On Sunday Chelsea will play for the right to be called club world champions after a comfortable semi-final win in Yokohama.
The Blues dominated almost all of the match and went into an early lead through Juan Mata who joined Fernando Torres as topscorer for the season on 11 goals; that was until his compatriot netted his 12th moments after the start of the second half.
An own-goal completed the scoring on a night when we used the width of the pitch well and showed some bright imagination in attack. The Mexicans found it especially tough to live with Eden Hazard.
Next up to test our improving form which has registered three wins in a row are South American champions Corinthians who were in the stadium to watch this game.
Rafael Benitez opted to give David Luiz his first start in midfield having tried the Brazilian there for a short period at the end of the Nordsjaelland home match. Ivanovic moved to centre-back with Cesar Azpilicueta coming in to the side at right-back.
Mikel returned to play alongside David Luiz with Oscar also back in the line-up; Ramires and Victor Moses making way.
Monterrey were unchanged from their quarter-final win over Ulsan Hyundai.
Chelsea the last participants to take the pitch were keen to make our mark on this tournament as early as possible. We almost did so with only a minute gone when Hazard cleverly let a ball run on to Oscar and took a pass back. He drew the defence and played in Mata for a shot which was blocked by the Monterrey defence.
Then on three minutes we saw the first from David Luiz. Having pushed high up the pitch from his nominally deep role, he was found by Oscar and took the ball on before looping a shot not too far over the bar. Promising.
Two minutes later David Luiz showed vision and played the type of ball he does from the back. It found Hazard in behind the defence and with a clear run on goal. Seeing the gap wide of the keeper at the far post he tried to slot the ball home, but missed by a yard. The Belgian knew only too well he should have scored.
Despite that miss it was clear in the early stages Hazard could cause Monterrey a lot of problems. Even with close attention he whipped over a cross that almost fell just right for Oscar only six yards out.
Hazard then chased down a moment of miss-control from anchor midfielder Meza and showing incredible pace, almost forced a goal. Instead it was corner, delivered by Mata and tapped wide by Ivanovic. That too was a chance.
It was hard to see how the Mexicans could hold out and come the 16th minute they didn’t any longer. It was a quality move that breached their defence. Torres was involved early on, turning sharply to open a gap, and then Cole was given a return pass by Oscar via a backheel before carefully picking out Mata. The Spaniard smashed the ball past Orozco from 15 yards out.
Chelsea didn’t let up and even Cole tested the keeper from 30 yards.
Monterrey hadn’t made it as far as our penalty area often but on 26 minutes they did cause a moment’s tension. A cross from the left was heading the way of target man Aldo De Negris. Cech came to challenge and did enough to force the Mexican to head over the bar.
Of course there had been halves dominated by Chelsea but with only goal to show for it already this season, and we paid the price then. A second before half-time was highly desirable. Torres lost out to the defence when taking down a Cole cross and trying to turn.
On 38 minutes, Azpilicueta couldn’t prevent the ball being played the way of the lurking De Negris but fortunately the cross was too high.
Any fear we may be made to pay for only one goal from a dominant first half had totally dissolved just two minutes into the second half. Torres made it 2-0 with a deflected shot just 15 seconds in after Hazard had ripped Monterrey apart down our left. Then Torres raced away down the same flank and switched the ball to Mata on the right. The No. 10 was trying pick out a blue shirt as he hammered it into the six-yard box but instead full-back Chavez, perhaps avoidably, turned it into his own net.
Monterrey now looked a defeated side and it took until just past the hour for them to threaten for the first time in the half but when they did, Cahill defended it well. Moments later Lampard came on for David Luiz. This second try-out in midfield will probably be judged an interesting success by Benitez.
Lampard scooped a right-foot shot wide within three minutes of his entry before there was an opening for De Nigris from a ball over the top of the Chelsea defence but his control deserted him.
Chelsea’s tight grip on the game loosened a little for a spell but though they pushed towards our goal, the CONCACAF champions still couldn’t test Cech.
With the job all but done, Mata and Torres were rested from the closing stages with Paulo Ferreira and Victor Moses their replacements. Moses played centre-forward.
It was Lampard however who had the final dig at goal for the Blues but from 25 yards out he aimed too high.
The Monterrey consolation came right at the end, De Nigris finally given the chance to shoot from out wide and beating Cech with a neatly struck effort.
It was shame a deserved clean sheet couldn’t be maintained but the European champions could still be happy with the evening’s work.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech (c); Azpilcueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole; Mikel, David Luiz (Lampard 62); Mata (Ferreira 73), Oscar, Hazard; Torres (Moses 78).
Unused subs Turnbull, Hilario, , Bertrand, Saville, Ramires, Marin, Piazon.
Scorers Mata 16, Torres 45, Chavez o.g 47.
Monterrey (4-3-3): Orozco; Perez (Osorio 57), Mier, Basanta (c), Chavez; Ayovi, Meza (Solis 82), Cardozo; Corona, De Nigris, Delgado (Carreno 82).
Unused subs Dautt, Ibarra, Garcia, Lopez, Moreno, Morales, Madrigal.
Scorer De Nigirs 90+1.
Referee Carlos Vera from Ecuador.