The first piece of major silverware this season went the way many expected, as Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea ran out 2-0 winners against Tottenham Hotspur in the Capital One Cup Final. Few would have expected anything less, but the Blues had to work for the victory against their London rivals.
Following Spurs’ 5-3 win over Chelsea on New Year’s Day, some were hopeful that Mauricio Pochettino and his men could use that performance as motivation to win again at Wembley.
And the North London club were very nearly rewarded for their bright start as Christian Eriksen hit the bar with a free kick. Cesc Fabregas brought down Harry Kane, who has been sensational this season, and Eriksen came mightily close to beating Petr Cech - who was preferred to Thibaut Courtois in goal.
That chance set the precedent for a flurry of attacks from Tottenham, with Kane testing Cech and both full backs - Kyle Walker and Danny Rose - getting forward at will.
And yet, late in the first half, it was Mourinho’s men that were celebrating. In the Portuguese’s first spell at the club Chelsea won the League Cup in his first season - it was his first trophy as Chelsea boss. Back then, the trophy served as a cornerstone of an extremely successful few years.
This time, Chelsea fans will be hoping it can bring further glory once more. They went on to win the league that year, and with Man City failing to punish Chelsea - losing 2-1 at Liverpool - they will be hopeful of winning the title this season too.
Mr Chelsea himself was the man to give Chelsea the lead at Wembley - John Terry beat Hugo Lloris following a Willian free kick. The captain has been a key part of Chelsea’s success under the ownership of Roman Abramovic, and has been revitalised since Mourinho returned for his second spell.
Spurs were killed off in the second half when a shot from a tight angle by Diego Costa went in off of Kyle Walker. Try as they might, they couldn’t break down Chelsea’s defence. The team picked by Mourinho turned out to be a masterstroke. With Nemanja Matic suspended after that incident against Burnley, Kurt Zouma was played in a midfield role alongside Ramires.
They managed to stifle Spurs in the second half and Chelsea saw the game out fairly comfortably. Terry lifted the trophy with Didier Drogba - a pair of club legends that were both part of the team in 2005 too.
It is Mourinho’s first piece of silverware since winning La Liga with Real Madrid in 2012, and Chelsea’s first trophy since winning the Europa League in 2013. Should this team stay together, with Mourinho at the helm, then it could be the beginning of a new era of dominance.
With the likes of Costa - who constantly managed to get under the skin of Spurs players - and Fabregas in the side, there will always be goals from this team. They are also extremely solid at the back too, which creates a perfect recipe for success.
Chelsea could still win the treble, and should win the double with their current advantage in the Premier League. A fantastic day for Chelsea that could spark prolonged success, just as it did ten years ago.