Chelsea visited the League Two side Shrewsbury Town last night, in what was the fourth round game of the Capital One Cup.
A rainy night, with a bad, muddy pitch isn’t what we really expected from this fixture, add to that some impressive physical play from the home side and our dire performance in the attacking third, a 2-1 win seems rather fortunate as a Blues fan.
To be honest, Shrewsbury Town had the best of chances to go up in the first-half and with the way they applied themselves against a team far better in quality and experience compared to them; no doubt the Shropshire side deserved a goal yesterday.
Although, that goal puts some question marks on our set-piece defending for the second time in 2 days!
However, the win does help us advance into the quarter final of this competition, but before that, it’s time for some in-depth analysis of the game and five things we learned from it:
DIDIER DROGBA IS OUR KING
2 starts, 180 minutes played in a span of 2(!) days for a guy who is 36(!) years old, just back from injury(!), and scoring 2 goals(!) while giving his all for the team. Didier Drogba showed us exactly why he is deservedly called the “King Of Stamford Bridge.”
Honestly, I didn’t expect him to last the whole 90 minutes yesterday, but then again, not many people did. But the Ivorian striker proved us all wrong by not only playing the whole game, but he also helped the team on both side of the pitch; clearing headers on the corners, dropping deep to intercept passes, scoring goals upfront and being a role model to all of the youngsters watching the game. Proud to have the legend back with us.
BAD SCHEDULING BY FA
But then again, do I even need to write anything on this matter?
It’s an obvious fact that the Football Association doesn’t care about the footballers. I mean, how would they when their eyes are covered behind that big pile of money they get from the broadcasting rights or the sponsorship deals? 2 games in a span of just 48 hours wouldn’t be acceptable in any league and it would be wise if FA could learn a thing or two about scheduling, or.. maybe.. just ignore it.. as they always do?!
ANDRE SCHURRLE AND MOHAMMED SALAH NEED TO IMPROVE
Excerpts from Mourinho’s interview after the game:
“If players that played 90 minutes two days ago were fantastic, I expect people that have not been playing a lot to raise their level and create problems for me. I love problems of choice, but it’s easy to choose my team for Saturday.”
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to guess who are these “people” Mourinho is referring to here.
Schurrle and Salah have been out of the side for a long time and this was their golden chance to cause some selection headache for Mourinho ahead of the QPR game, but obviously they failed to do that last night. Salah started well and did beat his man a few times, but the Egyptian was very hesitant with his decision-making in the final third while some of his shooting was extra hilarious.
Schurrle.. well.. let’s just say, the German looked lost for the major part of the game, aside from that good work on the right wing in the second-half, that eventually led to our goal.
But, obviously, Mourinho expected more from our wingers against the League Two minnows and with Oscar, Willian and Hazard in blistering form right now, it would be really tough for these two to get any significant minutes apart from the meaningless cup games.
YOUNGSTERS IMPRESSING, AGAIN!
With Capital One Cup lowest in our priority list, it was mostly our second string team that started the game yesterday, with Nathan Ake, Zouma and Christensen all getting the start.
Nathan Ake and Zouma have already started a few of our fixtures this season, and the duo showed us again yesterday, why they are so highly rated by the fans and the manager alike. Ake was particularly good in his DM role while Zouma continued to impress as a CB.
For Christensen though, it was a first start with the senior team and the 18-year-old defender didn’t put a foot wrong with his good performance at the RB spot, earning some rave accolades from the manager himself.
The future is looking bright for the Blues.
ADVANCE TO THE QUARTERFINALS
The Capital One Cup may not mean much, but at least it’s a good opportunity for the manager to test his bench strength and provide some quality game minutes to the youngsters with the senior team. That’s why advancing to the quarterfinals is a good result for the Blues, and well, if we can win four more matches, who wouldn’t like to have another trophy in the cabinet? And yeah, we are still undefeated across all competitions in Europe! haha!
Edited By: Girish Bhangre