Chelsea 2-1 MSK Zilina – Newspaper Reports, Goal Videos, Fan’s Verdict, Carlo’s Reaction

Newspaper reports

The Guardian, Dominic Fifield: “Carlo Ancelotti must be tempted just to cling to the positives. Group F has been secured, Chelsea having claimed five successive wins at this stage of the Champions League for the first time ever, and the slump that had seen them suffer consecutive league defeats has been arrested. There, however, the plus-points end.”

Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: “This success summed up the Chelsea of recent weeks: only two goals from 31 attempts, traces of uncertainty detectable, a shortage of leaders, all eyes on the musical chairs in the dugout but an enduring togetherness in the team’s DNA. Chelsea are riding the storms.”

The Independent, Mark Fleming: “This unimpressive victory over MSK Zilina proved little, except that Chelsea’s squad desperately needs strengthening in January. Ancelotti has been made to work this season with the smallest squad in the Premier League, after owner Roman Abramovich decreed costs must be reduced and senior players were shown the door.”

Official Chelsea FC Website: “Chelsea will be a top seed in the Champions League draw after a sturdy second-half recovery following a shock goal conceded in the first half.”

The goals

19′ Babatounde 0-1
51′ Sturridge 1-1
86′ Malouda 2-1

Fan’s (limetreebower) verdict

Very interesting to watch. It really makes me hope that Carlo will play similar teams in the FA Cup.

Basically what you saw was the difference between a training exercise/reserve game and a proper match.

When the whistle blew you could see the kids carefully passing it around. Pass pass pass pass pass pass pass. Run into a bit of space, get the ball, pass. Lose possession, get it back, pass a bit more, inch forward, face a packed defence, pass around sideways and backwards, pass pass pass pass pass oh crap we lost the ball, start again.

And when the whistle blew for the start of the second half you saw them trying actually to win a game.

In retrospect that will have done them a world of good. Learning the difference between playing “good football” like you’re taught and playing with competitive intensity and a dominating tempo has got to be one of those things you can’t really “get” until it’s happening around you.

Josh, for example, was totally transformed, from the nervous self-conscious player of the first half who was so tight he kept under-hitting passes, to the instinctive playmaking no. 10 we all hope he’ll be. He was superb for the second 45.

But for me the real winner of the night was Van Aanholt. Like everyone else he was tentative and timid in the first half, but once the team started going for it he was Cashley Mark II. And he nearly scored the best debut goal since … oh, I don’t know. Mutu?

It’s going to take time. We all know Kalou couldn’t have had anything like that effect on a game two years ago.

Carlo’s reaction

“I was disappointed at half time because here was an important game, here was an important moment and we wanted to win, we wanted to arrive in the first place.

“We did not play well, we played too slow and without intensity and without tempo. We gave the opportunity to Zilina to control their defensive positions.

“Immediately [after half-time] we changed our behaviour and we played well second half. I changed something, I took off Kakuta and brought on Kalou to play with two wingers and Drogba and Sturridge in the middle, and we changed the intensity of the play. This was the difference and we had a lot of opportunity to score.

“If we play like the first half it is impossible to win the Champions League. If we play like the second half we can have some chance.”

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There are 25 comments

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  1. Bsally15

    Whoa, I think you’re seriously overestimating Kalou’s impact, for me he was terrible as always. I’d sell him asap to be honest, he’s 25 years old and he won’t be any better than he is now.

  2. Anonymous

    I’m not sure

    a.) why the papers think we were poor
    b.) why Sky were such wankers saying we were poor
    c.) why everyone is talking about second half transformations

    From 20-25 minutes in we started to control the game….yes we had conceded and Turnbull made a splendid save to keep the deficit to a single goal, but the kids and the teams confidence grew and grew in that last 20 minutes and the culmination was a second half in which we we as dominant as we were against Brum. Now, the shortage of goals is worrying and the culprits are Drogba and Malouda (who missed a sitter in the first half with what was a weak and tame header) and the youngsters could hardly be blamed for that. Kalou also missed some chances to take a pop with indecision, but I’d rather have 31 shots and score 2 than 2 and score 2…it’s just more entertaining.

    I really don’t get all the gloom and doom, we won, they lost, we topped our group and some very young, very inexperienced players got some invaluable front line experience. For me that’s a ‘win-win’ !

