The match reports
The Guardian, Dominic Fifield: “Chelsea achieved the remarkable on foreign soil in May but there was still something strangely unfamiliar about this. A team which has spluttered too often away from Stamford Bridge in this competition mustered a victory by a margin to send a message to the group, even if plenty about this occasion was deceptive. At first glance this looks a thrashing but against a side still pinching themselves about being in the Champions League at all the holders will not be hoodwinked. Emphatically as it all ended, with Nordsjaelland running out of steam in the last dozen minutes and wilting at the end, this was anything but a walk in the Parken. If the majority of chances created by the arena’s adopted home side were only fleeting sights of goal, usually snuffed out by a blur of blue as a Chelsea player dived in to intercept, then there was genuine anxiety when Joshua John, the Danes’ outstanding loanee from Twente, curled an attempt towards the far corner when the holders’ lead was still at its most slender. Petr Cech, diving to his left, summoned a staggering save to fingertip the ball on to the post and Nordsjaelland’s chance was gone.”
The Daily Telegraph, Jeremy Wilson: “There was no Danish fairytale in Copenhagen; just the familiar and rather more prosaic story of relentless Chelsea efficiency. Against a team whose players earn less in a year than John Terry or Fernando Torres are paid in a week, Chelsea delivered a resounding victory that places them at the summit of Champions League Group E. Three goals in the last 11 minutes did actually disguise a largely lacklustre performance but, as has so often been the case under Roberto di Matteo, the result was what really mattered. A draw at Stamford Bridge last month against Juventus had placed considerable significance on dispatching Nordsjaelland and, despite a prolonged second-half wobble, a first away win in the Champions League group phase for two years was duly secured.”
The Independent, Steve Tongue: “A deeply flattering scoreline took Chelsea to the top of the Group E table here last night, though hardly in the grand manner. It required three goals in the last 11 minutes of a pleasingly open match to see off spirited opposition in Nordsjaelland with their insistent possession game, occasionally let down by naive mistakes. Without John Terry, Chelsea’s defence allowed last season’s surprise Danish champions some scope and scoring opportunities, but the home side’s best period, lasting much of the second half, was brutally truncated. David Luiz added a badly needed second goal direct from a free-kick and it was a case of rubbing it in when Juan Mata scored his second goal of the night and finally Ramires tapped into an empty net.”
The Official Chelsea FC Website: “In the end, it was a comfortable three points, but the 4-0 scoreline was slightly harsh on the home side. Our first win of the Champions League campaign, and a first away win in the group stages since 2010, sees us head into a double header against Shakhtar Donetsk in good heart.”
33′ Mata 0-1
79′ David Luiz 0-2
82′ Mata 0-3
89′ Ramires 0-4
“We expected a difficult game and that’s how it turned out. We were a little bit slow out of the blocks, we still had chances to score, we scored one and had a couple of other chances.
“The second goal was important, we were much better and sharper in the second half and once we scored that second we knew we were going to win the game.
“I expected a difficult game. No matter what, they try to play their football, but it’s not easy. There are no pushovers, you see that from other results, the Champions League is difficult.
“The most important aspect for us was to win, the fact we scored four and kept a clean sheet means it was an excellent result for us. Every game is different, it’s a difficult competition and away from home it’s not easy.”
- FC Nordsjaelland v Chelsea – as it happened
- Roberto Di Matteo: Chelsea face battle to progress in Champions League
The world is back on its usual track as Alan Smith and the Sky pundits spent the entire evening riffing furiously on the “plucky little Danes and their gallant attempts to give the European Champions a hard time” theme.
All were suitably crestfallen when we failed to repeat last season’s group stage regular late collapses away from home and banged in 3 goals ourselves in the last 10 minutes this time.
I was waiting for one of them to accuse us of being big bullies who ought to be ashamed of ourselves for behaving like that 😉
You might say they were all left with egg [and bacon] on their face?
Yes got very tired with the drivel he was spouting last night, he’s still pissed off that we beat Arsenal on Saturday I should imagine.
Alan Smith is a colossal penis. That is all (for now).
Strange how the negative narrative didn’t recognize the fact, that, for much of the match, these plucky paupers were giving us a harder time than Arse were able to.
Thought it was a decent display. I tend to think that over a 90 minute game I couldn’t care less when the goals come and in the end I thought we just stepped un into 2nd hear to finish them off. Not overly worried about the punditry, but it is odd how ShiteTV went for Man Utd when we are the Champions of Europe. Says a lot about them really.
