New Barcelona: Chelsea’s ‘Xavi, Iniesta, Messi’ need Ronaldo finisher

This is the Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard show

In the end it did not matter that Chelsea won – it was the manner in which they won that mattered more.

Not since Barcelona has a European club team had such a creative dynamic in midfield, that it renders a front striker almost redundant.

Like Barcelona’s Xavi, Iniesta and Messi, Chelsea now boast the best midfield trio in world football – Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard.

In the Blues 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur, a defender, Gary Cahill and a midfielder, Juan Mata, scored the goals.

Fernando Torres had a free ride up front for Chelsea and he is increasingly looking redundant.

As much because of his own failings to score as because of Chelsea’s magical trio in midfield.

Yes Torres works hard. Yes he shows appetite and ambition. He even tracks back. What he does not do is score goals. And that is all Chelsea want of him.

Like a rabbit in the headlights every time he gets an easy chance – especially one on one with the goalkeeper, Brad Friedel in this case – he forgets that he is a striker.

Torres missed two sitters and had Spurs equalised late but for a Petr Cech save, those sitters would have come back to haunt him and Chelsea.

When Daniel Sturridge finally scored it only reminded the Blues that Torres is a problem.

Barcelona use their strikers like David Villa & Co to stretch the defence wide and make space for Xavi, Iniesta and Messi in the middle.

As long as Torres plays as the hitman upfront, Chelsea’s midfield will seek to go for him, denying the others space, and probably chances.

Match report:

Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points with the 4-2 win over Andre Villas-Boas's Tottenham.

Roberto Di Matteo's side were in danger of suffering their first league defeat of the season at the hands of former boss Villas-Boas, who was sacked after just nine months in charge last season, as Tottenham took a 2-1 lead in the second half at White Hart Lane.

But Spanish midfielder Mata struck twice in the space of three minutes to secure Chelsea's seventh win from eight league matches.

Gary Cahill, deputising for the suspended John Terry, fired Chelsea ahead in the 17th minute with a powerful volley that took a deflection off Spurs defender Steven Caulker.
William Gallas equalised against his former club two minutes into the second half when the Tottenham defender nodded in from close-range after Jan Vertonghen hooked the ball across the six-yard box.

And Spurs went in front seven minutes later thanks to Jermain Defoe's predatory finish from Aaron Lennon's cross.

However, Chelsea staged a stunning fightback as Mata punished a half clearance from Gallas to slot home in the 66th minute and the Spaniard then produced a fine finish from Eden Hazard's defence-splitting pass three minutes later.

Mata turned provider when Chelsea killed off Spurs in stoppage-time. He robbed Kyle Walker of possession and slipped a pass for Daniel Sturridge to tap in.

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