Two words which I think greatly sum up the game tonight. Yes, we should have had a penalty, yes Willian was ridiculously close, yes we hit the woodwork twice and yes Matic dazzled us with more than one mazy run (and should have scored a wonder goal). While 4 points from 9 isn’t great, I am certain Chelsea can win the remaining three games if they continue to improve across the park like they managed tonight.
Chelsea started with a pretty straightforward line up, except for Kurt Zouma in at right back, to try and cover the pacy left side of the Ukrainian outfit. Kurt was solid in his defensive duties, but getting forward it was clear to see he was out of position, slowly the game down and passing centrally or back, instead of any attacking movement.
Gary Cahill rarely put a foot wrong all night, and looked back to his best throughout the 90 minutes, something I really wanted to see from the England man, as some of his recently performances have been far from confident.
Azpilicueta Leads by Example
Once again, one player looked lightyears ahead of the rest – someone who I think has been our best player for the past two seasons – Cesar Azpilicueta. Cesar disrupted and disarmed almost every attack from Andriy Yarmolenko – by far the most dangerous player for Kyiv.
Consistency is something all Chelsea players need at the moment, and Azpilicueta, and Willian are both delivering performances that the rest of the squad should aspire to match.
Solid Nemanja Matic
Another player who looked back to his best, with maybe his best display this season, was Nemanja Matic. Apart from almost scoring a wonder goal, and blowing up twitter with some neat back heels, he was solid in defensive midfield and looked really confident on the ball. I still fail to understand how a man of his size can move so well.
Hazard in Full Flight
Eden Hazard, after being dropped at the weekend, knew he had to turn up today and he did just that. This season I haven’t seen him run at players anywhere near as much as he used to, and tonight he looked far much like the player that won him the Player of the Season Award last season. He looked sharp, turned well, hit the post and if it wasn’t for a pretty poor Diego Costa, could have bagged an assist at least.
Much Improved Chelsea
All in all, we have to look at the positives tonight, and look ahead to the West Ham game this weekend. Another performance like this and I’m sure we’ll leave Upton Park, for the last time ever, with 3 very much needed points.