The reason we stepped it up near the end was when Moses was subbed, didn’t seem to be at his best last night, Hazard made a difference I think.
I watched the game on Swedish TV with Swedish commentary that I couldn’t understand, so I was saved from English punditry. But I have to say that it was not a good performance from Chelsea until the last 15 minutes. It was worse than just lackluster. We gave the ball away constantly in the first half, just crap pass after crap pass. We looked like we didn’t give a shit, no sense of urgency except from a handful of players. After the first goal we seemed content to just sit back and defend. But for an astonishing Cech save, that could have been a disaster. I suppose one could argue that we were waiting our chance, but that is not what it looked like. Possession without penetration would have been biding our time; there was precious little possession. Nordsjaelland just ran out of steam.
Moses looked horrible. He gave the ball away, seemed nervous and panicky when he received it, and looked really slow for a striker. Lamps also looked a bit “deer in the headlights” when he received the ball in a crowd. And Ashley is beginning to piss me off. I don’t know if it is the contract talks, but he is giving the ball away and getting turned way too often. I’d like to see more Betrand.
The one who really impressed me last night — and I’m not really a big believer in him — was Torres. He fought for every ball, very physical (for the first goal, but also at other times), lots of movement, unselfish. Just a great game. But that group of Mata, Hazard, Ramires, Oscar and Torres are all a joy to watch. Branners and Luiz were also great last night.
In many ways I agree with your summation. our biggest problem is that we are not clinical enough in the last third. Way too many passes without actually getting to the goal. It is not the first time we are trying this passing football: Scolari, AVB, but always coming to the same point. It sometimes looks like players are not sure if they have already passed the ball enough times or not. The child has been forgotten after so many passes…
Chris, I agree entirely with your summation. At least all’s well that ends well.
Back to the porn on your Swedish channel tonight?
Even better than porn, I’m watching the Man City vs Dortmund game right now. But for Joe Hart, Dortmund would be 5-0 up. The Citeh defense is just horrible.
I thought it was a good team display and you could tell in the last 20 minutes they really moved it up a gear.
I had money on 3-0 so would have been happy with that as well!
What I found interesting was the initial reporting on BBC. I can’t recall what the headline was for the Man U game (they always change) but before I clicked on the link it suggested that they were lucky. I envisaged 3 goals in the last 5 minutes to win 3-2 but the reality was very different. Chelsea’s headline suggested that we were up 4-0 in the first 10 minutes and then cruised rather than the reality.
Could it be that Chelsea are becoming likable (we have a fun midfield; racicm row is pretty much over; di matteo is nice etc etc…) and Fergie has finally gone too far in his rants etc. Utd aren’t as good as they used to be and I get the feeling that the media are starting to smell blood- a massive snap from Alex ‘my rules or bugger off’ ferguson is just around the corner…
The reality could be very different but just the feeling i get in little ol’ australia
The DM rubbishes your claim, Sir.
Title: Nordsjaelland 0 Chelsea 4: Mata at the double as late gains calm holders’ jitters
Title: Cluj 1 Manchester United 2: Deadly RVP sucks life out of minnows in Transylvania
We are the Cup holders, we are now “Bigtime” (if we weren’t before) and teams will up their game against us. That is not to excuse an at times somewhat error strewn performance, but teams will not just lay down and die because the Blues breeze into town.
For instance our easy home win against Genk last season was in no small part due to the fact that most of their defenders were unavailable.
So bearing that in mind, I wasn’t surprised by our travails. Disappointed, perhaps, that having got the goal we didn’t push on. But apart from the chance where they hit the post around 70 minutes, Chelsea generally coped and the Danes lacked a cutting edge.
And the 70 minute mark is worth dwelling on for a moment. Chelsea faced a team determined to press right up the field. If they didn’t move the ball quickly, within seconds two, three, four players were around the ball. Shortly before Nordsjaelland hit the post I was muttering to myself about Chelsea’s seeming inability to deal with the pressing in their half by any means other than lumping it back to the opposition. Then the game finally turned.
Now obviously the Luiz free kick would have taken the wind out of their sails, but few teams could keep a full field press going for 90 minutes. It was in my mind that if Chelsea could keep some possession, the Danes would start to leave gaps in the last 10 to 15 minutes. So it proved.
So while the performance wasn’t a resounding stomping of the opposition, it was part of a recent pattern of play, which is yielding results and building confidence.
It’s a long season ahead, we are in a transition period. If play on the counter away from home in Europe and win, that’s fine by me. If we play on the counter at home and win, well I can probably live with that too.
