Chelsea 0-1 Inter Milan (1-3 agg): Out thought and out performed. Chelsea are made to look very ordinary.

The title of the post says it all. Jose came back to Chelsea and said "I never lose at Chelsea" and he was right. Before I speak a...

The title of the post says it all. Jose came back to Chelsea and said "I never lose at Chelsea" and he was right. Before I speak about the game and the players, the fact of the matter is that Jose has out-foxed Ancelotti twice now in the matter of weeks and has beaten us twice.
There are people who will have different opinons on the why and how etc but its there in black and white. We have lost both games in the round of 16 in the Champions League and we made to look ordinary which was nothing like we ever expected.

I sat there for the last couple of weeks and studied Inter's strengths and weaknesses and had a hope that after nicking an away goal in Milan we would bring them to our back yard and roll them over. I had seen enough of them play and encouraged by the Arsenal and Manchester United result's last week with the belief that if we played with a Premier League tempo tonight we would win this easily.

So I sit here now gutted and annoyed that we are out of the competition wondering why didn't we play tonight? For the last ten mins of the first half we upped the tempo of the game and Inter were hanging on. Don't get me wrong, defending very well, but we were well on top. Half time came and went and after that there was nothing from us. No threat, no clear cut chances and to put it simply we played into Inter and Jose's hands.

Once more Ancelotti persists with Anelka wide right of a front three that simply doesn't work in the big games. You look at our front three, compared to Inter's and they were far more involved in and around the box than ours were. Our key big-time players never got going and became frustrated. There was no Ivanovic getting forward down the right to offer width. Zhirkov never really got forward enough to create problems. Malouda didn't really get forward enough to notice. Lampard was non existant and Ballack was the same.

Drogba was isolated with the hard working pain in the arses that were Lucio and Samuel and struggled as he needed someone up there with him.

When we did make changes to the formation and personnel still nothing happened. I think the changes were made at the wrong time and never had any effect at all on the game. Joe Cole struggled to get into the game. Kalou was just Kalou. I would of kept our strong midfield together as Inter wavered at the end of the first half and could of done again in the second. Zhirkov also to of stayed on so Malouda could play the whole game down the left. But, I think it was just one of those nights where it was never gonna happen.

I had that feeling 10 mins into the second half, which is a very strange feeling to have knowing we still had a good half an hour to change to the game and make something happen. Everything however played into Inter's hands and a tactical change proved to be effective. Jose switched Pandev and Eto'o and brought Eto'o to our right hand side and within minutes he had scored making a run down the right onto a great ball from Sneijder. Once he scored it was game over.

Inter's tactics were key in both games and more so tonight. The three men up front kept our full backs from getting forward. The two holding midfielders made sure Lampard and Ballack weren't getting any room on the ball. Lucio and Samuel isolated Drogba while Maicon and Zanetti dealt with Malouda and Anelka. The main man was Sneijder. In the free role he enjoys he was the one that carved Chelsea open more than once in the second half and of course for the goal. A player we lacked tonight. Mikel didn't really get near him enough to close him down and we paid for it.

Yes the referee had a bit influence in the game with the constant whistle blowing for fouls and blatent shirt pulls etc not being given. Inter rode their luck at times to the limit and Chelsea became frustrated and lost their discipline once more, while Inter re grouped and closed the ball down time and time again as we played too slow and allowed them the chance to in the second half.

Chelsea were toothless tonight. Players who should of stood up and been counted upon simply weren't there and tactically we were out done by the master once more. You can say what you like about the bloke. People will have different opinions but there is nobody better in reading a game seeing an opportunity to make a change to influence a game in Jose.

Jose' said after the game:
"We were the best team by far. They had reactions of frustration, of a team that felt the opposition was stronger, They tried to get back with conflict, long balls and diving in the box, but I think everything (we did) was superior. We deserve so much this victory, this must be almost a perfect performance. The team accepted the risks that I took, and you don't always get that as a manager. I don't think it was tactics, it was attitude on the pitch, We know Chelsea are a great team and and we came here knowing very well the way they play."

Ancelotti said:
"We didn't play how we wanted to. Inter put some pressure on our midfield and we had a lot of difficulty, We played better in the first game and now were not able to repeat the same play so Inter deserve to win."

For me its not that Inter put some pressure on our midfield, they put pressure on all over the pitch. They won their battles (with at times help from the referee) but deserved to win the game. If only we had played at the same tempo as we did in the last ten mins of the first half it would of been a different story I am sure of it. For now, we need to pick ourselves up, re-group and get refocused on the title run in.

I have to say, for the first time this season I am not sure if we are up to it.


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