Chelsea 3-2 Shakhtar: MASSIVE!
Without question, Chelsea‘s last gasp winner was a massive result as far as qualification from the group is concerned. Not many sides will outplay Chelsea in not just one but two games this season but once again, Chelsea’s character and never say die attitude pulled us through this difficult game with a little bit of luck along the way.
Chelsea were asked plenty of questions last night by a well organised and a fantastic footballing team and at times if anything, Shakhtar showed us exactly how our formation should work.
To their credit, Chelsea stuck at their task and although lost the first half, came out in the second half and played better.
It sounds ridiculous doesn’t it to say that we had lost the first half bearing in mind the fact that we went in at half time winning 2-1 but the scoreline didn’t tell the whole story.
Chelsea scored with two opportunist goals from Fernando Torres and another fantastic strike making it four in four Champions League games from Oscar.
We created some half chances and did look dangerous going forward but Shakhtar edged it as they carved open Chelsea’s left side time and time again.
Srna was able to play as a right winger with one of their holding midfielders dropping in between their two centre backs and Chelsea were left exposed time and time again down that side. Ryan Bertrand was up against it in the first half and found it very difficult to deal with.
For me, Ramires was playing too advanced and needed to sit next to Mikel. If he had done, those two would have provided protection in front of our back four and David Luiz could have moved slightly wider to provide some cover for Bertrand. That didn’t happen and it was from Srna in plenty of space that Shakhtar scored through the impressive Willian.
The same thing happened once more within minutes of the restart and once again the Srna and Willian combination ripped us apart down that side, and once again Willian provided the finish.
Shakhtar demonstrated just where Chelsea need to be with the formation and I hope that RDM can learn from these two games. Make no mistake, Shakhtar will win more games than they lose this season and have now become a major threat to anyone playing against them.
What of Chelsea? Well, it was much more noticeable that Juan Mata was picking up the ball much more in the second half looking to dictate our play. Eden Hazard the same and he provided a threat t them every time he took players on.
I will never understand for the life of me how we never got a penalty in the second half as Ramires was bundled over in the box by Srna AND how Fernandinho was never booked after giving away at least seven or eight free kicks!
The thing about Chelsea this season being a new team playing a new style, is the fact that we haven’t lost our resolve. Even when we are being outplayed, we dig in for the most part, get our shape right and look to hit teams on the counter. Set pieces are very much a strong point for Chelsea and I think all of us were relieved to see that Moses popped up unmarked in the box to head home.
Shakhtar maybe a good side but they can’t defend set pieces.
Like I said, this result is massive it really is. If we had only taken a point from this game we would be sitting in third behind Shakhtar out in front and Juventus in second with a trip to Turin next. Shakhtar would win the group or at least make it extremely difficult for anyone to pip them to it.
Chelsea now travel to Turin and finish with what should be our easiest game of the group against the Danes and it could now come down to goal difference.
Considering there was no Terry, Cole, Lampard or Drogba for that matter on a massive night when Chelsea needed a big result, this new side pulled through and delivered and it is also massive for the football club.
Many nights in recent years, we have relied on those four players to lead us into these matches and inspire the players and it’s been these four that have always delivered.
Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Ramires all stepped up last night and showed RDM and the Chelsea fans that this new breed has what it takes to continue that and it was so pleasing to see.
Make no mistake, this was a massive result for the group standings, a massive result for the football club and a massive result for RDM and his players.
Thank god Moses parted the Ukrainian sea!
Carefree & KTBFFH!