Chelsea 1 – 1 Rosenborg

Match reports

The Guardian, Dominic Fifield: “Chelsea must feel further away than ever from a first European Cup. Their owner, Roman Abramovich, may have his heart set on triumphing in this competition twice in the next six years but there was humiliation to endure here. Rosenborg, seasoned campaigners at this level but too often just to make up the numbers in the group stage, achieved arguably their greatest ever Champions League result last night. Those in blue shirts departed with red faces.”

Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: “If you don’t make an omelette right, you end up with egg on your face. Chelsea keep talking about wanting to become the No 1 club in the world, but they need to sell out their stadium and see off modest European visitors like Rosenborg.”

The Times, Matt Hughes: “Only 24,973 turned up to for the start of European football’s most glamourous competition, which Chelsea hope to win, the club’s worst attendance since the second leg of a Champions League qualifying tie against MSK Zilina four years ago. Those who bothered to turn up were treated to an entertaining game that Chelsea did enough to win, although it also revealed many of their weaknesses.”

The Independent, Sam Wallace: “With Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Ricardo Carvalho still out – as well as the long-term injured Michael Ballack and Wayne Bridge – Mourinho will not be savouring Sunday’s trip to Old Trafford. The Chelsea manager may yet spring a surprise by bringing one of those players back into his squad, but he sounded downcast last night at the prospect of even one of them making a recovery.”

Official Chelsea FC Website: “The Blues struck the post twice in the search for a winner but having gone behind midway through the first-half, we laboured to turn overwhelmingly superior possession into penalty area pressure. The stuttering start to the season goes on.”

The highlights

The good

  1. Andriy Shevchenko’s 60th Champions League goal. Rescued us from utter humiliation. He’s just two goals shy of Gerd Mà¼ller’s record.
  2. Florent Malouda and Joe Cole. Two world class wingers at the top of their game. Malouda put in a fine cross for Shevchenko to score the equaliser. Substituting Cole in the second half was a mistake.
  3. Juliano Belletti and Alex. Occasionally Belletti was guilty of leaving a gaping hole at right-back, but going forward he was pretty good. Reminds me of a right-footed Wayne Bridge. Alex is getting better with each game.
  4. We dominated possession and had a huge number of shots at goal (the majority of which were off target, though we did hit the post twice), but that is to be expected against a team like Rosenborg. A dominating performance with no end product – story of our season so far.

The bad

  1. The result. Let’s face it – a draw at home to Rosenborg, one of the minnows of European football, is nothing short of embarrassing. There are no excuses. Blaming it on the absence of Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard just doesn’t wash.
  2. Jose Mourinho’s tactic of sending a defender to play centre forward. It just seems to encourage players to aimlessly hoof balls forward. We shouldn’t have to resort to such tactics against teams of Rosenborg’s ability.
  3. Did Rosenborg’s keeper actually make a save of note? We could have played 45 minutes added time and still not scored a second.
  4. John Terry wasn’t his usual masterful self in defence (he was slightly better in attack). Rosenborg hardly touched the ball in and around our 18 yard box, but when they did Terry was far from commanding. The frustration seems to be getting to him.
  5. For what it’s worth, the free kick from which Rosenborg scored shouldn’t have been awarded against us. If anything, Claude Makelele was being fouled before the Rosenborg player decided to throw himself to the ground.

Man of the Match

Florent Malouda.

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