A huge moral boost for the Blues as they cruised past Tel Aviv 4-0 in their Champions League opener.Chelsea managed to chase their defensive blues away with a comfortable 4-0 victory against Maccabi Tel Aviv in the opening fixture of Group G in the Champions League. Eden Hazard missed an early opportunity to put the Blues ahead from the penalty spot but was relieved when Willian scored in Bizzare fashion from a set piece before getting injured.Diego Costa was brought on in his place and subsequently won another penalty which was dispatched coolly by Oscar. Costa then scored after a scintillating Fabregas ball into the box which brought back fond memories of last season for the Blues fans who were on hand. Fabregas then wrapped off what was the easiest game the Blues have had this season so far with a goal in the 78th minute.Here are the major talking points from the game.
#1 Mourinho switches things up
“I have to try a different dynamic” – these were the words used by Jose Mourinho in his pre-match build up regarding his choice of team selection. He certainly held true on that promise.
Given their recent exploits in the Premier League, it’s no surprise that Mourinho wanted to redesign his lineup in order to start Chelsea’s European campaign on the right foot. What did come as a surprise however was how the Portuguese manager decided to implement that aforementioned restructuring – 6 changes in his starting XI from the one that played against Everton on the weekend.
This included the likes of Terry and Diego Costa moving to the bench, while new boy Baba Rahman replaced the uncharacteristically shaky Ivanovic on the left flank. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, a product of Chelsea’s academy, was given a rare start ahead of Nemanja Matic.
The Blues lined up in what was a 4-1-4-1 formation, a slight variation from their usual 4-2-3-1 construction. By moving both Fabregas and Oscar alongside in the centre of the pitch and playing with just one holding midfielder in Loftus-Cheek, Chelsea managed to create more time on the ball in midfield without compromising on shielding the back-four given the lack of threat Maccabi were showing.