No one would have imagined this before the season started: Chelsea demolishes Manchester United 3-1, and the only remotely surprising thing is that Samuel Eto'o—a thousand years old, a chronic misfirer—was the man who knocked in the goals. And yet that's how it is.
You know how when a team has a couple of struggling strikers and they have a patsy opponent in some minor competition, you can tell which striker the manager wants to build up by the fact that he starts him in that game? At this point in the year, United are one of those confidence builders, a penciled-in W for the league's contenders.
The sheer number of Englishmen suiting up for Man U—5.5, depending on Januzaj's allegiance—probably itself consigned them to defeat. To be fair, United started pretty well and technically could feel a little unlucky to be down two at the half. On the other hand, that you can give Manchester United sympathy points for making a 3-1 thrashing look somewhat respectable is just a testament to how low they've sunk.
It's not like this was a flash to the old Barcelona Eto'o, either. None of his goals would make a career highlight reel, and were all attributable to poor defending. The neat little shoulder fake that sent his marker into convulsions for his first goal was cool, but even that doesn't totally explain why Phil Jones bit so hard for it. The latter two were complete disasters: the second had him completely unmarked yet played onside in the heart of the box, and the third was a simple rebound of a wide open Gary Cahill header.
Since none of us support the Red Devils, there is some schadenfreude in watching Rome burn. Seeing the perennial powerhouses struggle to retain hope of even the possibility of a fourth place finish is a little sweet, we can't lie. But still. Samuel Eto'o? Hat trick? Come on.