I don’t expect much to change with the pundits. I don’t think it matters how Chelsea play. It’s generational. Most of those you read and hear grew up with a Liverpool, United, Arsenal landscape. It will take time for that to change, if indeed it ever does. Teams like Forest, Derby, Ipswich and so on come into view for a few years and then retreat once more. Everton, Spurs and some others maintain a presence but the “traditional” big dogs stay around and dominate the conversation, so there’s a natural bias towards them. Chelsea would need another decade of continual success before you see any real change to that.
And once again Nick, a fine photo.
Culinary Observation (by an old bloke who’s probably talking bollox)
A proper toasted bacon sandwich has to be made with white crusty bread. Such an item is really only available in a “proper” cafe.
The drawback is the mug of coffee made with instant granules and water at twice boiling point, milk and some additional granules on top so it looks for all the world like chocolate sprinklings.
If you ever need to remove the layer of skin from the roof of your mouth though, this beverage will do the job.
Along with the “proper” pub, the disappearance of the “proper” cafe is something that will only be mourned when it is too late, which it probably is already, so get mourning.
(Note for those who didn’t study Classics. Bollox is not the brother of Castor.)
(Additional note for those who didn’t study Classics. It is unlikely that Castor invented the oil)
I’m intrigued where you managed to get coffee at twice boling point. Were you with the first team squad in a pressurisation chamber to improve their diving?
The bacon sandwich does look lovely!
Pre match in Copenhagen this enthusiastic fan was shouting at the real Petr to get his attention. When Petr saw him he laughed and gave him his spare gloves.
I might go as Willie Foulkes on the next away day.
John Terry defence ‘improbable, implausible and contrived’
The 63 page JT report is worth a read
Don’t be put off by the page count; the line spacing is huge.
” it is very surprising that Mr. Terry left it for approximately one hour after the match before he requested a meeting with Mr Ferdinand.”
Not surprising so much as against the laws of physics as we understand them applying to humans, since according to the coach driver’s evidence Terry was on the coach by 6.30pm and the coach was gone by 6.49pm (unless they’ve tampered with the tacho and the driver was telling lies).
Given that the game wouldn’t have finished ’til at least 5.50pm.
Unless they are discounting all established facts that cast doubt on Anton Ferdinand’s recollection of events.
And Anton Ferdinand has acquired a wife as well according to the FA.
what the f… is going on with our defense!?
Shouldn’t be too hasty to post. 😉 I think you can safely say we’re controlling this one.
true, but for the first goal they scored our defense desired to be best 😉
Well, that was uncomplicated.
Could have conceded a couple more from crosses, but then could have scored a couple more as well. The effortless dominance of midfield possession is quite pleasant to watch. We’ll have to be careful not to get all smug and tiki-taka-ish.
Oscar’s got a good all-round English style game, for a waiflike Brazilian no. 10. He’s surprisingly effective in the tackle, isn’t he? Excellent signing.
Yes, Oscar is our best signing. Time on the ball, skilled, tough and always in space.
Oscar does seem to manipulate time and space when he has the ball, he’s Chelsea’s version of Stephen Hawking. Wonderful finish by Hazard today from the counter attack, they had six defenders against three of ours, what a pass by Mata.
And I would also like to know what constitutes a penalty when Hazard is involved, I thought there was two valid shouts today.
Has anyone read this Observer editorial on Terry and Cole? Naively, I’m quite shocked by how sanctimonious and hard line it is. They really expect or urge sackings? As it happens, not even the FA called Terry a racist. I don’t have much perspective as a Chelsea fan, but this editorial seems totally over the top.
Thankfully, my Sanctimonious Guff Detector had already gone into overload meltdown from reading the front page of The Observer’s Sports section, so by the time I got to their ridiculous editorial I was hallucinating and assumed I’d picked up The Mail on Sunday by mistake.
I’ve long given up on expecting the press in this country to actually be fair on anything, they have their own agendas and narratives. It seems everyman and his dog wants their pound of flesh with regard JT and Ashley, Clarke Carlisle now calling for a period of rehabilitation and a longer ban for JT.
They all appear to think the FA is now the true legal standard for trials and punishment in the UK.
And the abuse that both Ash and JT are getting in some of the comments sections is quite unbelievable, words like scum, low life, and pond life are the more pleasant names they’re called.
I think people need to get some perspective in life, if they want to use those terms perhaps they’re more appropriate for the likes of Dale Cregan and Mark Bridger if both are found guilty of their alleged crimes.
JT was hobbling just before they scored so was unable to get the block in, that did play a part.