Tag Archives: Chelsea

20 October 2012 – Tottenham vs Chelsea

Tottenham-2/4-Chelsea @ White Hart Lane

47′-Gallas, 54′-Defoe//17′-Cahill, 66′- Mata, 69′- Mata, 91′ Sturridge

Chelsea used to absolutely dominate Tottenham back in the day, with something along the lines of 30+ games in succession going from Chelsea. However ever since 2005 Chelsea has had a hard time at White Hart Lane, as the Spurs have not loss to the Blues in the last 6 games there. This game is a little different, however, since Tottenham have looked strong with their new addition to their team and Chelsea are still unbeaten in the EPL before the game. So which one of the two trends would give way?

Game of the Week. EASY. A strong showing from both teams lately made this game an interesting one. However, one thing to note is that Gareth Bale was not in the starting line as reports say that his wife went into labor roughly an hour before the start of the game. Start of with some great play from Chelsea. Torres seemed to be working his magic up front as the three behind him (Mata, Oscar, Hazard) worked well to support. Obi Mikel controlled the game well and worked the team up at a good pace. 17′ minutes in Chelsea’s corner gets deflected out to Gary Cahill, who volleys a smasher right through Friedel. Not much else to report of the half other than a couple opportunities from Chelsea and something or two out of Tottenham. Mainly, Chelsea maintained control of the half and did not let the home team gain any momentum whatsoever. Going to the second half, a early set piece from Tottenham took a confused Chelsea to the tie. However, it didn’t end there as a pressing home team took the momentum of the goal to work a second one from Defoe, who was assisted by Aaron Lennon. A rapid succession of goals plus the home field advantage game Tottenham a commanding lead in the momentum, as Chelsea couldn’t come out of the back in an orderly fashion. After a long spell of pressure from Spurs was ended by a chance from Chelsea, followed by a goal from Juan Mata off a mistake from Gallas. It did not end there as absolutely amazing movement from Juan Mata tied to an amazing pass from Eden Hazard connected for the third goal for Chelsea. After that, the game seemed to go all in Chelsea’s favor as the spell of Tottenham’s momentum came to a screeching halt. More pressure from Chelsea ended up with an extra goal from the substitute Daniel Sturridge, courtesy of the trip from  Kyle Walker near the 18 yard box and an assist from Juan Mata. That would basically conclude the match, as the White Hart Lane would suffer its first Blues lose since 2005.
Man of the Match- Obviously Juan Mata. Admittedly a quiet man in the first half, but came to life after the Tottenham momentum surge in the first 20 minutes of the second half. After which Juan Mata dictated the pace of the whole game and scored a double of his own, raising his streak to six goals in five games. Second goal, however, blew my mind, as the vision of Juan Mata to make that run so much earlier than it was seen by defenders is truly the reason why he is one of the best in the EPL at the moment. This man is having no thoughts about a sophomore slump.

 

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6 October 2012 – Chelsea vs Norwich

Another week for the English League and I’m super excited for the week. A couple of very good games to top off a strong week for England in the Champion’s League as they win three of their games and tie one. This one will about Chelsea (of course) and finally having the time to talk about a game has made me very excited. Today’s match was with Norwich City at Stamford Bridge, and Norwich’s away games have not looked pretty. However, this is the English Premier League, where no game is easy and every match is taken with the highest consideration. Anyway onto the game.

 

Chelsea started out strong today with some good attacks starting from the two defensive midfielders today, Obi Mikel and Lampard. However, it was the Canaries who opened first, as an 11th minute goal off a counter attack gave them the lead. A strong volley off the header back, along with some view obstruction of Cech’s vision, gave none other than Grant Holt the first goal of the game. However, Chelsea were not going to stand and let that score line settle down, as 3 minutes later, Chelsea’s top man Fernando Torres buries on in the opposite corner in tremendous fashion off a expert cross from their right back Ivanovic. This opened up the rest of the game, as Chelsea continued the attack on the Norwich defense. However, a failed bicycle kick from Torres to deny his second led to Frank Lampard’s smashing volley, giving him the second goal of the game and his first EPL goal since February.  It did not seem like Chelsea was content at that point, as unrelenting pressure from the attacking force kept on striking. With little answer from the yellow side, Chelsea found their third off a counter attack, led by Chelsea’s 2011/12 Player of the Year Juan Mata, who seems to have no plans on getting second season jitters. Juan Mata, with three Man of the Match’s in a row, started the counter with Torres and Hazard streaking along side, eventually finding the Norwich gap that gave Chelsea’s Belgian a chance to expertly slot it past Ruddy. In the 31st minute, Eden Hazard achieved another goal of his EPL season. This ended most of the major tackles in the first half, as Norwich still has no answer after a strong start to the game.

