Keys to Retain the Champions League Crown

Reigning European Champions, Chelsea have begun their quest to defend their Champions League crown against the top sides of the continent. Di Matteo’s men haven’t had a convincing start to their European campaign as the Blues have picked up four points from a possible nine in the group stages of the tournament. No club in the history has managed to clinch back-to-back Champions League titles. The Pensioners are optimistic about such a prospect and might just cement their place in the record books for being the first team to do so. The following points would be pivotal if we are to gain this distinction :

1) Need to finish top of the Group – The Blues find themselves at second place behind Shakhtar Donetsk, who lead the group by three points. We square off against against Shakhtar at the Bridge in midweek. A win would aid the Blues greatly to endure the grueling marathon-like style of football exhibited in the Champions League. As it is important for the club to make its presence felt early on in the tournament, Chelsea need to have a relatively comfortable time in the initial stages and finishing at the top of the group would accomplish this objective.
2) Need to combine well offensively – RDM has to ensure that Chelsea combine well offensively as the squad faced a massive transformation in the summer transfer window. With the likes of Hazard, Moses, Marin and Oscar coming in and the presence of Juan Mata and Frank Lampard in the armory, the correct selection of players has to be made considering the chemistry in each attacking partnership.
3) Defensive Stability – Chelsea’s last Champions League campaign provided concrete evidence that a solid fortress in the form of a strong back four and two holding defensive midfielders can take a team far. This season has been rather disappointing defensively, as we leaked goals easily against Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup and against Manchester United in the Premier League. The coaching staff has to look into the matter in order to match up against the bigger teams. 
4) An Extra Striker in the January transfer window – Chelsea spent most of the summer chasing Hulk, Edison Cavani, Radamel Falcao, Loic Remy and André Schürrle, but a deal didn’t go through for any of them. Furthermore, Romelu Lukaku was sent on loan to West Brom for more first team experience, and that left RDM with Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge as out-and-out target men. The need for an extra striker in January is now felt as Torres’ form has been fluctuating and Sturridge might not be up for key matches because of the lack of experience.
5) Getting a bit of luck on our side– As it is said, ‘Those who have succeeded at anything and don’t mention luck are kidding themselves.’ We saw evidences of luck on Chelsea’s side last term when Messi and Robben just wouldn’t score penalties against us on key moments. Furthermore, we played the final without experienced players like John Terry, Ramires, Ivanovic and Miereles who we lost through suspension and still managed to win at Munichdespite being dominated in terms of possession. Clearly, luck plays its part in big games like those.
Playing in a tournament with the likes of  Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, Juventus, Manchester City, Manchester United, Porto and Benfica, among others, is tantamount to being in a battle of heavyweights. RDM’s first priority should be to finish top of Group E. Getting an additional striker say, Falcao would boost our firepower greatly and would allow us to hit teams on the counter-attacks and also take pressure off the defense.

Aryaman Sanganeria
Twitter- @blueisdcolour

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