Chelsea 4-0 Maccabi Tel Aviv: Let's not get carried away despite a good performance.
Chelsea delivered a much needed performance last night to beat Maccabi Tel Aviv four nil with g...
Chelsea delivered a much needed performance last night to beat Maccabi Tel Aviv four nil with goals from Willian, Oscar, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas. It's important that we do not get carried away as it's a small step forward with a long, long way to go yet!
Jose Makes Six Changes!
Under pressure and with calls for changes to the starting eleven to be made with certain players under performing, Jose Mourinho delivered and made SIX changes to the starting line up. Branislav Ivanovic and John Terry were dropped to the bench with Cesar Azpilicueta moving to right back, Gary Cahill coming in at centre back next to Kurt Zouma (also named as Captain) and Baba Rahman in at left back.
Nemanja Matic was another casualty from the weekend and was replaced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mikel was replaced by Oscar with Cesc Fabregas reverting to the deeper midfield position next to the youngster.
Willian came in for the injured Pedro on the right hand side and Diego Costa was replaced up front by Loic Remy. You have to hold your hands up and congratulate the manager for doing so as we looked much better within minutes of the start.
Let's be honest here, Maccabi Tel Aviv offered very little going forward and were more than happy to sit back and defend in numbers. However, with Oscar and Willian back in the starting eleven, Chelsea had much more impetus in going forward at pace and we caused them all sorts of problems.
Better from Chelsea!
Chelsea's passing was quicker, our movement was better and we just looked to be sharper all over the pitch. The defence were stepping forward in front of their opponents and winning headers and tackles to stop their attacks. The midfield were pressing their opponents and more often than not winning the ball and out wide we looked to have the beating of Tel Aviv.
The Hazard Penalty.
A great passing move played in Willian and he was brought down in the box by the Goalkeeper. Eden Hazard stepped up and blasted the penalty ten foot OVER the crossbar to waste the chance to go a goal up. Hazard looks like a man with plenty on his mind and way off his best and it showed.
Willian steps up.
Chelsea continued to press and got their rewards albeit from a free kick that was a cross more than a shot. Willian wide left, thirty-five yards out curled a cross into the box that evaded everyone and found it's way into the far corner to make it 1-0 Chelsea with the Keeper beaten.
Shortly afterwards there was a concern for Chelsea as Willian looked as though he had pulled his hamstring and he was instantly replaced by Diego Costa with Loic Remy moving to wide right (unlucky for him!).
Costa immediately made his presence felt as he put himself about with his markers and it paid dividends as we reached injury time in the first half. Costa pulled onto the shoulder of his marker and was played into the box. He knocked the ball passed the defender and looked to be in on goal when he was brought down by Tal Ben Haim and the second Chelsea penalty was given. Oscar stepped up and calmly slotted the ball into the opposite corner from the Keeper to make it 2-0 at half time.
At the break I felt good about our performance so far. The only disappointment from the half was the Hazard penalty miss, the Willian injury and despite Ruben Loftus-Cheek having the game of his life in the first team so far, he was booked early on for a sloppy challenge and as a result had put pressure on himself for the remainder of the game.
The second half got going with no changes for Chelsea and it was how the first half had finished. Chelsea were dominating possession with the likes of Fabregas, Loftus-Cheek and Oscar heavily involved.
Baba Rahman caught the eye with his performance. He looks like he has plenty of energy and looks to get forward to support our attacks at every opportunity. He looks very comfortable on the ball and can win a tackle too. It was a good start to his Chelsea career!
World class finish from Costa!
Chelsea's third goal was a beauty. Cesc Fabregas picked up the ball dead centre, approximately thirty yards out and see's that Diego Costa has backed into his marker on the edge of the box (which is something he does really, really well!). He floats a ball into him and without hesitation, Costa strikes the ball at waist height, on the volley with his back to goal and the ball flies into the top right hand corner to make it 3-0. It was a fantastic finish and one that if Messi or Ronaldo had scored, we would all be raving about!
Fabregas gets on the score sheet.
Our fourth came late into the game as Chelsea hit Tel Aviv on the counter attack. Eden Hazard broke into their half with Fabregas to his left, Bertrand Traore ( a late substitute ) and Loic Remy to his right. As he reached the edge of the box with a defender stepping forward to challenge him, he passed to Remy who cut inside and shot with his left foot only for the Keeper to parry the ball to his right and Cesc Fabregas had the easiest of finishes to slot the ball home from six yards to make it 4-0.
To conclude - a good win, good performances but let's not get carried away.
It was just what Chelsea needed. We delivered a performance that could prove to be a pivotal moment for us. Oscar came into the side and we looked much more direct straight away. Cesc Fabregas got his assist and his first goal of the season. Diego Costa scored an all important goal, his first for Chelsea in the Champions League and that should settle him down again.
As stated above, Baba Rahman came in and did everything right to give the manager a decision to make on Saturday. Ruben Loftus-Cheek did the same. He looked so, so comfortable on the ball and throughout always looked to stride forward into their half to start attacks.
Cesar Azpilicueta had another outstanding game as did Gary Cahill on his return to first team action.
The only concern I have is Eden Hazard. He looks like a player lacking confidence and it shows. The penalty was a disaster and his willingness to step aside to let Oscar take the next one shows exactly that.
However, he had a much, much better final fifteen to twenty minutes and looked like the player he was last season. We need him back as quickly as possible!
Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. As I said the opposition offered very little going forward and made life easy for Chelsea. However, teams in the competition are put in front of you to be beaten and it was good to see the amount of chances we created.
Chelsea have a long, long way to go to get anywhere near our best but last night was our first steps forward into doing so. Let's hope it can continue on Sunday!
What did you people think of the game and the performances?