Second half was much of the same. Chelsea came out with a semi-lackluster performance and did not look all that interested, with a command on the game and a lead on the scoreboard, Chelsea were flying high. However, after the 60th minute, things changed for Norwich’s worst, as Chelsea’s attack looked to be stronger. The added momentum of Oscar, who had many looks on goal, and the pace of Hazard and Mata eventually brought the Blues to their fourth, as an absolute smasher of a goal came from Ivanovic, who hit it too strong for Ruddy to keep out. Ruddy did get a hand on it, but the Serbian right back hit it too hard from too close. A giant gap in the 18 box gave Ivanovic the composure to smash a one-touch volley into the Canaries goal. After this, one or two instances of life from Norwich fell short as Chelsea continued to press on as well, as the attack did not look like it would end for Norwich. After 90 minutes of bombardment at Stamford Bridge, the game came to a unsurprising ending, as in-form Chelsea took a comfortable fixture over out-of-form Norwich.

Other notables were Oscar’s strength in attack. Oscar seemed to get a couple shots off, but otherwise contributed more as the great attacking midfielder he is.  Grant Holt’s constant ability to find openings in defense is a scary one, and a in-form team would give him the opportunity to score at a constant rate.

Chelsea- Strength in attack took over their strength in defense, as the young men up top seemed to take control of the game with the help of the defensive midfielders and the two side backs. In my opinion, defensive looked iffy at times, but the attack kept them  well into the game, as the small answers the Norwich has for Chelsea gave the attack the ability to create their own game. Playing a 4-2-3-1, and probably doing it the best in England, the formation gave the home side the chances to keep forward with strong attack, as well as the opportunity to counter for the third goal from the Blues. Man of the Match was clearly the Spaniard Juan Mata, who started attack and made hell for the Canaries. His expert passing and strong fundamentals gave Chelsea everything they needed to put attack on the opponent’s net. A good game from the home side going into the international break.

Norwich- Not much to say about a team that hasn’t looked good since the beginning of the year. Honestly, Norwich became my mini-favorites last year, with the strong attack that they had and the never-say-die attitude that they kept through the season. However, it doesn’t seem to be clicking this year, as everything is out of place. Attack is, more times than not, relatively elementary, with almost no depth in ability or teamwork behind it. If they want more  points, the attack will have to be more complex, especially on all the good defensive teams in the league this year. Defensive was an even worse issue, as they were unorganized and easily scrambled, Chelsea’s Juan Mata looked to open them up easily. Not a good game from the Canaries, but then again, they haven’t had one all year.

Last note- I’m really happy to this and I’m glad to be back and writing about football. Will hopefully commentate on the Gunners vs Hammers match, as that game proves to be interesting, especially with the form that the Hammers have been in their first season back from the tier under.

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This blog has gotten unsurprisingly… Blue.

And as much as I love my Chelsea, I want to provide a place where people can find the big fixtures and read an analysis of the game. I feel like I haven’t even been doing that for Chelsea, but I feel like whenever I write I have almost nothing to say. However, other than the Super Cup vs Atletico Madrid, Chelsea will be quiet for quite a bit, leaving room for the other games to have a little touch of composition.

If I remind myself, I do also want to do a bit of work with MLS, talking about what they need to step up their football and get them on the world map. Being a resident of the states, I see very little motive to watch the MLS, as I look at them as if I were Brian Clough looking at Brighton & Hove when he first received the job. I always thought of being able to take English football to the US and really show them how to do it, but no one will listen to a no-name kid with a blog and an opinion. I figured I can attend at least one game a month and just write notes to later touch on here. What do you think?

Also, if you happen to find a game you would like me to write about, just contact me in any way possible and let me know. Commenting here or going to my Twitter (located in the Contact Me Page) will get a decently swift answer from me. And off to bed I go!

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Cesar Azpilicueta and Victor Moses to join Chelsea and the rest of the Blues!

 

With Cesar, we finally have a true right defender. Azpilicueta is a great defender and attacker, and will provide some major force on the side.

Victor Moses is smart and lethal, but was always missing the midfield backing. This young guy with give us a true center forward who can also play the wing if need be!

