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The manner in which Chelsea ventured from west to east and returned from the Boleyn Ground with a 3-0 victory over West Ham United and maximum points suggested Jose Mourinho may have found a cure for his side's travel sickness.
While it was not all one-way traffic on the match-day, as the Hammers did rally in the second half after a brace of Blue goals from before the break, the result was pretty much a foregone conclusion. Club legend Frank Lampard continued his scintillating record against the outfit who provided him with his footballing education.
Both performance and result were mandatory requirements as, in their last fixture, they escaped with a point against West Bromwich Albion and, in their last away game, they were stunned by Newcastle United.
Lampard is quoted by Express to have said: 'We've had couple of results there that we knew if we kept losing silly points then that was us out of the race, so it was massive there for us today and I'm very pleased I was a part of it.'
The victory moves Chelsea into third place in the Premier League table, four points adrift of pace-setting Arsenal, who the west Londoners face on Monday, December 23 at the Emirates manor.
'Arsenal is there in the back of our minds,' confessed Lampard. 'It is important to keep the form up till then and then hopefully go there and have a ding-dong with them. Nobody has caught fire except perhaps Arsenal and we are in touching distance of them.
'We are in a position where we can say, ‘Yeah, we want to improve and challenge to win the league’. I think we are in a good spot to do that.'
While Mourinho recently implied that one of the reasons he wanted to return to Stamford Bridge was so that he could guide Frank into the concluding seasons of his career, Jose moved to praise Oscar for the Brazilian magician's performance against the Irons.
'Oscar is fantastic - it doesn't matter where, in the middle, on the sides; he works hard, he recovers balls and he presses high and gives a difficult time to the opponents and when he has the ball he's able to assist and able to score,' said Mourinho, as quoted by Four Four Two.
The strike sees Oscar rise to five goals returned from 922 minutes of Premier League action, while he has also maintained a 45% shooting accuracy, has won a penalty, created 17 chances for his team-mates, is accurate with 82% of his passes and wins 88% of his tackles. Impressive statistics indeed for a 22-year-old in only his second full season in a foreign division.
Mourinho continued: 'He's a very young kid. It's not easy to succeed in this football country when you have the talent he has and the physical ability he doesn't have because he's a fragile boy as you can see. That talent is amazing and he can only improve.'
And finally, the transfer speculation surrounding Juan Mata refuses to ebb. While Paris Saint Germain continue to be linked, the Express also claim Juventus and Atletico Madrid are interested.
image: © Ben Sutherland