Chelsea season review

The Background

After finishing third on the Premier League table behind Manchester City and Liverpool the priority was to win the league and the Champions League above all else.

After coach Jose Mourinho reinforced his squad with a few new signings ahead of the season, the question being asked was would they be able to improve on the previous season? 

The Signings
There were various players that were offloaded by the club either on loan or sold after last season. Some of the better known players to leave were – David Luiz, Romelu Lukaku, Samuel Eto'o, Ashley Cole, Demba Ba, Fernando Torres, Victor Moses and Frank Lampard. There were also quite a few fringe/unused players that were loaned out or sold.

The club did buy a number of players that made an impact in the 2014/15 season. Here are some of the acquisitions – Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, Filipe Luis, Loic Remy, Didier Drogba and Juan Cuadrado. Chelsea spent in the region or £118m.   

The Season
From the beginning of their league campaign Chelsea seemed to take the control and never really let up, only losing three times. 

Their first loss came after 14 games and that was against Newcastle United on December 6, the second loss was on January 1 to Tottenham and the other loss was on May 18 to West Brom. 

Such was their dominance that they won the league title eight points clear of second placed Manchester City.

The only time Chelsea were challenged at the top of the table was on New Year's Day when City were tied at the top, but then went winless in four straight games which killed off their defence of the league crown.  

In defence Chelsea were impressive, only letting in 32 goals. Up front they were lethal, scoring 73 times.

The second trophy they won was the Capital One Cup beating Tottenham 2-0 in the final at Wembley.

In the FA Cup they were shocked at home in the fourth round losing 4-2 against Bradford City. Chelsea led 2-0 at half-time but Bradford turned it around scoring four unanswered second half goals. 

The Blues' Champions League campaign started well and they cruised without too many hassles into the first round of the knockout stage, where they faced Paris Saint-Germain.

Chelsea did the business in the first-leg at Le Parc des Princes drawing 1-1 thanks to a first-half goal by Branislav Ivanovic to give them a vital away goal. PSG got the equaliser via Edinson Cavani in the second half.

At Stamford Bridge in the second leg Chelsea crashed out on the away goals rule after drawing 2-2 against 10-men. 

Gary Cahill gave Chelsea the lead in the 81st minute and 5-minutes later former Chelsea player David Luiz got the equaliser. Eden Hazard then scored in the 96th minute to put Chelsea through, so they thought, only for Thiago Silva to equalise in the 114th minute and send PSG through. 

The loss at home in the Champions League was the major black spot against Chelsea this season other than the less significant FA Cup defeat to Bradford. 

Player of the year: Eden Hazard

Hazard was the class act of the 2014/15 season, with the Belgian rightly raking in the plaudits.

With 14 goals and eight assists in the league, Hazard led the way for the Blues and delivered his best throughout the campaign, even when some of those around him began to flag slightly.

Blessed with speed, agility, strength, great technique and an audacious left foot, Hazard gave many of the league's defenders sleepless nights.

John Jerry deserves a mention, as he has had one of his finest seasons, if not his finest.

The 34-year-old has been revitalised under Jose Mourinho and underlined his quality time after time for the Blues. Terry's all-round game and inspiring leadership mean the Blues skipper has few peers in the league at present.

Disappointment of the year:
There were few disappointments but not progressing further in the Champions League when leading at home with minutes to go and allowing PSG to equalise and go through will be something that won't have pleased Mourinho or club bosses one bit.

The FA Cup loss to Bradford at home after leading by two goals at half-time and allowing the League One side to score four unanswered second half goals was another bad result.

Ashley Cole's successor Filipe Luis did not look the business and after being bought for a whopping £20m from Atletico Madrid he will need to improve big time. 

The Verdict: 
Chelsea had a very good season and were way better than the rest in their league triumph. They did, however, slip up in the Champions League when they drew at home to crash out. Losing to Bradford in the FA Cup was not great either. 

But on the whole Chelsea looked like a class act and with a few new players ahead of the coming season there should be no reason why Jose Mourihho's side won't do even better. 

FOX Sports Asia season rating: 9/10

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