2017 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL HOTELS, CARDIFF June 3RD & KIEV 2018 - CLICK HERE to BOOK HOTELS PACKAGES Season opener analysis: Chelsea 2-0 Wigan

Season opener analysis: Chelsea 2-0 Wigan

Season opener analysis: Chelsea 2-0 Wigan

3 points,clean sheet and 2 goals to kick start your season sounds good, but was it really that good? When the line-ups came out the only real surprise was the inclusion of Ryan Bertrand in the playing XI who had come in for Ramires who was unwell. Hazard shifted to a wide right role and Mata in his favorite central position with Torres of course up front. The idea of playing Bertrand pretty much made sense as he provided a decent cover to Ashley Cole who believe me or not is slightly fading (the age factor), and new recruit Oscar started off the bench.

A very obvious statement- “Scoring goals is good, especially if you can do it early.” and thank god we did exactly what was needed. 2 goals in the first 6 minutes set the tone for the game and credit deservedly so goes to Eden Hazard. The boy was good, magical at times but to be fair he can still do a lot better.

Looking at the goals

First Goal: In the opening minute Wigan made a good quick start pushing Chelsea backwards with the front 3 of Di Santo,Moses and Emerson Boyce playing a neat passing move until Di Santo crashed into John Terry. Terry was quick to react and pushed the ball into Mata’s feet who played a good move with Branislav Ivanovic who continued a good counter attack passing the ball into Lampard’s feet. Although Wigan had their CM’s shielding their back four but Mata,Hazard and Ivanovic had a solution to this. Mata playing a neat ball into Hazard’s feet who had the awareness to skip past the charging defender to slide a perfect through ball to Ivanovic, a through ball we had been craving last season for. Ivanovic although could have passed the ball to Torres but the big Serbian found his moment of glory there and put the ball past charging Al-Habsi.

Second Goal: This goal took a mere 15 seconds if you remove the time involved in taking the penalty. From Cech’s pass to Lampard to Hazard took just 15 secs. A very similar situation to the 1st goal here as well. Wigan started off attacking this time from the left-side. McCarthy put in a cross looking to find Figueroa but the ball was easily caught by Cech. Cech quickly continued the game passing the ball to Lampard who made a free run from his own box to the center line and feeded the ball to Hazard. Hazard who was up against Ramis had Lampard and Torres waiting for him inside the box.A little bit of trickery and BANG! Ramis brings down Hazard and it’s a penalty. Lampard steps up to score his 37th penalty for Chelsea.

What did we learn from this game?
Cleared off the line

1. Torres deserves a pass: Among the most obvious things to work upon is trying to engage Fernando Torres in the play. The boy will most probably be our first choice striker and will play almost every minute if he stays fit, so the midfield really needs to up their game and involve the #9 a lot more. Though Luiz made some good passes but for a lone striker to have only 1 clear cut chance in the game does not make sense. Torres was more-or-less invisible in the game and although he did make some pretty runs the ball or maybe his positioning as well was not upto the mark.

2. Eden Hazard will be fouled: The first game of the season made it pretty obvious that Hazard will be one of the most fouled players this season. Some welcome to the Premier League eh? The lad was at times being slapped, yes literally slapped by Gary Caldwell during the game, although accidentally but even if you take that away he had to face some ruthless tackles by the Wigan defenders.

3. Don’t take the foot off the peddle: When you score 2 goals inside 6 minutes, fans expect a lot more during the course of the game. Chelsea started to look dis-interested after the first 10 minutes and never really showed any aggression to get the 3rd. The only time we came close was when Torres’s shot was cleared off-the line by Ramis. Some poor passing at times by Mikel and Lampard did not help the cause.

4. Ryan Bertrand- A serious first team choice? When the line-ups came out there was a surprise
inclusion of Ryan Bertrand in the playing XI. It was the first time that Bertrand had made 3 continuous starts for the first team. So how did he fair? Bertrand’s main role was not to be the attacking threat although he did play in a more advancing role but his main job was to cover Ashley Cole and stop Victor Moses from running riot. Though Moses run-ragged him at times, overall Bertrand did manage to have a good game. A picture perfect moment was his superb turn. If you guys read my previous blog on “Rise of Ryan Bertrand” I clearly emphasized on the fact that this boy is excellent when it comes to passing and he proved it again having completed 90% of his passes.

#Shikharr Chandra (@ShikharrC)

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