  3. Anonymous

    I was impressed with

    1. Van Aanholt – very good going forward (as he was against Newcastle)
    2. Ramires – got stuck in and showed real commitment
    3. Josh – he’s like having a new puppy and can do no wrong, even when he poos on the carpet (gives the ball away), you just have to smile and say “well he’s only young”

  4. Anonymous

    The rumour at the Bridge last night, which is totally hearsay, is that Ron Gourlay, our CEO, likes to play away when we play away, if you know what I mean. Ray knew about this, mentioned it to his wife (Ray’s wife) who then mentioned it to someone else that eventually led to Ron’s wife discovering his antics.

    Probably total bollocks.

  5. Anonymous

    a) Because “Chelsea in Crisis!!!!” is the story, so anyhting other than a 7-0 thumping means they get to carry on with it;

    b) Rupert Murdoch, presumably?;

    c) the shift in tempo and the insistence on playing the game higher up the pitch didn’t happen until after half time. We were more urgent after they scored, yes, but I bet if you look at Josh’s “average position” it would only be in the opponents’ half after the break.

    But yes, I don’t get the downbeat coverage either. Don’t people remember what it’s like being 19, 20, 21? Why do they think there’s such a thing as age-group football anyway? You can’t expect a youth side to waltz all over professional opposition.

    It does seem like Borini hasn’t made the cut. One can only assume — as with Stoch — that either they can’t see him getting ahead of other young players in the pecking order (Sturridge, Lalkovic, maybe even Prosenik?) or that there’s some kind of attitude problem.

    Kakuta I’m not so sure about. He seemed a bit hesitant yesterday, and the rumours are slightly worrying — perhaps all the fuss last year made him (and his agent) think he’s the world’s hottest property? Anyone watching last night would have pegged Pat v. A. and Josh as “the future of Chelsea”, with Dan behind them looking “promising”, and Bruma and Kakuta behind again.

  6. PeteW

    The papers clearly wrote their reports at half time and are interested only in stoking tension – there’s a nonsense piece in the Telegraph expressing surprise about Paul Clements sitting next to CA even though everybody knows Paul is his No 2. They are chasing an agenda and not interested in thr performances of the kids cos it doesn’t fit tfe narrative.
    If any of them had any sense they’d look at what’s happening to Arsenal and ask whether the model of giving a manager complete power is actually the best way to run a club. We ain’t perfect, but there are good reasons why we do what we do that aren’t just down to Roman’s whimsy.

  7. Anonymous

    I thought we were pretty poor in the first half [30 minutes to get to get our first shot on target again] though hardly surprising with 5 youngsters with squad numbers twice their age on the pitch – well not quite with van Aanholt, but close.Much improved second half with Kalou and Malouda both playing wide. Disappointing that Kakuta made not much impression in his third start this season and was hauled off at half-time yet again. Van Aanholt looked increasingly impressive going forward, though I’d like to see how his defensive qualities match up against a good attacking side before we crown him the new Ashley.Why is anyone surprised that the papers just want to write about another poor performance and Sky interviewer afterwards rambles on at Carlo about body language on the bench and asking him to confirm for second day in a row that he does not want to leave?@limetreebower – I’d just spotted that item about Borini just recovering from yet another injury too. Is the “being frozen out” story just another entirely made-up bollocks media invention, perhaps?

  8. TrueBlue

    I thought Sturridge had a great game – his best yet for chelsea.

    Ramires also improved on his previous performances.

    Gael showed flashes of great skill and I really hope we keep him.

    All in all – very happy we played our kids and thought they did a great job!!

  9. Anonymous

    I’m no fan of Wenger but I do agree with him that the officials behind the goal are completely useless. I was watching the one down my end and I couldn’t see him making any contribution. When the ball was on the goal line for a questionable corner/goal kick he made no indication one way or the other.

  10. Anonymous

    Getting a bit sick of the Kalou bashing……. For me, he has been the second most consistent performer this season with only Flo in front of him.

    The performance was fine, but more important was getting the right result. Still, it won’t matter a toss if we don’t beat the Barcodes at the weekend.

