Chelsea played out something of a dour and fortuitous victory against Fulham in the South West London derby this evening - as once again their strikers failed to thrive.
The fact remains that the likes of Samuel Eto’o, Demba Ba and Fernando Torres are simply not going to score the goals necessary for Chelsea to put in a sustained title challenge - and considering the way they are currently playing, that is going to be an issue.
They may have dominated possession and chances against Fulham, but more composure from Darren Bent or Steve Sidwell and things could have been very different - and Jose Mourinho’s stock at the club could have fallen even more than it had after defeat to FC Basel.
So while Eto’o looked better than he did against Everton he still looked a way off the marauding player he once was with Barcelona and Inter Milan and as for Fernando Torres and Demba Ba - neither looks bothered anymore.
So while Chelsea have a group of strikers who in reality are neither here nor there, their decision to loan out Romelu Lukaku to Everton for the rest of the season continues to look baffling.
Today the Belgian, who had an incredible season with West Brom last term, and followed it up with great form in pre-season, made his Everton debut - and it was some debut.
He came on for the ineffectual Nikica Jelavic at half-time and went about changing the game from the off.
Before long he had made the impact that Roberto Martinez would have anticipated, and desired.
In the 85th minute, with the game at two goals apiece the striker started a move which led to Kevin Mirallas swinging in a delivery that he met with a powerful header to give Everton the win.
It was textbook Lukaku, but most astonishingly was the risk he put himself at scoring the goal. Lukaku was knocked out in the ensuing collision - but he did not care. The bullish front-man was willing to lay his body on the line just to get the ball in the back of the net.
You tell me that any of those current Chelsea strikers have that will to win, that passion, that hunger to score goals. I guarantee not a single one of them, at this moment in time, would have done the same.
Lukaku’s passion, drive and determination is Everton’s gain and Chelsea’s loss - and today will not be the only time he proves it this season.
What did you make of Chelsea’s performance today? Should they have kept hold of Lukaku?
image: © wshjackson