Chelsea 3-2 Bristol Rovers: Average performance with bright moments for me.
The fact that Antonio Conte threw on John Terry , Eden Hazard and Oscar with around twenty minu...
The fact that Antonio Conte threw on John Terry, Eden Hazard and Oscar with around twenty minutes to go in the game gives you an indication of how this one turned out. It was good in spells but pretty average really.
You would expect (on paper) Chelsea to have walked this one with the players we had starting the game and that's no way being disrespectful to our visitors. The likes of Fabregas, Matic, Pedro, Moses, RLC and Batshuayi should have put this lot to bed. However, with Chelsea being the Chelsea of late, it didn't quite happen that way!
Michy Batshuayi and Victor Moses are taking the credit post-match and deservedly so with both looking fit, sharp and keen to impress the Manager. The Belgian Striker took his chance and scored two good goals to enhance his reputation amongst the Chelsea faithful. Victor Moses finally gets a chance to make a real claim to get ahead of the disappointing Oscar in the pecking order and notched an important goal from close range to exactly that.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek was a disappointment for me for the most part and that was because he was played out of position as the second Striker (more on that in my next post!) and as I said Pedro was once again almost anonymous. Can someone tell me when he will beat a man and leave people in his wake as he used to do at Barcelona??
Asmir Begovic did what was asked of him including a great save to tip a shot over the bar from distance in the second half. Should have come out for the incident that led to their penalty but hesitated and could do little else about their first goal as slack marking from a corner left him helpless and rooted to the spot.
Ola Aina played well and looked comfortable at left back for his full debut. I would put him in there week in, week out already with Azpi over on the right and dump Ivanovic. It was the perfect game for him.
Azpi had another solid game as usual. It was nice to see him push forward and have a major influence in setting up Victor Moses' tap-in from close range.
Gary Cahill did OK, won his headers and most of his challenges. I do worry however that he still relies on playing next to someone who will talk him through games.
Matic did OK in the middle and Cesc Fabregas played in second gear for most of it. There remains a level of expectancy when he has the ball at his feet and there was one or two excellent balls from him on the night.
It's still early in the season and the players are still getting used to this system. I would have still liked us to be more clinical and play at a higher pace. We allowed Rovers to get back in it and to their credit they never gave up.
As I said, A win is a win though!