  11. John

    I’m a bit on the fence with this one: we weren’t great but we weren’t as bad as Sky appeared to have called it and we did improve second half. There were positives in the performances of the youngsters – especially, I agree, van Aanholt. But we should bear in mind that Zilina are crap and not get too carried away.
    As for the coverage of the Wilkins fall out, yes it’s annoying bollocks but do the club really deserve anything else and do we really expect anything less? This is life as a Chelsea supporter – negative coverage either bubbling under or in full flow depending on whether some wanker has pressed the Kaiser’s red button. (I nearly fell off my chair the other week when some City supporter on 606 was complaining at negative coverage and saying that Chelsea never got anything like this when Mourinho first took over with all Roman’s money. To make it worse, the host agreed with him!)

  12. Chris

    We don’t get Sky here in the US, so I don’t know how bad the doom-and-gloom was, but our performance was pretty weak. Remember this was against a team that dropped seven goals against Marseille and four against us last time out. We just about eked out a victory. Again we had two-thirds of the possession and countless shots but the clinical finishing of August-September is completely gone. Josh was the one truly bright spot, but for the rest, getting any penetration in the final third seemed beyond them.

  13. Nick Benfield

    While I’m not always that disappointed to miss midweek Champions League group games, I was disappointed to miss this one – I would’ve liked to have seen a bit more of our up and coming players.I kept up with the game via Twitter on my iPhone. It’s no exaggeration to say that almost all tweets about the match were positive, even in the first half when we were losing. So imagine my surprise when I came to read the newspaper reports late last night – it was like the journos watched a different game.As for Kalou, I recall writing in a match report several seasons ago what a good impact player he is – bring him on to run at tiring defences and he’ll always create a chance or three. I think he’s a better player now but I still prefer to see him start on the bench.

  14. Joy

    I’m very proud of the result. I knew that playing the kids was a bit of a gumble, but tio have them learn and get some competitive experience and also win was wonderful. Sturridge was particularly impressive. Josh is vlearly talented. Funny how he crept out of no where. Had bearly heard of him before this year!! The journals don’t matter; the fans do

  15. ososdeoro

    @blueboydave: better to encounter your expert there than at the movies.
    @chris: I think Fox just broadcasts the Sky feed in the US.
    @Nick Benfield: the positive twitters during the game vs. the poor news reports reminds me of the Al Gore/George Bush debate in 2000, where immediate post debate surveys had given Gore the nod, but after the talking heads got to complain about Al Gore sighing in frustration all night, all of a sudden it was a disaster for Gore.

  16. bluebayou

    From Dr Bayou Royal Correspondent

    The Royal Wedding on the 19th of April may not be great news for Chelsea. We play Tottenham at home the following day, unless it is moved to Sunday.

    We have a good record at home against the mighty Spuds.

    Thing is, you see, starting with her Maj who was married on 20th November 1947, we have never won the first league game we play after a Royal Wedding that takes place within the football season. (Most don’t thankfully)

    22nd Nov. 1947 we lost 1-3 to Sheffield United.

    Anne was married 14th Nov 1973, we drew 0-0 with the Arse on the 17th

    Her 2nd marriage was 12th Dec 1992, we drew 1-1 with Man U on 19th (having drawn with ‘Boro on the 11th)

    Charlie’s 2nd was on 9th April 2005, should have been the 8th but the Pope had died and he had to go to Rome. We drew 1-1 with Brum on the 9th and 0-0 with the Arse on the 20th if you want to be pedantic about the 9th.

    Princess Alexandra, the Queens first cousin married on 24th April 1963, we drew 2-2 with Leeds on the 30th.

    Money on the draw then.

    • Cunningplan

      But can it be classed as a royal wedding, because William is one these people that flits from job to job, and she comes from an estate, seems more like a chav wedding to me.

      PS I’ll make my own way to the tower

  17. Der_Kaiser

    Evening all

    On for a brief visit… Enjoyed last night, much to be positive about. Strikers looking sharper (Sturridge excellent), good performances all round from the youngsters and top of the group. We can but hope that our mini-slump is on the way out.

    Pete – did wonder where some of the media guff came from; Winter’s “all eyes on the musical chairs in the dugout” actually made me laugh out loud. No, they really weren’t Henry – the rest of the world is bored with that one and moved on some time ago.

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