Oct 19, 2013, 12:19 PM EST
A horrendous mistake by David Luiz let Jordon Mutch open the scoring, and a ridiculously bizarre equalizer got Chelsea back in the game before half time. Samuel Eto’o nicked the ball from Cardiff ‘keeper David Marshall as he went to perform a drop kick, and Hazard tapped in.
After the break, Eto’o grabbed his first goal for Chelsea to make it 2-1, but Cardiff kept battling to the end and nearly grabbed an equalizer on several occasions. On the break Oscar and Hazard both scored late on to put some gloss on the scoreline as Chelsea’s offense got going as the game drew to a close.
With the victory, the Blues are now second in the league, just two points behind Arsenal, while Cardiff drop to 16th spot.
It was certainly a nervy start for Chelsea, as after 10 minutes newly-promoted Cardiff City took a 1-0 thanks to a goal from Jordon Mutch.
Stamford Bridge stood on and watched in stunned silence as the Welsh team took a shock lead following a massive defensive mix up. One long ball forward from ‘keeper David Marshall flicked off John Terry and towards Chelsea midfielder Ramires.
Mutch then nipped in to deflect the ball off Ramires and with David Luiz thinking Chelsea’s goalkeeper Petr Cech was going to clean up the danger, he let Mutch run in behind and dink the ball over Cech for the opener. An embarrassing mistake from Brazilian defender Luiz.
Following the goal Chelsea battled back, and put the visitors under pressure for most of the first half and had plenty of the ball without hurting Cardiff.
However Chelsea drew level after another horrible defensive mishap, as one of the most comedic goals in Premier League history played out.
As Cardiff ‘keeper Marshall bounced the ball before a drop kick, and Samuel Eto’o nipped in to steal the ball before having his shot blocked and Eden Hazard finished the chance off to make it 1-1 and bring Chelsea back into the game.
Quick thinking from Eto’o but a horrendous moment for Marshall, who will go into ‘Howler folklore’ alongside the likes of a young Shay Given for similar mishaps.
Chelsea and Cardiff went in level at the break, however after the break Chelsea looked lively and only a magnificent last-ditch tackle from Steven Caulker stopped WIllian from putting Chelsea 2-1 ahead.
The Blues continued to labor and Oscar was brought on in the 59th minute to try and liven up the faltering attack.
And in the 65th minute Chelsea finally got the breakthrough as Eto’o scored his first goal for Chelsea with a sumptuous low drive past Marshall. Hazard ran at Cardiff’s defense and slotted in Eto’o who took one touch to steady himself before rifling a low right-footed shot into the bottom corner.
Eto’o was then replaced by Azpilicueta moments later, and when Chelsea boss Mourinho berated referee Anthony Taylor he was sent away from the dugout. So, the eccentric Portuguese boss walked up into the stands and took a seat amongst Chelsea’s fans.
The game remained extremely open for the final 20 minutes, as Cardiff piled forward in search of an equalizer. Kim went through on goal and Cech produced a great sprawling stop to keep out the Korean midfielder as the Bluebirds didn’t go down without a fight.
But in the 77th minute Ramires won a great ball in the Cardiff half and his fellow Brazilian international Oscar picked up the ball and hammered a terrific shot into the top corner to make it 3-1.
Hazard then capped off the win with a low finish underneath Marshall, who should have done better and had a day to forget in the 4-1 loss. Chelsea are back on form.
Cardiff City: Marshall; Taylor, Caulker (C), Turner, Whittingham, Medel (Kim, 56), Odemwingie (Campbell, 67), Gunnarsson (Gestede, 81), Mutch, Cowie, Theophile-Catherine.
- 2014 World Cup Draw: Recapping the event (43)
- 2014 World Cup Draw: USA in Group of Death with Germany, Portugal, Ghana – Schedule, times, venues (33)
- What US Soccer wants from the World Cup draw (23)
- Now that we know the U.S. opponents, which 23 players should Jurgen Klinsmann bring to Brazil? (19)
- 2014 FIFA World Cup Draw: The sum of all fears scenario for the United States (17)