The title race in England (assuming we ever did have one) is over following Chelsea's 1-0 win over Manchester United on Saturday. No, mathematically they won't win the title for a couple of weeks. But if somebody else wins the Premier League this season, it won't be a race, it will be a total and vertical collapse.
Jose Mourinho didn't just park the bus against United; he positioned the Millennium Falcon, Titanic and Orient Express in front of Thibaut Courtois' goal.
Louis van Gaal declared that his team's performance in their 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Saturday was Manchester United's best of the season. "I see that we are improving every week and when you can play in Chelsea like this, as the dominant team, then I am very happy with that," he said, before expressing his disappointment at the result.
Wayne Rooney echoed his manager ("We dominated the game"), and the raw statistics would appear to back up their view. United had 67 percent possession, 15...
The Eden Hazard-inspired 1-0 win over Manchester United on Saturday put the Premier League title within touching distance for Chelsea.
A thorough inquisition had been safely negotiated and the lead at the top of the table stretched to a quite magnificent 10 points over second-place Arsenal with just six matches pending for either side. And yet to judge by the reaction from social media and a few uncharitable sections of the press, it might have appeared that the Londoners had committed the footballing...
Chelsea had only 29 percent of possession, their lowest figure since such statistics were first collated in 2006, and yet still beat Manchester United 1-0 on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho said he would have been happy for United to have 99 percent of the ball; Chelsea planned to play without it and executed their plan well. It was based on defending deep and in numbers, with the concentration and organisation to prevent United from breaking them down.
With his signature hair and eyebrows combo, you could be forgiven that Manchester United's big-lump-in-chief Marouane Fellaini has cultivated something of a unique look over the years.
However, it just so happens that the United midfielder's brother, Mansour, is the absolute spitting image of his twin sibling -- a genetic quirk that led to mass confusion in the Chelsea camp just a few short hours before Saturday's Premier League clash between the two sides.
Chelsea were not pretty but will likely be champions. Manchester United at times oozed with aesthetic qualities, but proved themselves short of the exacting standards that will be required if they should meet their pretensions of becoming English football's best team.
Their time may come, and there were signs that they might soon be capable of duking it out with Chelsea, but the final result was a lesson served by an opponent whose success lies in getting matches won with optimum efficiency.