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Chelsea continued their unbeaten start to the season with a hard-fought win over QPR at Stamford Bridge.

Causing the number of fans ready to crown them Premier League champions to increase, before a quarter of the season has been played.

Chelsea continue to lead the way but invincible they are not, yetYes, Jose Mourinho and his men are definitely the team to beat, and one would be delusional to not label them as title favorites. However, they are not quite yet invincible and unbeatable as many claim, with the game against QPR only a further indication of this fact.

Jose Mourinho was not happy, not happy at all. His Chelsea side needed a sublime Oscar goal and an Eden Hazard penalty to see off the basement-dwellers of Harry Redknapp, who to their credit did play extremely well. Frustration was apparent as the Chelsea hero blasted his own fans for not creating an atmosphere of his liking at Stamford Bridge, claiming that it felt as if they were playing in an “empty stadium”. One cannot help but feel that this was simply annoyance boiling over after a lackluster performance, because stadiums like Old Trafford, Anfield, The Emirates and The Etihad also go quiet when the action on the pitch is slightly uninspiring. It was another game in which Chelsea almost gave away the lead late on, and there are a few cracks in this team, albeit very small.

Jose Mourinho was distinctly unimpressed with his team against QPRThis might be perceived as grossly hypercritical, but the standard that Chelsea have been held to by fans and critics alike this season calls for a heightened sense of realism – And pessimism. Jose Mourinho himself would not want it any other way, for his eternal search for perfection is never-ending. Parallels being drawn with the ‘Invincibles’ of Arsenal is premature, for one can only really start talking about a team going unbeaten by Round 30, not barely ten games into the season. To be fair, Chelsea will most probably eventually lose a game this season, for the Premier League is much more competitive than in the ‘Invincibles’ era. Teams at the bottom of the table have become stronger, while the number of realistic title challengers continue to increase. Also, unlike Arsenal and current title rivals Manchester City, Chelsea are a constant feature in the latter stages of the Champions League, which will make rotation a certainty that directly could lead to diminished performances domestically.

In the prior campaign, Chelsea were lauded for a water-tight defense which did not shift a lot of goals. However, with their attack being much stronger and more refined, issues at the back have started to arise. One gets the feeling that there is still not the type of communication between goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and his back-four as there was with veteran Petr Cech at the back, while left-back remains a problem area. Cesar Azpilicueta is a fantastic man-to-man defender, but when played on the left his attacking prowess is diminished exponentially with having to move the ball onto his right foot constantly, while Filipe Luis has failed to convince in his short time in London after a summer move from Atletico Madrid. A culmination of this issues reared its head against Manchester United, in which a late goal was conceded, and earlier in the season – To a lesser extent – Against Manchester City. Despite a comfortable win in the end, Chelsea were put under immense pressure by Swansea City in the early stages of the season, in which the communication breakdown between members of the defense was on full display, while QPR very nearly got a fantastic draw out of their trip to Stamford Bridge.

Oscar scored a sensational goal to continue what has been a brilliant start for him

As alluded to earlier, this is being hypercritical. A team that is unbeaten at this stage of the season surely does not have too much wrong with it, but the key to the matter is context. The season is still young, and much can still happen. For that reason, expectation needs to be tempered somewhat. Premier League history is littered with teams who looked unstoppable at one stage, before ending up wistfully watching another team lift the Premier League trophy come May. It has to be said, though, that these minor defensive worries have been glossed over very effectively by an incredible attack that has taken the league by storm. It tells a story in itself that there are only number of small issues mentioned in this article, but the sooner it is identified and fixed, the better chance Chelsea actually have of achieving what many are tipping them to do.

Despite my inherently negative outlook, if any team can avoid pitfalls and correct the minor aforementioned problems, it is Chelsea. Jose Mourinho is not called the Special One for no reason.

Originally published at inthestandsport.com

Post written by Marco Conradie, Twitter: @MarcoConradie10
for InTheStandSport, Blog: inthestandsport.com, Twitter: @InTheStandSport

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