Chelsea 3-0 Valencia - Not bad for the old guard!

Chelsea took another massive step forward in my eyes last night and received the added bonus with news that Genk had held Bayer to a draw -...

Chelsea took another massive step forward in my eyes last night and received the added bonus with news that Genk had held Bayer to a draw - meaning we topped our group and avoided a nightmare draw in the next round!.

We had wondered if we could build on the Newcastle performance and result, wondered if we could step up on the biggest night of our season so far to ensure that we qualified for the next stages of the Champions League and wondered if by leaving Frank Lampard on the bench - AVB had made a big mistake. We never had to worry.

We had a couple of scary moments where Petr Cech was called upon and when tested, he made some great saves to keep a clean sheet.

Make no mistake, Valencia are a good side and showed how easily they move the ball about the pitch to try and create openings. The closest they came to scoring was shortly after we had taken the lead when they hit the post from the ONLY time they managed to get in behind us.

AVB adopted a deeper defensive line, the same players as Newcastle and it worked. We didn't see Luiz make mistakes or rash challenges, he remained in position and alongside JT, closed them down and shut them out.

I said in my match preview that it was night's like these where you DO need your big name players with plenty of experience to step up and lead the team forward on big European nights. I mentioned that with Lampard on the bench the other three players that have formed the core of our side for years needed to have big games and they all did. We needed Petr Cech, John Terry and Didier Drogba for this one.

In the "huddle" as the players were warming up you could see two people giving rousing team talks to get everyone going and they took turns one after the other. First John Terry, then Didier Drogba and it carried on for about five minutes. It was sign of things to come.

Cech as I mentioned, looked imperious and somewhere near his best again. He made really good saves when required and once again commanded his box.

John Terry was simply immense last night once again. He had a good game against Newcastle last weekend but last night played even better. Always talking to the back four and midfield and organising his back line, Terry and Co never really looked into much danger last night. Playing deeper Terry and Luiz were able to step in front of their men and win the ball back on numerous occasions. We looked solid last night.

There IS no on better than Didier Drogba when he is up for a game and on his game and last night he was simply outstanding. It does make you wonder why we would want to get rid of him when he plays like that, but for now he really was a beast again leading the line.

Valencia simply couldn't deal with him. For the first time this season when the ball went up to him it stuck, he won his headers, he beat defenders, held them off and powered his way through. In a word he was unplayable.

Drogba scored two last night and both were vintage Drogba. Sturridge's long ball from right to left found Mata left of the penalty box by the byline and he pulled the ball back to Drogba left of centre, 12 yards out and he took a touch to control the ball, moved it from his right foot to his left and drilled the ball into the bottom corner to make it 1-0 after only 3 minutes.

We scored our second midway through the first half as Drogba once again involved had the ball played up to him with a defender up behind him. He chested the ball up in the air, brought it down and turned his man and was away over half way. Ramires had burst forward and Drogba played the ball forward into his path. It looked like the defender and goalkeeper had it covered between them as the ball from Drogba rolled into the box but Ramires had other ideas, he hustled his way passed the defender and slotted the ball passed the keeper who hesitated on his line. 2-0 Chelsea.

Drogba made it 3-0 with his second of the game as Juan Mata picked up a pass in the middle of the pitch in about the same position he scored against Arsenal with that belter!. Drogba instantly came off the shoulder of the defender and Mata played him in. Drogba through one on one with the Goalkeeper knocked the ball past him to make it 3-0 and the game was over.

Another good performance and another three goals. What impressed me most was our organisation off the ball. We held our defensive positions through the back four into midfield and Valencia found it difficult to break us down. Oriol Romeu was outstanding again and won more than his fair share of tackles and the ball.

In addition, we always looked dangerous on the counter attack and the signs in these two games have been good. Don't get me wrong, there is still plenty to work on Chelsea fans but for now, we had asked for two big performances and we have been given them.

What more can we ask for!.


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