Chelsea hosted Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge yesterday looking to hit back from the disappointing 5-3 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur at the turn of the year.
While they were not at the very top of their game, goals from Oscar and Diego Costa gave Jose Mourinho’s side a comfortable 2-0 victory over their opponents.
Costa’s goal was his 15th league strike of the season – moving him ahead of Sergio Aguero as the top scorer – but it was Oscar who was the day’s outstanding performer.
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As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the Brazilian international put in an action-packed display behind the lone striker and proved to be a constant attacking threat.
Aside from his first-half strike, the Magpies could not live with his off the ball movement and the intelligence displayed when in possession and facing the visitors’ stubborn defence.
Before leaving to a standing ovation ten minutes before the end, Oscar tested the Newcastle goal on three occasions and created two clear chances – one which ended up with Costa netting the Blues second.
In possession, he was calm and efficient, taking 75 touches and laying off 44 accurate passes to his teammates as they looked to probe the visitors’ back-line.
Yet, for all his positive contributions with the ball, his boss Mourinho will be especially pleased with the 23-year-old’s work-rate off the ball – demonstrated by his impressive tally of seven ball recoveries.
The victory was all the more important given Manchester City’s inability to beat Everton at Goodison Park, resulting in the Blues reclaiming top spot outright by two clear points.
The West Londoners’ recent record at Stamford Bridge has been phenomenal, but now the biggest challenge for Oscar and co. is to replicate their home form on the road starting at Swansea City next week.