Chelsea attempted to "kill the pace of the game" within minutes of kicking off their Sunday match-up against Premier League leaders Liverpool at Anfield according to Michael Owen, who was reporting from an ideal vantage point to the side of Blues boss Jose Mourinho's dugout.
Liverpool not only contain the most exceptional attack (exclusively in terms of goals scored) in English football thus far this season but the club's match-going fan-base have been buoyed considerably by their recent form and are certain their side will claim a long-elusive crown.
Owen, speaking on his social media account, reported that one of Mourinho's primary objectives on Merseyside was to "quieten the atmosphere" which began long before a ball had even been kicked, as excitable Reds supporters welcomed the team bus to the stadium with raucous noise, songs and scarf-waving fanfaronade.
He added: "A late goal is their game plan… [Brendan] Rodgers is not happy with the time wasting."
By the time the game had reached it's 30 minute mark, Mourinho's ploy - if indeed Owen was correct in his assertion - was certainly working.
Despite conceding the lion's share of possession to Liverpool (65%), as well as markedly piecing far fewer passes together than their hosts, Chelsea had managed to preserve their clean sheet while scoring their killer blow just moments before the half-time break as a Steven Gerrard slip allowed Demba Ba a free run at goal.
Edit: Chelsea ended up with a late goal in both halves as Willian sealed the win in the 90th minute.
Chelsea killing the pace of the game already. They want to quieten the atmosphere. A late goal is their game plan.— michael owen (@themichaelowen) April 27, 2014