Chelsea hosted the struggling championship club Bolton Wanderers in the Capital One Cup League game at the Bridge.
With the League cup, the least of his priorities Mourinho rested his key players by making nine changes to the team that played the draw against City last weekend with only Azpilicueta and Cahill retaining their place.Meanwhile, it was a debut for Remy and Zouma in Chelsea colors and first start in this season for Mikel, Salah, Ake and Cech.
Chelsea vs Bolton (2-1) : Initial Reactions & Analysis:
– First of all it was good to see so many youngsters given the chance to prove themselves in the first team.Thumbs up to Mourinho for that!
Chelsea were on the front foot straight away with Schurrle almost scoring from a free kick in the 4th minute while Salah in particular caused a lot of problems with his pace in the starting minutes.
– It was a superb start from the blues with Salah laying the ball for Oscar inside the box in the 10th minute but his shot was saved by the goalkeeper. Oscar in turn returned the favor after couple of minutes, but Salah’s shot was just wide of the target.
We saw chances after chances for the blues with Schurrle and Remy all coming close to getting the lead and completely dominating the championship side. Schurrle had the best of them when he hit the bar in the 16th minute but was unlucky not to score.Bolton meanwhile looked flabbergasted against the league leaders.
– Schurrle meanwhile caused havoc in the opposition defence completely destroying the Bolton’s right back in the process but it was the beast Zouma who got the first goal on his debut after Cahill’s header was blocked from a corner and Zouma was the first to jump on to the opportunity. It looked all too easy for the blues out there; a thrashing was always on the cards.
– The lively Salah came pretty close to doubling the lead in the 30th minute just to see his shot off the target.It’s quite fair to say Salah and Schurrle completely destroyed the Bolton fullbacks with their pace.
But it was Bolton who scored the equaliser in the 31st minute with literally there first attempt on goal when Matt Mills put it past Cech through Feeney’s free kick. It was complacency at its best from the blues with Bolton equalizing against run of play.No doubt Jose was furious.
– Despite the goal blues still dominated the proceedings coming close to an equaliser a few times while Bolton looked to sit deep and pray for the blues to miss every goalscoring opportunity they get and It took a brilliant effort from Lonergan to save a impressive Nathan Ake’s screamer 30 yard from the box in the 42nd minute. Bolton’s goalkeeper was clearly the best player for the opposition team in the first half.
– The first half ended 1-1 with blues having 18 shots on goal while squandering at least half a dozen goalscoring chances while the visitors jumped on to the only chance they had to score. The equaliser was completely against the run of play, and we should have done better to be 2 or 3 goals at the end of the half.
Salah and Schurrle were brilliant, but they lacked the end product while Luis and Mikel looked pretty solid in their positions. Ake meanwhile was the pick of our players in the first half looking impressive in the midfield.
– The second half started in similar fashion like the first half with blues controlling the game and coming pretty close to take the lead in the 50th minute when an Andre Schurrle free kick was headed by Oscar in the box but Lonergan did brilliantly to tip it over the bar.
– But with the millions of chances we were creating a goal was always coming for the blues and it did came through Oscar in the 55th minute and boy what a finish it was from the Brazilian, 25 yards outside of the box drilled in to the bottom left corner and no chance for Lonergan to stop that.
He nearly grabbed an assist couple of minutes later, but Schurrle continued to be wasteful in front of the goal. Oscar meanwhile was on fire nearly doubling his tally in the 61st minute with a fine free kick curling just wide of the post.
– I keep mentioning Schurrle as he continued to miss his zillionth chance from the box in the 64th minute. The German looked pretty lively on the flanks owning the Bolton fullbacks with his pace and runs but for some reasons looked dire in front of the goal. If i only had a penny for every Schurrle’s miss!
Mourinho made his first change when he introduced Didier Drogba in place of Remy in the 72nd minute in the midst of a huge roar from Bridge faithfuls.
– The Visitors meanwhile who were completely pinned out of the game did enjoy a decent bit of possession for a couple of minutes while Mourinho made his second change introducing Hazard for Salah to run at the tired Bolton defence while on the other flank Schurrle was having a strange night when he was denied by the woodwork yet again after he danced past the couple of defenders. Lonergan definitely had a wonderful game making a bunch of awesome saves on the goalpost.
– The blues were able to see past the last few nervy moments to win the match 2-1. While scoreline doesn’t suggest that but it was as comfortable a victory as we could have wished with blues squandering millions of chances while the visitors were scoring on the only chance they had.
It was an impressive performance from the blues with Ake and Luis putting up a Man Of The Match performance while Oscar was brilliant in the second half. The defenders and Cech had nothing much to do except the only set-piece chance which we made a mess of.
Overall it was a good performance from our second string team but we have to work on our shooting especially Schurrle to close out these kind of matches.
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