A great performance from Chelsea at the Britannia as we won 4-0 in a match that saw 2 own goals, 2 penalties and 3 points for Chelsea.
What We Learned :
1. Demba Ba has to start
2. Benitez isn’t fond of Oscar
3. John Terry’s return is a blessing
4. Torres still getting chances
5. Best performance this season
1. Demba Ba has to start :
The impact on the way the team played was instant. Recent matches have seen the whole team look sluggish and off colour, and with Torres spearheading the attack there has been very little movement. This changed with Ba on the pitch, as his movement and enthusiasm made everybody up their game. Ba showed good movement and challenged well in the air but he never got a clear sight of goal, but he did test Begovic a few times.
2. Benitez isn’t fond of Oscar :
With Victor Moses on African Cup of Nations duties with Nigeria, Oscar started in the Capital One Cup semifinal, where he displayed flashes of brilliance interspersed with some quieter periods. Many thought that he would keep his starting place against Stoke, but he was once again consigned to the bench. Ryan Bertrand was the player taking his place on this occasion. Bertrand played on the left of midfield in the Champions League Final, but he is supposed to be working on becoming Ashley Cole’s successor at left-back, with that in mind, it is even more baffling that Benitez would drop Oscar. It is a weird to see Benitez not start him and keep him on the bench, but only he will know.
3. John Terry’s return is blessing :
Terry’s return is an important step towards Chelsea regaining control of their performances. During his absence, the negativity surrounding Fernando Torres created a cloud around the rest of the squad, and soon everybody spent the majority of the match looking at the floor. Time to wallow in your own self-pity is not a luxury the Chelsea captain will afford you. Terry plays with passion and heart, and commitment to the cause. He understands that the team are not trying their best for the owner, or the board, but for the fans who turn up every week to see them play. That has been missing at Chelsea recently, but with Terry back barking orders, the performances will certainly improve.
4. Torres still getting chances :
Fernando Torres has just about played in every single Chelsea match under Benitez. The excuses being used as a bit weird, but Torres is still finding his way onto the pitch. His performances of late have been so shockingly poor that it almost seems as though he doesn’t want to play, and you would be forgiven for thinking that his relegation to the bench for the trip to Stoke was a sign that Benitez had seen what everyone else has known for months: Torres isn’t up to the job. He did nothing other than attempt a witty backheel attempt, but that didn’t work out well for him.
5. Best performance this season :
An incredible match today as we beat Stoke 4-0 in their own backyard. Yes, we were a bit lucky on the own-goals, but if Walters didn’t score it would of been Mata and Lampard who would of been on the score-sheet. Cech wasn’t tested much throughout the game and as you saw in the stats posted above, we were the better side and we never really gave Stoke a chance to nudge back in the game. We gave away a cheap penalty at the end, but that wasn’t anything too serious as it was the 90+ minute and he missed anyway. This match goes higher than Arsenal (away) and Tottenham (away) because we dominated Stoke at the Britannia – something that almost NEVER happens. This was a true Champions performance.