Tag Archives: Lampard

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.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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. 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,