Chelsea fortified their title-challenging credentials today, Wednesday, January 1 by slaying Southampton with a 3-0 second half bombardment with goals from Fernando Torres, Willian and Oscar in a result that keeps the Blues on pace with league leaders Arsenal and second-placed Manchester City.
While the goal-scorers all attracted column-inches, one of the stories of the match was Juan Mata's reaction to being substituted after just 52 minutes of play.
The playmaking Spaniard vented his frustrations once he returned to the bench and the reaction from fans on Twitter was one of distress, as Blues fans appear resigned to losing their two-time player of the year during the winter transfer window this month.
Juan Mata's reaction to being subbed off today. https://t.co/lHs79eXjsf— Footy Vines (@Footy_Vines) January 1, 2014
Jose Mourinho has told Juan Mata he can quit Chelsea after his furious reaction to today’s 53rd minute substitution at St Mary's. :( :'(— Juan (Maestro) Mata (@RminShah) January 1, 2014
I personally don't care about all this "style of play" blah blah shit but no person in their right mind would sell Juan Mata. Period.— Nawaz™ (@BlueNawaz) January 1, 2014
Juan Mata clearly has issues with Jose Mourinho and, more importantly, vice versa. Only ever going to be one winner.— Charlie Fitzherbert (@CharlieFitzh) January 1, 2014
Not all supporters, though, were on #TeamMata as there were a minority who criticised his behaviour, claiming that it was a 'disgrace'.
On the overall result, Willian, Oscar and Eden Hazard all attracted widespread praise, with the former being backed for permanent inclusion in Mourinho's first-team selection.
Really starting to love Willian, brilliant signing #cfc— Ellie Prothero (@EProthero) January 1, 2014
convincing win for chelsea, back on winning ways :D #cfc willian should start more often— Anish Shetty (@anishshetty95) January 1, 2014
Oscar and Eden brilliant today. Felt for Juan tho #cfc— Fred Nelson (@fredwnelson) January 1, 2014
image: © Ronnie Macdonald