News 2016-10-25 9:31 AM

Jose Mourinho accomplished something on Sunday that he was incapable of doing last season as Chelsea manager: motivate Chelsea’s players.

The return of the Special One to Stamford Bridge – for the first time since being fired last December – was all the inspiration the Blues needed as they rampaged to a 4-0 Premier League victory over Mourinho’s listless Manchester United.

It took just 30 seconds for Chelsea to grab the lead. A long, looping ball from Marcos Alonso looked harmless initially but it bounced right to Pedro, who was gifted an easy finish past goalkeeper David De Gea to make it 1-0. To say the United backline made a mess of it would be an understatement.

The misplay would be a harbinger of more poor United defending to come. The Red Devils’ nightmare start continued in the 21st minute as a completely unmarked Gary Cahill got on the end of a corner kick to make it 2-0 Chelsea.

The Blues took that two-goal lead into the break and, despite watching a horrific first 45 minutes by United, Mourinho made no changes going into the second half. He would see more statuesque defending by his men.

The next beneficiary in blue would be Eden Hazard, the Chelsea player believed to have the biggest beef with Mourinho’s public postgame lashings of his troops last season. Hazard opted to let his play, or under-performing, speak for him as he looked nothing like the Player of the Year who powered Chelsea to the Premier League title in 2014-15.

So it was no surprise that Hazard took great delight in increasing the lead to 3-0. He laid off the ball, got it back after making a diagonal run into the box and beat De Gea with his favorite right foot with a strike inside the far post. The Belgium celebrated his goal with sliding knees and then a leaping punch in midair. Translation: Take that, Jose!

The rout was complete when Chelsea got a fourth goal from the most unlikely scorer: Kante. What was more shocking than the United defending was the skill that the former Leicester City standout displayed, as Kante used a dummy to get free into the box and score his first goal of the season.

The only drama left was what Mourinho would say in his postmatch press conference. But before heading to the dressing room, a displeased Mourinho had words with his counterpart, Antonio Conte. Naturally, the English media wanted to talk about the confrontation.

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