Maribor 1-1 Chelsea - It was not good enough!
First and foremost, before you judge my reaction, I want you to be honest and think did you really expect the performance we watched last...
First and foremost, before you judge my reaction, I want you to be honest and think did you really expect the performance we watched last night AND did you not see this as an easy three points based on our previous result two weeks ago?
I know some people will disagree with me but I honestly felt that Chelsea could and SHOULD have had that game won at half time last night. On paper, that was a three point banker for Jose Mourinho's men but a disappointing performance, lack of a final ball and killer instinct cost us three points!
After seeing the other result in our group (Lisbon beating Schalke), we could be sitting FIVE points clear at the top and with one more point ensuring progression into the next round. Instead, we are three clear with all to play for.
Jose Mourinho didn't look like a happy man standing on the sidelines last night and rightly so. We created some good moments in that first half and but for the final ball, we could have scored at least two goals.
The problem? Maribor caused us some real problems at times and it should have never been the case. You only have to look at the glaring miss from six yards over the bar they should have scored to see how open we had become at the back. How the forward could find himself wide open, unmarked and in free space that close to goal is beyond me!
You also have to point the finger out our laid back approach to the game when we dissect their goal. Again, how the player was given space and time to bring the ball down on the edge of the box, take a touch to set himself and then still have the time to curl the ball under no pressure, into the top corner is disappointing again.
Andre Schurrle's confidence is shot at the moment after comments made by the manager after the Shrewsbury game and he found it difficult to get involved. Didier Drogba didn't have his best game along with Cesc Fabregas who, in that second half, looked knackered!
Maribor when they attacked Chelsea, had far too much space to work in and that was a real concern. Our back four had to deal with Maribor coming forward far too many times for their liking.
The player that stood out for me and noticeably determined to take the game by the throat was Eden Hazard. Of course he is making headlines for missing the penalty that would have won us the game, but his performance was outstanding.
The negative for me from Hazard is that for the second time in a matter of weeks, he found himself through on goal, one on one with the goalkeeper and for the second time he didn't find the target which is something he needs to work on as he should have scored on both occasions.
Hazard was always a threat in the game but what stood out for me was his willingness to come and show for the ball and his work rate to get back and win it back after we had lost possession.
Overall it was a disappointing result and performance in my eyes because I expected better from the players. I have to also say that for around fifteen minutes or so, after Jose had made his changes, it looked like people didn't know where they were supposed to be playing until the message came from the bench and we eventually sorted it out!
When we did, we hammered Maribor and forced them under real pressure but again, that final pass or hesitation in a moment when a first time shot was the better option, cost us the game.
So we take a point, and one gained on Schalke in second place. The thing is, it could and SHOULD have been so much more!