I can’t wait to see these boys in action in blue!

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25 August 2012- Chelsea vs Newcastle

Final Score- Chelsea:2/Newcastle:0

22′-Hazard(PK), 45’+3, Torres

 

Chelsea’s first true test had arrived, and it looked as though that Chelsea might be up for the task this year. The addition of Eden Hazard was never more prominent then it was today, as the absence of Frank Lampard showed that Hazard was able to take control as the main man when Frank isn’t. Him, along with the seemingly re-budding Fernando Torres, were able to acquire both goals together to give Chelsea the dream start it needed. However, this was no walk, as Newcastle able to fend off Chelsea for most of the second half and attempt some attacking, while the opposite was true in the first. However, other than the shot from Demba Ba off a weird scramble in the box, Newcastle were never too deadly in the attacking end, as Cisse was uncharacteristically quiet.

First half, I was incredibly impressed by the Blues. At the beginning of the game, the lineup shook me quite a bit, as Chelsea did not fair well against Newcastle last year, even if losing that game is the reason why Di Matteo decided to put all chips into the trophies. However, everybody’s favorite Blue Eden Hazard stepped up today. He was clearly the main to dictate the pace, as his ability to find the correct pass and to hold the ball under most circumstances showed that he deserved to be on the first team. In the beginning of the game, Hazard was sitting a little too far back, leaving Torres all alone up front. Realizing this, Hazard and Mata brought the game to Torres. After that, the opportunities started rolling in, and Chelsea put two away before the half ended. Newcastle did little but pass and defend for most of that half. However, the second half did not have the same effect. A slow start and little connection between the Chelsea players’ game allowed Newcastle to gain some possession and attack as much as they can. Cisse and Ba both moved well, but even with the majority of the possession in the second half they were not able to find the back of the net. The deadliest opportunity for Newcastle came late in the game, as a whiff and a shot amount passed Cech in the mist of the scramble. Cech’s quick reflexes kept a clean sheet, and the Chelsea defense regained their footing midway through the second half and only built momentum from there. The build was slow, but some great looks from youngsters Ryan Bertrand and Eden Hazard made Newcastle’s defense take note. This momentum would take us to the end of the game. A semi-comfortable game for Chelsea put them on the top of the board, giving the other big teams something to strive for.

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19 August 2012- Wigan vs Chelsea


Final Score – Wigan:0/Chelsea:2

2′-Ivanovic, 7′-Lampard(PK)

Being  a Chelsea fan, it’s going to be hard talking about my fixtures. I am a huge fan but also a huge critic, and I will be the first to see my teams faults. Regardless, Chelsea did not get handed the win today, but it did seem that the game was decided in six minutes. After that, Chelsea was never too close except for the clearance from Ramis after Torres barely beat the keeper and an attempt from Oscar early after his entrance. Wigan never looked that threatening, but Victor Moses did give Ashley Cole some issues in the first half. The main note, for Chelsea fans anyway, is that both signings, Oscar and Eden Hazard, has very impressive games today. Hazard started and assisted Bran’s goal in the second minute with a beautiful turn in the midfield, and was also the cause of the penalty due to his speed around the defender. Oscar would replace him in the second half, with a great show of talent and pace. He is a hard worker and is always working off the ball, as well as getting back to play defense, whether it is in the midfield or the defensive third of Chelsea.

As for Wigan, I feel like Victor Moses does not have the midfield backing to make him a major threat. I don’t say that because Chelsea is linked with him, but it is something that Wigan is seriously lacking. The team’s defensive line is solid at times, making sure that the mistimed runs of Torres would result in a flag in the air, but otherwise did not seem like they had an answer for Chelsea counterattacks.

Chelsea looks good, but this is not the team that will beat Newcastle United next Saturday. Reading shouldn’t be a problem, but Di Matteo is good at prioritizing and taking the season one step at a time. In my honest opinion, I think that Chelsea is a major top four contender and will be consider one of the most volatile teams all season. 

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Euro 2012 – England vs France

Half-time in the match. Pointers

England- The idea that Roy had for his team was a sound idea. Play good defense and counter attack in numbers. But looks like it got unraveled after the goal at the 30′ by Lescott from Manchester City. Milner’s chance was almost too good, and sad to see it go to waste and this might end up kicking England in the end. Roy Hodgson needs to make sure that Parker and Gerrard get up and out of the defense, which is very uncharacteristic of him, and make sure that he can support Welbeck and Young, both phenomenal strikers that only need one chance to fix a match. The main thing to note is after the goal by Lescott, England played defense for 15 minutes. This cannot be done against the French side, as they have too many players in form and too much attacking power, regardless of the strength of the England back line.

