Chelsea hosted Schalke last night in what was the first group match of this years Champions League. Blues came to the fixture in ominous form scoring 15 goals and winning all of there 4 Premier League games so far while Schalke suffering from injuries to their main players had the worst start in their last 40 years in Bundesliga. Needless to say, a comfortable win for the blues was expected while a thrashing for Schalke was always on the cards. We all expected Chelsea to win Chelsea vs Schalke clash, but the reality was far for expectation.
But things quickly changed in this game when the Blues were unable to convert their zillions of chances into goals. It all looked so 2013 especially in the second half as if a ghost of Torres possessed our players on the pitch; we even missed lots of easy tap-ins and once Schalke equalised we had to satisfy ourselves with shared points. It was sort of a game where you would want to scratch every bit of hairs from your head wondering if you just had a nickel for every missed chances you would be sitting with Roman in the Chelsea box.
Here are some points analysing Chelsea vs Schalke, and if i “MISS” something don’t blame me it must be a hangover of last night game:
So the King of Stamford Bridge Didier Drogba got his first start for the blues this season in the same competition he ended his glorious stint with the famous penalty last time around. Filipe Luis also got his first start in the blue shirt in place of Azpilicueta. The blues started in a 4-3-3 but Fabregas quickly moved into the hole behind the striker once we were on the front foot.
It was a good start for Chelsea as Fabregas scored his first goal in the blue shirt at the 10th-minute mark after a good run from Hazard saw him unmarked in the opposition box. It was a good finish from the spanish playmaker, the one we never got to see again from the blues in the whole match.
Blues were particularly good in their pressing game yesterday after what we saw against the Swans in the weekend. We pressed them high up the pitch specially our wingers Hazard and Willian caused Schalke a lot of problems in the first half. Hazard in particular was enthralling with his runs and looked a goal scoring threat everytime he had the ball while Willian covered brilliantly for Ivanovic at the right side of our pitch whenever Ivanovic thought of having a bit of adventure in the opposition box.
Meanwhile, Schalke in the absence of their main players were looking quite uncomfortable in the start and as expected were trying to sit deep and hit us on the counter posing no real threats for the blues. We in turn were missing some decent chances to double our lead. Fabregas had a great chance in the 36th minute with just the goalkeeper to beat, but he skied his shot while Drogba also fluffed couple of good chances in the first half. Meanwhile, Huntelaar and Draxler started to grow into the game as the end of the first-half neared with couple of decent chances to equalise. Thankfully they missed too.
If the first half saw us miss some decent chances the second half was whole another story for the blues. There were at least five clear goalscoring chances, but blues were unable to convert any of them. It was the sort of half Torres would have been proud of with Drogba missing an easy tap-in the 58th minute while Hazard with his good runs was unable to find the final product every damn time!
With just 1-0 down Schalke started to grow in confidence themselves and looked more comfortable on the ball. Huntelaar dispossessed Fabregas in the mid-field in 60th minute and the ball fell to Julian Draxler who with an Eden Hazardesque run dribbled past our defenders and passed the ball to Huntelaar who made no mistake putting it past Courtois and just like that the score line read 1-1.
Once Schalke equalised it got more frustrating for the blues and Mourinho realizing our incompetence going forward introduced Oscar, Remy and Diego Costa for the last fifteen minutes to go all out on the attack, but Alas the ghost of Torres had bit them too. Remy had couple of brilliant chances to put the game to bed but a bit of Schalke’s resilience and a bit of our own bad-luck ended the match 1-1 with blues forced to share points in what should have been a big win for us.
Despite all the negatives, there were some good points to take from this game of Chelsea vs Schalke, especially the performance of Filipe Luis in the left back role. It was about time we had an attacking left back who could put a good cross in the opposition box, and Luis was brilliant in that regard.
Defensively too he was really strong and made some good tackles. This means Azpilicueta and Ivanovic does have some decent competition to look forward to in the future.
Lastly although we might not have secured the precious three points but it was in no way a disaster for the blues. We have a relatively easy group, and there’s little doubt we won’t be able to top it anyway. This must have been a wake up call for everyone who were hung up with the PL results, and though it might not have been pretty we are sure Chelsea will come back strongly on Sunday, and they have to, because its Manchester City we are up against!
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