With Manchester City winning earlier on in the day it was vitally important that Jose Mourinho‘s Chelsea side also secured the victory today away to Southampton.
Arsenal was also looking to restore top spot, and their game was played alongside their London rivals. Halftime arrived with Chelsea goalless and Mourinho ready to make changes. Less than ten minutes into the second half a bemused Juan Mata and Andre Schurrle came off, and in their places on came Oscar and Willian.
To be fair to Mata, the guy looked quite rightly annoyed as he really hasn’t been favored by Mourinho and in this game really hadn’t done a whole great deal wrong. Two minutes after being on the pitch Oscar was sent through one on one with the Southampton goalkeeper, Kelvin Davis, deputizing for the injured Artur Boruc. Oscar kept his foot out to initiate contact with the goalkeeper and went down attempting to get the penalty.
To the referee’s credit, Oscar was shown the yellow card and Southampton was rightly awarded a free kick. Martin Atkinson had no choice with a blatant attempt, and although Mourinho was jumping around in protest, I think even he would have to agree it was not a penalty — or knowing him maybe not.
Either way it would not be an issue for the Blues come full time with Fernando Torres finding the net again to put the visitors a goal up five minutes later. From then on it was all Chelsea as key substitutions fueled their victory.
In a span of 25 minutes, the young Brazilian gave a glimpse of his very best and very worst parts of the game.
Jason Bardwell is a Soccer writer for Rant Sport. You can follow him on Twitter @PACityboy or on www.facebook.com/jasonbardwell1979.