Chelsea 1-0 Steaua: Won the group and would have taken that in August!
There is a hell of a lot of over reaction to Chelsea's performance in beating Steaua Bucharest last night. I would like to point out ...
There is a hell of a lot of over reaction to Chelsea's performance in beating Steaua Bucharest last night. I would like to point out that we have won our group and all of us would have taken that no matter what back in August!
I know the performance wasn't fantastic. I know we lost twice to Basel but in saying that, we managed to negotiate the group when we have only seen glimpses of our potential. We have plenty of time to improve ahead of the knockout stages starting in February.
The team selection last night was interesting. I was disappointed to see Kevin De Bruyne not being given a start and Willian selected ahead of him once again. It's seems that De Bruyne is on his way next month!
Mark Schwarzer came into the side in goal and had little to deal with. What he did have to deal with, he did very comfortably. It was a nice touch from the manager to give him his Champions League debut.
I was also disappointed to see Ivanovic playing at right back again and would have preferred to see Cesar Azpilicueta make the switch to the right hand side.
Ashley Cole came in and did well enough. There are question marks over his pace these days but his knowledge of the game, experience and ability to read the situation more than makes up for that for the most part.
John Terry had a solid enough game. The one time the opposition managed to get in behind our back four, it was because Mikel had lost the ball and taken a number of our players out of the game by doing so. Terry had Frank Lampard next to him in the defensive line and had no chance to cover the run by the striker. Thank god he missed his chance!
David Luiz was David Luiz! Knocking the ball about with ease, picking important passes (despite giving the ball away a few times) and intercepting possession of the ball as he steps in front of the attacker. He did well.
Mikel in the middle of the park had an OK game. He gets a lot of stick for his sideways and backwards passing or for slowing the game down but last night everyone was guilty of doing it and not just him! He had a shaky moment when he lost possession three times in the space of ten minutes in the first half but afterwards, managed to patrol the space in front of our back four and did OK.
Frank Lampard was another who did OK. Popping passes about, having a couple of long distance shots on goal but nothing of any real note.
Eden Hazard does frustrate me at times because I know he is brilliant. We all saw what happens when he is in the mood to take people on as he did at Sunderland. Last night, it just never really came off for him but again I believe that was down to the tempo of our game.
Hazard will kick himself about the header he missed from close range. After good work from Andre Schurrle, the ball rebounded to Hazard and from six yards he headed over the bar.
Oscar played well and was always busy looking for the ball and to create. His near post run and flick on from Willian's corner led to our goal and was an important contribution. It was no surprise he came off after coming back from injury.
Willian did OK also. A couple of flicks and tricks here and there, he did OK. Again, I would like to see our wingers take on defenders and really have a go at them and force them onto the back foot throughout the game but it just never happened last night.
Demba Ba got on the score sheet yet again. He will be disappointed with the effort he missed from Willian's cross but as the TV replay shows, he bobbled up and the connection he made with the ball was from his shin and not his foot.
Ba suffered last night as Fernando Torres or Samuel Eto'o would have with our tempo last night. It was very easy for our opponents to sit back and defend deep in numbers to make it difficult for us to get in behind them or to break them down.
I think that's the main issue we all had last night but who can complain when we win the game and win our Champions League group!
Chelsea are a work in progress this season and to win the group by not playing well throughout that stage of the competition? I'll take that all day long!
Onwards and upwards Chelsea fans!
Carefree & KTBFFH!