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Chelsea 0-1 Manchester City: It's taken me this long to compose myself enough to write this.

Chelsea were outclassed, out fought and second best to Pep Guardiola ’ s side on Saturday night and that ’ s the disappointing thing af...


Chelsea were outclassed, out fought and second best to Pep Guardiolas side on Saturday night and thats the disappointing thing after our heroics in Madrid last Wednesday night.

Antonio Conte has brought success back to Stamford Bridge but like all of us who witnessed our performance on the night, there is still plenty of work to be done because for one reason or another, we have seen a fair few games in which Chelsea have looked a shadow of themselves and simply havent turned up.

If anything, its almost like after the lord mayors show at times with this Chelsea team. First, the FA Cup final back in May. We had just won the Premier League and had celebrated in doing so big time as the trophy was presented to us at Stamford Bridge. A week or so later, we take on Arsenal in the FA Cup final and within five minutes we all knew that this was a different side to the team that had romped their way to winning the Premier League.


The same can now be said of Manchester City the other night. We had our night in Madrid creating Champions League history and had basked in the plaudits we had received given our performance. Not a single English side had beaten Atletico in the Champions League heading into the game. Not only did we beat them, we dominated them and made their team look ordinary which is a feat considering the record they have in the competition of late.

Heading into Saturday against Peps side, I was full of confidence hoping that we could really kick on and give a similar display because although they have fantastic attacking talent, I still believe their defence to be ordinary at best without the leadership and influence of Vincent Kompany.

However, just as with the FA Cup final, I could tell in the initial stages that this just wasnt going to be our day as our game plan was totally wrong. We sat back and allowed City to have possession of the ball and dictate the game. We were relying on Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata to hurt them on the counter-attack but it never materialised. Hazard became a frustrated figure as he would pick the ball up only to find a real lack of support more often than note because the team were playing ten yards too deep.


We all should be honest when we saw the team selection from the manager here. When we saw just two changes to the side that had played so well in Madrid we were all pleased as we were hoping for a repeat performance. In hindsight, starting with Pedro and Willian would have been the better option to take the game to our opponents with fresh legs and impetus.

Fortunately for us, our defence were standing firm despite making a real hash at times of the managers insistence that we play the ball out from the back, needlessly putting ourselves under pressure. I thought that Andreas Christensen more then held his own, Toni Rudiger had a good game and Gary Cahill is suffering from the continued social media campaign against him which is scandalous in my eyes.

Chelsea lacked real punch and fluidity going forward with the ball and thats gutting for me considering the threat we have. We were the home side and were expected to take the game to City but it never happened.

A blow for Chelsea was Alvaro Morata being substituted as a precaution in the first half with hamstring problems. Willian came on as his direct replacement which was strange as Michy Batshuayi in my view would have been the better alternative, at least we would still have a focal point up front.

Pedro came on too late once again for me with Batshuayi and despite some promising moments late on in the second half, Chelsea were beaten with an excellent goal from Kevin DeBruyne. What annoyed me was the obvious elation from City at their goal and the victory because they knew just how much this game means to them as Pep Guardiola spoke openly about Chelsea being the benchmark as champions.


I just wish that everyone involved in the first team felt the same. 

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  1. Gutted at the performance and tactics. I shall be interested in the return leg but worried other teams may adopt the tactics of city which seemed to thrown the whole team

    ReplyDelete
  2. One I posted elsewhere yesterday that pretty much supports your view.......

    Conte has no doubt forgotten more about tactics than I ever understood but I felt he got this one wrong from the off. No William, no Pedro, no Moses/Zappercosta = no width, no attacking intent. Starting line-up showed far too much respect and invited an onslaught.

    It happens, City are an excellent side. The table is taking shape and I'll be happy for a top four finish this season - it's going to be tough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Conte got it wrong. Fabregas is a liability in the team.Azpi is not a wing back. And Batshuayi instead of Willian

      Delete
  3. Vincett Kompany is a big miss for City but so was Mendy, the boy's a beast. Also no Aguero - Jesus looks good and may be great one day but he's 19, Aguero is the real deal.

    Personally I don't think that City would have played better for having those three on the pitch but they may have made a higher score from their superiority on all areas of the pitch.

    What it does make you think about is the strength in depth that Guardiola has. How many sides could lose Aguero, Mendy and Kompany and do business as usual, with Bernardo Silva, Danilo and Yaya Toure on the bench?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have an excellent side but don't get too carried away just yet. If I had to put money on it right now, I'd go for Mr Mourinhos' United to finish top come the end of the season.......but it'll be close and I suspect you'll be in the top two.

      Delete
    2. Regretably I tend to agree with you Norman.It's a clash of cultures and as far as I recall my history, the Roundheads beat the Cavaliers and the Light Brigade came second to the Russian guns!

      Mind you, most weeks it will be fun whilst it lasts. Conte wasn't born yesterday and he won't make the same mistake again. CFC are by no means out of it and I wouldn't bet against there being a very different Chelsea turning up to the Etihad for the return leg.

      Delete
    3. I can appreciate your history analogy for what it is but feel I must also congratulate you on being the first visiting fan to mention history without informing us that we don't have any!

      Delete
  4. Just to be clear from the start,City on the day truly deserved their win,and I felt [[ and it,s happened before ]] Conte showed far to much respect to peps team,and although the ;Madrid;game must have taken a lot of the players,I felt that if we played that way against city we would be ok and it would be a close game, and until Morata came off we were in the game yet again the substitution baffled me,but it does tell me that Conte just does,nt trust M B,it was after that,that city really controlled the game with a great strike winning the game,but for all their possession they only scored the one/goal,as disappointed as I am at losing the game we at least now know the Christensen is up to the job and that Conte is still in the market for a striker,for and as much as I like cesc this game came to soon after Madrid and it showed,all in all I,m not worried Conte is no fool and will know what he has to do when the next ;big game; comes along we all must remember that he,s only in his 2nd season in the prem and it,s not as easy as winning in Italy was.lets all move on and keep faith in Antonio you know it make,s sense. ktbffh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bayern munich throwing a bit of a wobble. Chelsea, make a big offer for Lewandowski....get a statement player.

      Delete
  5. City fan here (hello Alphie!): if you want to beat City, you have to press up high, and relentlessly. Of course, you'll be vulnerable when the press is ineffective, but I agree that it is a bad idea to allow City to completely dominate possession. That being said, I too was surprised that Conte did not start wide players (this was exploited by Pep) and especially that he did not bring Batshuayi on for Morata, as you would continue to need a striker who can hold the ball up, so that you don't get into a position of not being able to retain possession going forward, which against City, can result in playing tennis against a wall.

    Still very early days, but I think both City and Chelsea may be vulnerable long-term because of lack of quality squad depth in certain positions.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Philster...are you for real??? 'but I think both City and Chelsea may be vulnerable long-term because of lack of quality squad depth in certain positions'. DER...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Another City fan here. I don’t think we should be too worried about United. They haven’t played anyone decent yet. Wait til Christmas after they’ve played the big boys (like both our teams have) and suffered due to Pogbas absence. If Lukaku got injured, they’d be stuffed!

    ReplyDelete

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