What We Learned: Basel

Chelsea complete their dealings in Switzerland with an emphatic 1-2 win over Swiss side, FC Basel . The win gives Chelsea the upper-hand when they host Basel at Stamford Bridge a week later.

Scorers :

Stats : 

What We Learned :

1. Rafa’s future rotation plans should be based on this lineup

2. Chelsea need to play with a consistent high tempo to their game

3. David Luiz and his romance with the midfield

4. Torres faltering again

1. Rafa’s future rotation plans should be based on this lineup


Chelsea were dominant, despite Basel hogging the ball a lot more than the Blues. There was a depth of class between both the teams and it was clearly seen. Basel flew into unnecessary tackles but were broken down by a disciplined Chelsea side. Benitez put out a side that could rest important players and also play with an attacking initiative against a side that has been superb at home. Both Mata and Oscar have been well rested for our next Premier League action as we try to cement a top 4 spot. JT was given a go to revive his form back, and Cole was reintroduced. Chelsea next host Swansea City, who knocked us out of the Carling Cup. A well rested side that took in the beauty of Swiss nature could play well against the Welsh team.

2. Chelsea need to play with a consistent high tempo to their game

The stats are very contrasting. If you would look at the statistics regarding to passing, you can see Basel dominating. 387/482 compared to Chelsea’s 220/292 . Moreover they completed 5 % passes more than Chelsea, while dominating possession with 61.2 %. They had more than 50 passes compared to Chelsea in their attacking third. Embarrassing for a side that holds the status of European champions. However  Basel always dominate at home, no matter who the opposition is.

When we come to shots, we see what the real deal is. Chelsea had twice more shots on target and 3 more than Basel off target. This hints to Chelsea playing a very lazy game, which could attribute to either fatigue, or being instructed to play like this so that they could conserve their energy. Chelsea just need to be a bit clinical. The fact that were just 0-1 up, gave Basel confidence to grab a goal back. Despite the harsh penalty, Chelsea could have easily increased their tally to at-least 4-5 goals. Chelsea rushed in the last 5 minutes of the game and got their equalizer with a Luiz free-kick. THIS is the tempo they should have played in for the entire duration of 90 minutes, and Chelsea would have wrapped up this tie in Switzerland.

3. David Luiz and his romance with the midfield

David Luiz was introduced back into midfield, and he made an immense statement. The only negatives I found was that he was sometimes out of position, forcing Lampard and Ramires to cover for him. However he was a rock throughout the game. He put himself in-front of the ball and was very aggressive. The entire Basel team were really harsh, while the skill-full Chelsea attack did not like to dive into challenges. Luiz made up for this in his aggression  There was a time when Basel pressed very high on every Chelsea player except Luiz, cause they know they’re going to be bullied off the ball by the Brazillian.

He had 5/6 successful passes in the attacking third which is quite impressive for a defensive midfielder. He also played a lot of forward balls and completed most of his short passes. This game was perfect to test Luiz in a midfield role, and Benitez did not disappoint. We could see a defender being brought in during the transfer window as Luiz transforms himself as a midfielder. There was this aesthetic appeal of him playing in a midfield role that Chelsea fans have fallen in love with and the Brazilian should be encouraged for a fine performance .

4. Torres faltering again

Torres had the Europa League under his feet if recent form was anything to go by. However, in Switzerland his work-rate was immense, however he failed to put anything on paper. He was out of luck once again, as the ball hit the woodwork in what was his best chance. Torres looks really positive when it comes to presenting himself in-front of the media, but the Spaniard has to back it up with letting his presence known on the pitch.

He had 5 attempts, out of which one hit the target and one hit the woodwork. His combination play with Hazard who showed-off in his new role behind the striker was quite good, but we have seen a better understanding between Mata and Torres. Considering that Demba Ba will not be playing in the Europa League, our chances of adding this to our list of silverware, deeply depends on Torres giving his best.

Other Points : 

1. Ashley Cole gave in a world-class performance

2. Moses had a brilliant night


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