1 Bullish Moyes continues to talk the talk
The pre-match rhetoric was bullish. David Moyes had refused to write off Manchester United's title hopes and so had the Chelsea manager José Mourinho, who warned that "when the giant is sleeping, the giant is never really sleeping". Moyes continued the routine afterwards, saying he would never give in and only the little details were conspiring against his team, such as defending set pieces properly. United had promise in Adnan Januzaj. They started well and they finished well here. So it was just a shame about the bit in the middle, when Chelsea took their chances to set up a stroll, during which their supporters could concentrate on goading Moyes. United are at once close and many miles away – 14 points off the title pace and six off Champions League qualification, to be precise. Moyes urgently needs Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie to return from injury. This was another chastening experience.
2 Red, yellow and orange cards
It was possible to feel an element of initial surprise at the colour of Nemanja Vidic's card as, in the face of the rush of blood that saw him lunge at Eden Hazard, there were no raised studs, nor feet [plural] off the ground. Mourinho described it as "orange", in other words some way between yellow and the red that Vidic got and the United captain was plainly stunned when Phil Dowd dismissed him. So was Moyes, even if Vidic was plainly out of order. Yet it was remarkable that Rafael received only a booking for his dangerous studs-up jump into his challenge with Gary Cahill later in injury time. Rafael did get the ball, which probably spared him but it was still the sort of tackle that everybody wants to see stamped out of the game. Even Moyes admitted that Rafael could have been sent off.
3 Eto'o shows his class
The jury has been out on Eto'o at Stamford Bridge and it was something of a surprise that Mourinho preferred him at the outset to Fernando Torres, given that the Spaniard had scored in his previous two starts. But this was an afternoon when nothing could or would go wrong for Eto'o, from the moment that his shot flicked off Michael Carrick for the opening goal. He made for the bench to celebrate with Demba Ba, the club's third-choice striker, who was not a part of the match-day squad. Eto'o's predatory instincts were stamped all over the second and third goals, which took his tally in Chelsea colours to eight and, no matter what he achieves in what could be a one-season sojourn in English football, he can look back upon the day that his hat-trick sunk the fast-sinking champions and he was lauded to the rooftops on his substitution.
4 United pay for their defensive sloppiness
Samuel Eto'o's shoulder drop and burst was an old trick but one that Phil Jones bought like a Sunday League player and it rather set the tone for United's defending. Eto'o's opening goal was helped beyond David de Gea by that slight deflection but Moyes will surely reflect that the Chelsea striker ought to have been stopped at source. United cannot switch off as they did here and expect to achieve anything in this season's Premier League, and the defending for Eto'o's second and third goals was lamentable. Moyes will pore over how his players froze on Chelsea's second phase of possession after a corner had been half-cleared to allow Gary Cahill, of all people, to cross, while United's marking on Eto'o's hat-trick goal, when Cahill was granted a free initial header after a simple run on a corner from Willian, beggared belief.
5 David Luiz could be the fall guy for Matic
It is actually quite good fun watching Mourinho watch David Luiz. The maverick Brazilian clearly gives the Chelsea manager palpitations. Mourinho does not like him enough at centre-half to have him break up John Terry's partnership with Cahill and one has to wonder whether he likes him enough in defensive midfield, given that he has just lavished £20.75m on Nemanja Matic, who came on as a late substitute. Mourinho spent portions of the first half screaming at David Luiz to hold his position in front of the back four and more of it metaphorically peering through his fingers at the player. David Luiz flattened Antonio Valencia to earn a booking and he flirted with disaster when he hung out his elbow at Rafael before quickly pulling it back. He also jumped into Jones as he contested a high ball. There is plenty to like about David Luiz's game and there were flashes from him here. Mourinho did not look entirely impressed.