France- Honestly, I cannot say too much about this side. Blanc is a veteran manager and player and has been to many tournaments as both. He looks like he knows exactly what he is doing with the team. Of good note, however, France is currently sitting on the perfect balance of possession and attack. They are not straining too many opportunities and finding one good look after another, with Nasri finding a great slot and possibly catching Hart off his toes. The main criticism I bring up for them is their defense, which needs to be stronger on set plays and fast attacks in order to come out with points today, because England is looking for a good counter, luckily without the likes of Rooney or Lampard.

On another note, Ian and Steve are quite entertaining as always.

Final Score- France:1/England:1

Lescott-30′, Nasri-39

Very exciting match. Loved the paced back and forth attacking, as it was engaging the whole ninety minutes. It seemed like a textbook football match. Some notes to make for both teams in the future.

England- Although I do believe that this defensive mindset was for France and other strong attacking teams, I hope they don’t make a habit of it. With so much attacking force, it will be disappointing to sit back like that against teams like Sweden, who aren’t known for their defense at all. This side will also be missing Rooney for another match but after that I think that England will feel the confidence surge a bit to carry them into the knockout rounds. Not much to say about this other than Gerrard needs to get out even more than he did the second half, but obviously will feel better about it with Rooney in the back. Sadly, this injury-struck team could do more with the likes of Lampard and Cahill (bias?). I do question the reason of not starting Theo Walcott, but maybe Roy has realized that. Sadly, like I hoped against, the game came down to Milner’s miss.

France- I can say even less about this side. They played some very pretty football all the way through the game and were, in my opinion, the stronger team on the pitch. Samir Nasri played like a big name should, but France needs to see more from Ribery and more importantly, Benzema. I am a true Benzema fan since his Lyon days, and he has been doing so well for his club, almost making the other veteran striker Higuain look like he was a novelty item. He did have some strong looks and looks promising, but I’m glad that he found his footing against England and hopefully he can take that into the rest of the tournament. By no means did Ribery play poorly, in fact I think he did a wonderful job, but a little more would propel this team to the semi-finals in this tournament. I do not agree with the Malouda choice over Ben Arfa, even as a Chelsea fan, but maybe that experience was needed on the pitch. Ben Arfa is one of France’s more creative players and giving that asset to Benzema could be vital. On a positive note, I loved Cabaye’s pace and prowess on the field. I truly believe he is a player to watch so as long as France is in the tournament. After this game, I believe France will be coming out on top of the group and exceeding England in this tournament.

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Pacquiao vs Bradley and other referee blunders.

So I watched the Pacquiao vs Bradley fight. I was excited for it, so I had it recorded, ready to go.

Almost wish I didn’t see it.

Pacquiao, by no means, had an easy fight, but was clearly the victor of the fight. The world is on fire saying many various things along the lines of what football fans say…

And I stopped my thought process there. Any football fan can tell you their team has been the shit-receiving end of the bias referee at least once in their life time. A die-hard fan will remember a major one on the spot (Chelsea vs Barcelona, Round 2 in Semi’s in 2009. Sweet, sweet revenge…). So I ended up hearing and reading the same things that I would hear and read about football referees, even some criticisms I’ve heard as a referee myself. I can say I have been on both sides of the coin, but not at the magnitude of a UEFA sanctioned match or a Welterweight Championship, but the smaller ratio of the sort. Most recently, the opening match of the Euro 2012 was the Greece and Poland game, with head referee Carlos Velasco Carballo showing some very quick yellow cards to Sokratis Papastathopoulos to give the Polish side a man up early. This was very controversial, and even though the fans knew this man was card-happy, it was still (in my humble opinion) too much. Obviously, Greece had their opportunities, but that is not the matter of the subject.

One thing I have learned in all my years of playing, coaching, and refereeing is that when that final whistle blows, the bell rings, or buzzer is heard, it is over. The result stays and the victor is the victor. I can see the political side of why Pacquiao was unjustifiably handed his loss, but it is a sad day regardless. I feel ya Pacman fans, I do, but maybe it’s just an injustice that needs to be swallowed.

Thoughts?

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