Chelsea settled for a 1-1 draw at the Turk Telekom Arena as an early Torres goal was cancelled out by Aurelien Chedjou’s 65th minute equalizer leaving the tie firmly in the balance and all to play for in the 2nd leg at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea started the game better of the two sides and created chances early on and in the 9th minute grabbed the vital away goal courtesy Fernando Torres’ cool finish from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cut back. Chelsea had opportunities to extend the lead but failed to capitalize. Roberto Mancini made a change as early as the 30th minute to create stability at the back and it worked.
In the second half Galatasaray looked a different side and took the game to Chelsea, and scored from the corner courtesy Aurelien Chedjou who took advantage of a misunderstanding between Petr Cech and John Terry.
Jose sensing a comeback threw in Obi Mikel to calm the nerves and very much settled for a scored draw.
What We Learned:
Torres had a decent first half:
Looks as if Torres took notice of Jose’s comments as he scored an early and a very crucial away goal. In the first half he looked sharp and looked to capitalize on the open spaces left at the back but as the game went on he got tired especially in the second half.
Chelsea though missed quite a few opportunities on the counter in the first half and in all fairness Chelsea could have put the game to bed as early as the half hour mark but it wasn’t to be and there is work to do now.
Torres 8 passes in the first half (left) and his wide positioning (right)
One thing Torres needs to improve though is his positioning. Chelsea needed his presence centrally because of the open spaces Galatasaray were giving but he drifted wide on many occasions to get the ball leaving Chelsea without a presence centrally. Had he stayed Central in the first half there might have been more goals for him but it wasn’t to be.
Torres was eventually subbed due to fatigue in the 68 minute, he had most shots on goal (4) but only 2 of them were on target.
Jose post match comments on Torres:
“I am not critical with my striker, because my striker did a very good game. But, overall, when we go to counter-attack situations, we are missing the last pass, the last control, the last choice – because we had in the first half many occasions to do the second goal. The second goal would have changed completely the story of the game.”
So used to life with Nemanja Matic:
Matic in midfield has been pivotal for Chelsea since his arrival and he being cup tied means we have to do it without him. Chelsea look relatively weak in central midfield without his big presence and it was on show today, especially in the second half when Chelsea were giving the ball away quite cheaply.
Willian and Hazard look tired and need some rest:
Willian and Hazard have been playing regularly and their high intensity is getting the better of their bodies and the two are desperately in need of the rest. I am sure Jose is aware of that aswell and maybe a week or so off is needed to freshen them up.
In the second half both the players looked a little tired and were not anyway near their best. A run for Salah in the league game alongside Schurrle won’t be a bad option at all. We need our best players to be fit and in good shape for the business end of the season.
Drogba vs Chelsea felt really odd:
Drogba vs Chelsea: 1 shot, 1 chance created, 2 clearances, 5 aerial duels won.
It wasn’t one of his best performances but still he had an impact in the game and almost assisted with a header but Inan hit the post with his shot.
The legend has still got it in him and can be crucial in the return leg when he visits Stamford Bridge, his home. Chelsea need to be wary of him as he has still got it in him to overcome this Chelsea defense how good it maybe.
Standard of Refereeing in UEFA competitions is below par:
Referee today had a pretty poor game in all fairness. He was brandishing Yellow cards for fun to Chelsea players and seemed reluctant to give one out to the Galatasaray players. Felipe Melo managed to escaped atleast 4 fouls where he deserved a booking but wasn’t shown a card which means he will be able to play in the return leg. Disgraceful.
Referee Carlos Carballo was influenced by the crowd somewhat and was looked under pressure not something you would expect in the European Competition but that’s how it is. We saw the other night Man City complain over the refereeing today on a lesser degree it was Chelsea at the receiving end.
My mind is still stuck on how Felipe Melo didn’t get a single booking.
Anyways, it’s back to domestic football with Fulham next. Pride and Top spot at stake!