Two memorable spells at the west London club's helm brought with them eight
trophies and no little controversy, with the Portuguese twice sacked by Blues
owner Roman Abramovich.
Mourinho returned to the club that unceremoniously, and understandably,
called time on his second stint in December, but any hope of haunting his former
paymasters was swiftly extinguished as Pedro's 30-second strike kicked off what
would prove a nightmare afternoon for United.
"You're not special any more," chanted some of the Chelsea fans that had
worshipped him as the pre-match goodwill was quickly forgotten, with Pedro
landing an early sucker-punch after lax defending allowed him to score against
the club he rejected in favour of Mourinho's Blues.
Gary Cahill reacted quickly to lash home from a 21st-minute corner to
compound matters for United, who were understandably aggrieved by an ugly David
Luiz challenge on Marouane Fellaini.
The Belgian did not return for the second half and Eric Bailly limped off
soon after, with matters worsening when Eden Hazard – so poor as Mourinho's side
stuttered last season – fired home a superb third to the delight of Antonio
N'Golo Kante opened his Chelsea account with a fine solo goal to increase the
embarrassment as a Mourinho side conceded four for just the second time in a
Premier League match.
This was always likely to put United's six-match unbeaten run in jeopardy but
few could have foreseen this humbling and certainly the way it started.
v red Spectators were left rubbing their eyes in disbelief when
Marcos Alonso's hopeful ball befuddled Chris Smalling and Daley Blind, with
Pedro racing past David de Gea to slot home after 30 seconds.
vapor v red But Chelsea were looking the biggest threat and Hazard
twisted impressively to get away a fizzing shot just wide from a corner that
followed a sturdy Bailly challenge on Diego Costa – one the striker felt should
have resulted in a penalty.
white Frustration would turn to elation in the 21st minute, after
Blind conceded a corner under pressure from Kante. Hazard swung in the set-piece
that flicked onto the unsighted Ander Herrera, with the ball sitting up kindly
for Cahill to rifle home.
Costa could soon have added his name to the scoresheet had he reacted better
to a lovely Hazard ball.
Thibaut Courtois kept out a speculative long-range shot from Herrera and
Jesse Lingard's follow-up on a rare United foray forwards with the home side on
Bailly's timely intervention stopped Costa from ending the half in the same
way Chelsea had begun it, but the main talking point of the closing stages of
the first period was a lunge from Luiz on Fellaini.
The Belgium midfielder received treatment after being caught on his knee and
did not re-emerge for the second half, with former Chelsea favourite Juan Mata
Costa saw an effort ruled out for offside as the home side continued in the
ascendancy, with Hazard perplexed by the decision not to reprimand Bailly for
taking him down. It was the defender's last involvement as he soon limped
Marcos Rojo came into a reshuffled back line that conceded a third after
Lingard saw an effort batted away at the other end.
superfly cr7 blue Nemanja Matic slipped the ball through to Hazard,
with the fleet-footed attacking midfielder cutting back to hit a low strike past
But the humiliation did not stop there. Statuesque defending was capitalised
on by Kante, who burst all too easily between Smalling and Paul Pogba to direct
past a furious De Gea.
The fourth goal brought with it chants of Mourinho's name from the home fans,
along with more appreciation for Matthew Harding as the club remembered the
popular Chelsea vice-chairman 20 years after his death.
An impressive din continued for the remainder of the match, rising when
Courtois stopped Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the turn and Rojo from distance.
superfly black There was to be no consolation for United and
Mourinho had an angry-looking exchange with Conte at the final whistle.