outta 57 possible in the season's first half. The 2003-2004 Gunners were tagged as the Invincibles after they extended that run to a season's worth of achievement.
It remains to be seen if the Blues can keep up that sorta pace for an entire campaign, but right now, no one's betting against them.
In fact, call him Fabre-pass. The Spanish international not only reached 100 Premiership assists when the match was done and dusted, he did it faster than anyone else:
|Ryan Giggs ...||367|
|Wayne Rooney ...||445|
|Frank Lampard ...||559|
Dude's 99th cam when he swung in a corner from the left and Gary Cahill poweredit home from close range:
The Potters scored after the break when Bruno Martins Indi steered home a scrambled equaliser:
Thibaut Courtois never saw that coming, ending his streak of 11 Premiership clean sheets.
Willian then returned the advantage to Chelsea, set up by Eden Hazard after a good work from Vicor Moses down the right side:
But those plucky Potters rallied again seven minutes later.
Peter Crouch is alive and well, not to mention still being 6-7/201cm:
However, a minute later, Willian struck again with his fifth of the season, compliments of Fàbregas' 100th league helper:
Valiant to the last, Stoke was still doing their Black Knight impression until the industrious Diego Costa put paid to the result in the 85th minute with his league-leading 14th strike:
If Chelsea's gonna continue their assault on the Invincibles by extending their skein to 14, they'll need to go through Tottenham to do it.
That didn't work out so well for the Blues last season, when Spurs foiled their last-ditch attempts to catch Leicester City for the league crown.