Initial Reaction: Chelsea 1 – 1 Schalke 04

After months of anticipation Champions League was back tonight when Chelsea hosted Schalke in the Stamford bridge.The man who brought us the crowning moment in the same competition last time around got his first start in the season along with Filipe Luis.

So let’s get on with the initial reaction:

-As expected Schalke without their main players started deep in their half looking for counter attacks and set-piece threats.Meanwhile, Chelsea started in a 4-3-3 but Fabregas swiftly moved further forward in the no.10 role once we started dominating the proceedings.

-The first real chance for Chelsea came in the 9th minute when Schalke was unable to clear a Drogba cross, and ball fell invitingly to Ramires, who fluffed an easy chance.

-Fabregas scored his first goal for Chelsea in the 10th minute after a tackle on Max Meyers, which honestly looked like a foul.The ball in turn fell to Hazard, who made a brilliant run into the opposition box and made a delightful pass to Fabregas, who made no mistake and scored the first goal.

Although Fabregas did miss a glorious chance in the 36th minute from inside the box through a Ramires pass.

-We were brilliant in the pressing game after what happened in the first half of the last match.Schalke looked quite uncomfortable, made several mistakes and collected few bookings in the process.

-Ivanovic’s frequent adventures in the opposition box meant Huntelaar and Draxler enjoyed the right side of our pitch although unlike Schurrle in the last match Willian did cover well in right back’s absence.

-First real chance for Schalke came in 39th minute through Boateng but Courtois was up for it with a good save. Next scoring chance for Schalke came through Draxler, who made a mockery of our defenders when he dribbled past 4 of them in the 45th minute only to see his shot go out wide.

-The start of the second half saw some brilliant Hazard runs but mostly we looked quite content with the lead.Schalke on the other hand dominated the possession and got their reward in the 60th minute when Huntelaar dispossessed Fabregas in the midfield and Draxler made a storming run passing the ball to Huntelaar in the box who made no mistake putting it past Courtois.

-The game got more open after the goal with Draxler in particular causing us few problems.Mourinho realizing this introduced both Costa and Remy in the 74th minute to go all out on attack and it certainly looked a masterstroke when Remy almost scored in the 76th minute but neudstader made a excellent goal line save to deny the host.

-The last 10 minutes saw some desperate attempts from the blues and if the first half saw us waste some decent chances the blues outdid themselves in the second half with the amount of chances missed.In all honesty, we should have scored at least three goals in the second half.Hazard and Drogba in particular missed the best of them.
It was a spirited performance from Schalke, but we were disappointing to say the least.

-On the positive side it was a good debut for Luis who looked particularly good with his crosses and linked well with Hazard.He was superb with his tackles too.It was about time we had an attacking left back.

-Our front three of Hazard, Willian and Fabregas was brilliant in the first half specially Hazard with his magical runs and turns was superb while Willian covered excellently in Ivanovic’s absence.Second half was another story though, and we were quite dire in front of the goal.

-The king Drogba looked a bit rusty in the first half but that was expected given this was his first real minutes in the season and his age.He hustled a lot, was good in the air and had a good chance from Luis’s cross that was saved.

In the second half, he had numerous, possibly the best chances to double the lead but he fluffed them all.

-Matic again looked a bit subpar while Ramires was decent.Terry looked a bit slow, and our defence was frustrating at moments.

-Last but not the least a special mention to the Schalke fans in the attendance.They were brilliant and deserved something out of the game.

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