Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea - What a boring game of football!
The big build up all weekend. The Moyes v Mourinho factor. The first big battle of the Premier League season and it turned out to be BORI...
The big build up all weekend. The Moyes v Mourinho factor. The first big battle of the Premier League season and it turned out to be BORING! I never thought I would describe a game between the two of us like that based on recent seasons but no one can say it was a classic!
It was as though both Moyes and Mourinho set their sides up with the priority being to not lose the game and anything else was a bonus. The only positive about the game for me was the fact that we did exactly that and came away from Old Trafford with a point. Both teams literally cancelled each other out.
Jose's team selection was an intriguing one to say the least with no recognised strikers starting the game. Chelsea had four attacking midfielders starting and although unusual, I thought at the time it was an exciting and bold selection.
Looking at Eden Hazard, Oscar, Kevin De Bruyne and Andre Schurrle all starting, I was hoping that we would play at a high tempo, similar to the first half against Hull. I could see the potential for all four players to rotate all over the pitch, to combine together and with their movement, drag the United defence and midfield all over the place to create good openings and scoring opportunities.
I had even tweeted that Mourinho must have seen something in United's formation and shape against Swansea that he felt that Chelsea could expose by playing these four together.
So, like the rest of you, I sat there in anticipation of Chelsea starting strong and taking the game to United. I couldn't wait for the game to start.
It became obvious that it was never going to happen after the first five to ten minutes in the game. Both sides made sure they men working hard without the ball to track back and get into their defensive positions. Both defended as a compact unit and there was little or hardly any space in and around the edge of the box.
With the ball, Chelsea were not quick enough and never really played at a quick enough tempo to trouble United. The same can be said for our opposition and it became a game of chess rather than a game of cat and mouse.
The problem Chelsea had on numerous occasions last night with playing without a recognised striker was having someone as a focal point in the box when we did managed to move into good positions. How many times did we see the ball come out wide to Ivanovic and he looked up and saw no one to cross to? As a result, the ball came backwards or was played back inside. There was no option for a killer pass or through ball.
Yes Chelsea had a couple of half chances from Oscar but nothing that would give De Gea anything to really worry about.
The game was screaming out for a change, Chelsea looked like they needed to shake things up and I was disappointed to see Torres come on and not Lukaku and Juan Mata introduced to try something different.
As I said, the pattern of the game became obvious early on and with around 20-30 minutes remaining, I just felt that we could have changed our approach with Lukaku up top. With him on, we would of had a focal point of our attacks. We would of had someone to give Vidic and Ferdinand something to think about, a different problem.
We desperately needed someone to open the door last night and Juan Mata could have been that person for us. We needed to play quicker, needed to move the ball forward and out wide before United could track back and even someone to play the killer ball we were all hoping for.
Unfortunately we come away from the game with most of the headlines being about Wayne Rooney's performance and Jose Mourinho's TV Interview rather than a good Chelsea performance and victory.
Is it two points lost or a point gained? I'd leave that question for you guys to answer!
Carefree & KTBFFH!