A thrilling Europa League 2nd leg for all the right reasons (result wise). Despite the 3-1 result which sends us through to the last 8, we didn’t play our best for a majority of the match despite a very strong squad. Juan Mata opened the scoring and a period of Chelsea domination followed only to be cancelled out by a late strike at the end of the first half which make the 2nd half very crucial. John Terry got the game going with a brilliant header that was almost a carbon copy of the header against Napoli on the same date (weirdly enough). Then, Fernando Torres scored a very good goal, but went on to miss from the penalty spot as he hit the bar. Nonetheless, it’s a good result that sends us through.
What We Learned :
1. John Terry – deserves to start
2. David Luiz should adapt to DM
3. Eden Hazard is in terrific form
4. Torres confidence slowly returning (for the 259839483259th time)
1. John Terry – deserves to start :
A poor start from the skipper as he was guilty of stepping up and letting Rusescu in on goal early on, but competed well at corners as per usual. Scored a trademark header to make amends and set up a great comeback. Nonetheless, he should his class and importance was clearly shown. A header that reminds me of Napoli on March 14, 2012 (exactly 1 year ago) as he rejuvenated our European dreams/hopes and he did the same today. His goal and attitude throughout the whole game gave us the energy in the 2nd half to persevere. John Terry – Captain, Leader, Legend. Give him a start, Rafa!
2. David Luiz should adapt to DM :
It wasn’t a bad performance from Luiz as he looked to initiate plays from the back with Cech and dominated in the air, and held his position well. His mistakes however, were a bit concerning. He gave away too many corners and made hopeless long balls at times. I believe we should go ahead and make the holding midfield more of a common position for David Luiz instead of Centre Back. I just feel his silliness at the back is more costly than in the midfield where he seems more calm and composed. So for me, it’s David Luiz –> holding midfield.
3. Eden Hazard is in terrific form :
Eden Hazard was a key figure in our 2-2 comeback at Manchester United and today showed why that 38 million Pound sum was well worth it. Now, it is Steaua and not Real Madrid/Barcelona, but after a great display at Manchester United, Hazard continued to show his class today. 2nd best player coming after Mata, who was just as brilliant, but more effective (for me). Hazard constantly looked to cut in from the left and work a shooting opportunity on his right foot, he posed a real problem all night for Steaua. A cheeky dummy allowed Torres to find shooting space for the third and won a penalty on a great night for the Belgian.
4. Torres confidence slowly returning (for the 259839483259th time) :
Torres almost had an early chance but predictably slipped instead of shooting. The best thing he did in the first 45 minutes was move out of the way of Mata to let his compatriot score. He looked a man reborn in the second 45 and scored the all-important third, but also missed a late penalty. As usually said, “Torres is back” after he puts up an impressive performance, but usually the next match is the exact opposite. This time, I don’t think it’ll be that way. Torres looks to be playing a lot better than before in recent weeks and his confidence seems to be higher than ever as a Chelsea player. Now, I’m not the biggest Torres fan, but he is a flat-track bully for sure. He dominates the smaller clubs, but struggles against big clubs. I’m not trying to hint that his old form is returning, but he is definitely playing better. Whether he actually keeps it up, I don’t know.
Other Points :
1. Where is Marko Marin?
2. Fatigue could be settling in as top 4 race intensifies
3. Oscar continues to be inconsistent
That’s all I have for this edition of What We Learned. A relatively short one compared to the others, but nonetheless, you get the point behind it. We’re onto the next round, thankfully. Up the Chels.