Phew! That wasn’t nearly half as easy as we expected (it should have been) but Chelsea came out on top with their first Champions League win last night against Sporting Lisbon to go top of their League group.
It was the kind of game we are used to as a blues fan, we had at least half a dozen clear chances to get on the score-sheet but we were not able to convert those chances more than once. Wasting four one on one chance with the goal-keeper says something about our finishing last night, although, in fairness, Rui Patricio was in Superman mode yesterday making several impossible saves. Good thing we had Matic in beast mode too!
So to sum it all up here’s the Post Match Analysis and five things that we learned from the game last night:
NEMANJA MATIC IS INCREDIBLE
To say Nemanja Matic was incredible last night would probably be an understatement. After a slow start to the season with some sub-par performance early on, it’s fair to say Matic is back to his usual best. It was a pleasure watching him boss around the midfield last night and scoring his first Champions League goal in the blue shirt.
In the second half when Hazard and co. were being mauled around the pitch with cynical physical play by Sporting Lisbon, Matic was the player who stood as a rock making important tackles and carrying the attack forward. The pass he made to Costa around 70th minute that saw Diego one on one with the goalkeeper was the highlight of his superb performance. Overall he was brilliant.
OSCAR IS ONE HELL OF A NO.10
Do you know the job of a normal no.10 player? Of course, you do. You would think of a no.10 as a player who sits in a position behind the striker making killer passes and creating chances for the other player, while being a liability defensively.
But Oscar is different. It’s fair to say when in form; he is one hell of a player as we saw last night. He was literally all over the pitch, creating chances on the attacking front while being immense defensively making vital tackles and interceptions.
There was a time in the start of second half when Sporting Lisbon had a quick counter-attack going on, Oscar who was in the opposition box made an incredible 40 yards run to tackle Nani just outside our box. That alone shows you the quality and talent of this player.
ANDRE SCHURRLE NEEDS TO SHOOT BETTER
It’s been two games in a row now when Andre Schurrle should have scored a hat-trick but instead he came up with half a dozen missed chances. With the quality of depth we have at the AM department, it is important for the World Cup winner to be back in his shooting boots sooner rather than later.
Even against Bolton Wanderers Schurrle kept getting into dangerous positions to see his shots miss the target, and the same story was repeated last night when his shooting and decision in the final third let him down.
There’s no doubt he is our most direct option on the bench but Schurrle has to work on his shooting if he seriously wants to challenge for the minutes.
CYNICAL PHYSICAL PLAY IN THE SECOND HALF
There’s no doubt blues should have put this match to rest in the first-half itself after they completely controlled the proceedings in the center. But the second half was a different story, Sporting Lisbon came out with the intent and made some rash tackles and challenges to disrupt the Chelsea attack.
Hazard was especially on the receiving end, and so was Costa, but the referee was too lenient with the bookings. Lisbon players literally mauled Hazard and Jose Mourinho had to substitute him in the second half to avoid his premier player from getting injured. Maybe a little strictness from the officials would have prevented the rash and cynical challenges in the second half. If it was a Premier League game, there might have been a couple of sending offs.
TOP OF THE GROUP
So after earning all important three points against Sporting Lisbon last night, and Maribor playing a draw with Schalke, we go top of our Champions League group.
We now have four points from 2 games and look sure to qualify (not that it was ever in doubt).
So now we await Arsenal on the weekend and me for one is excited to see Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas going up against the Gooners defence. Though we do hope, the Blues will not forget to put on their shooting boots after this performance. A 6-0 result would be nice.
Edited By: DJ
An Ardent Blues Supporter
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