By Kieran Lovelock
Chelsea’s 2-0 away win against Spartak Moscow on Tuesday saw the reasons as to why they have become such a successful club over the past five years.
Efficiency over flair, experience over youth, science over art are principles that have been installed into the West London club since Jose Mourinho took over in 2004.
Instead of the likes of Nani, Jack Wilshire and Aaron Ramsey Chelsea have gone with experienced pros such as Nicolas Anelka and Ashley Cole to build their empire.
Rather than entertaining crowds with swashbuckling soccer much like Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United do, Chelsea have always been simply efficient and less attractive for the neutral fan.
But what these choices have done have allowed Chelsea to perform well in places like Moscow with startling regularity. The truth is that success in soccer at the very highest level is no longer determined by who plays the prettiest and who plays the nicest.
Instead now, especially with the amount of games that are played in such a short space of time, it is far more important to be efficient and effective. Attractive soccer takes incredible strength from both a physical, technical and psychological point of view.
However a team that has experience, discipline and a complete understanding of their tactical roles will never have to work as the hard as the team who is solely concerned with entertaining fans.
Step forward Chelsea. The masters of simply getting things done and this was on display nowhere more so than in Moscow. On the plastic pitch and in the chilly and somewhat intimidating conditions Spartak were contained, Chelsea were smart and Petr Cech was as reliable as ever whenever called on and Anelka was clinical when he needed to be.
Although Arsenal are capable of hammering anyone away from home this is the kind of performance that sets Chelsea apart and will continue to do so all the while they base their team around the likes of Nicolas Anelka, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Petr Cech.