Chelsea drew 1-1 last night away at Valencia which on paper looks like a good point. However, but for the performance of the Valencia keepe...

Chelsea drew 1-1 last night away at Valencia which on paper looks like a good point. However, but for the performance of the Valencia keeper in the second half, Chelsea could have won this by three or four.

Chelsea's starting eleven saw three changes to the side that played against Swansea at the weekend. Luiz came in for Ivanovic, Lampard in for Meireles and Malouda in for Anelka.

It was a typical Champions League night and was always going to be a close game as Valencia are a really good side. Both sides had chances in the game and forced both keepers into saves. Cech made a couple of good stops and pushed a late strike wide of the post at full stretch but apart from that, deal with everything else they threw at us and never looked like being beaten.

Valencia scored their equaliser late in the game after Salomon Kalou jumped up to try and head the ball away from a corner. As he did so, being put under pressure by the attacker, he raised his arm and made contact with the ball to take it away from him. The Ref was right on the spot, saw it and had no hesitation in giving the penalty. No complaints about the decision but you have to wonder what the hell Kalou was doing!

Credit where credit is due to Unai Emery the Valencia coach. All three of his substitutions had an affect on the game and caused Chelsea problems. Chelsea's three changes in the second half Anelka on for Torres, Meireles on for Ramires and Kalou on for Lampard did OK. Kalou linked up with Anelka and slid him in to force the keeper to save with his legs when the game was at 1-1 but that was all our substitutes added to the performance really.

I do have to wonder, with a three game domestic ban approaching and also playing well in this one, why AVB took Fernando Torres off. He came to life in the second half forcing the keeper to make two world class saves. OK, as Valencia took the game to us he became a bit part player as we struggled to keep hold of possession in the final third, but I still would have kept him on.

Talking about their keeper, he made eight saves last night and at least four of those were from point blank range. The first world class save came as Bosingwa swung a cross in from the right and in amongst a crowd of players, Torres held off his man and headed the ball low down to the keepers left hand side from 6 yards. Somehow, the keeper instantly reacted, got down low to make the save and push the ball away from goal.

Then Lampard chipped a ball inside the box to Torres dead centre, he took a touch to control the ball in the air, spun and again from six yards volleyed the ball hard at goal. The keeper stuck on his line managed to deflect the ball away with his legs! A foot wider for both of these from Torres would have seen him add to his Chelsea goal tally easily.

Another save came from Ramires who burst through on goal and whether or not he needed to take an extra touch debatable, he did and found himself 8 yards from goal, keeper routed to his line once more and Ramires instead of firing the ball either side of him, blasted the ball straight at the keeper who saved with his chest.

We could be really critical of our finishing last night. I don't think Torres could have done alot more with his volley and certainly not his header, but the Anelka and Ramires we should have done I guess.

When we did get it right it came from Frank Lampard. Malouda (who's work rate was good last night) got in down the right hand side and looked up and passed the ball back out to the far edge of the box behind the likes of Torres, Ramires and Mata, straight to Lampard who had time and space to hit the ball first time into the bottom corner with the keeper finally beaten. It was a great composed finish from Frank and hopefully will now spur him on. Maybe the idiots writing rubbish about his career being over sat up and took notice for once!

So all in all, I was OK with a point as it isn't a bad result at all there. Valencia will more than likely finish second to us in the group (hopefully) and will beat some big teams this year. If only we never gave a stupid penalty away and if only the keeper had a nightmare evening it could have been so much better!.


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