The match reports
The Observer, Dominic Fifield: “A third successive win maintained the European champions’ pristine opening, with this their most impressive performance to date, given that it was achieved against a Newcastle team whose own pedigree is now well established after last season’s exploits. Alan Pardew’s side had dazzled themselves when visiting south-west London back in the spring, the pair of goals conjured up by Papiss Cissé that night still seared on the memory. Yet the pizzazz this time around was all Chelsea’s. Their collective is a blur of attacking intent at present but the whole setup feels revived by the tricks and flicks summoned by Eden Hazard and Juan Mata, and by the form such creativity is coaxing from Fernando Torres.”
The Sunday Telegraph, Jason Burt: “Not so long ago Chelsea without either John Terry or Frank Lampard would have sent a shudder of apprehension through the club’s supporters but a big splash of spending, a cool £80 million this summer, and an evolving line-up meant it registered only a ripple. However while Terry was injured – a neck problem – Lampard was removed to the bench and rested. Not a scenario that he has reacted to well previously but the clock is ticking and the calendar of games comes quick and fast when you are European champions.”
The Independent on Sunday, Glenn Moore: “New signing Eden Hazard is already shaping up to be the star of the season and he scored his first goal in English football, then supplied a sixth assist, for Fernando Torres, as Chelsea made it three wins from three. “He hasn’t surprised us,” said Roberto Di Matteo. “We had watched him a lot last season. It’s a different league, so you’re not quite sure how he’ll adapt to the Premier League, but he seems to have found his feet very quickly. He’s a wonderful player for us.””
The Official Chelsea FC Website: “The Blues remain at the top of the Premier League, albeit having played a game more than most of our rivals, after a 2-0 win against Newcastle United, our third straight victory in less than a week. It was an impressive performance which saw most of the damage being done before the break, as goals from Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres saw us seize the initiative.”
The highlights and goals
Match of the Day highlights
22′ Hazard (pen) 1-0
45+3′ Torres 2-0
“People will talk about the goalscorers but I was very pleased with our performance considering it was our third game in six days and we were playing against probably our toughest opposition. In the first half we saw some good football again and we tailed off a little bit in the second half but probably because it was our third game in six days.
“Hazard has quite a lot of assists and it was good for him to get his first goal, and the second goal from Torres was terrific play by us.
“But it is not just Torres linking with Hazard. He has a very good link up and understanding with Mata and the other midfield players, and the whole team. Thanks to his team members he has been able to slide into our team and play very comfortably with the others.
“We watched him a lot last season but it is a different league so you are never sure how quick he can adapt, but he seems to have found his feet very quickly and he is a wonderful player for us.
“Torres was very important for us last season, maybe not scoring as much but providing and working hard for the team. He is a great team player as well. I know we ask strikers to score but not only that.”
The Podding Shed
You’ll be pleased to hear that the Podding Shed has been rebuilt after it was washed away in the early summer rains. Conditions permitting, the sons of the soil will reconvene in the Shed on Tuesday evening, where they will discuss this match and much much more.
If you fancy writing the odd match review post for the blog, get in touch. Our scouts are always on the lookout for more talent to add to the squad. More details here.
*Hat tip to JD and Stephen for the featured image ideas. The way things are going I’m going to need a lot more. Keep ’em coming!
Ryan – Re your comment about Victor Moses on the last post. PeteW wrote a piece for his blog The Great Wen back in 2010 that’s worth a read: ‘South London and the birth of the educated footballer’ http://greatwen.com/2010/11/08/south-london-and-the-birth-of-the-educated-footballer/
Here’s the link you tried to post – I think it works. http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/opinion/columnists/oliver-holt/Crystal-Palace-starlet-Victor-Moses-was-playing-street-football-with-a-sticky-tape-ball-when-he-heard-both-his-parents-had-been-murdered-article53720.html
Quite a story. I hope he’s given a chance and not sent out on loan for the next three seasons.
Great, thanks for posting/re-posting that mate.
Excellent article by Pete Watts. Very interesting. Frank Lampard is of course another extremely intelligent and privately educated footballer. He is really the model for the modern footballer. That said I have great respect for those few boys that I went to (a terrible) secondary comprehensive with that have carved a career for themselves in football, despite not quite making it to the very highest level.
I think Victor Moses will figure for us this season. He is definitely good enough judging by the way he gave our defenders the run around last week. I think if we intended to loan him out we would’ve probably loaned him straight back to Wigan.
Moses qualifies as “homegrown” (association trained) so that will always count in his favour both in terms of opportunities with us and also any potential resale value should things not quite work out.
As ever feel free to contact me for match reports if required mate and if I can oblige around work commitments I’ll be happy to.
Very efficient display yesterday against a really good side. Disregard excuses about a reserve team game they played in the week in a competition called the Europa League (no I haven’t heard of it either!). If drawing 1-1 with a second rate Greek team while resting your best players has such a detrimental effect then Newcastle could be in for a long season.
Alan Pardew seemed to think that the fixture scheduling was unfair. Just as it was for us at the end of last season. Didn’t stop us winning the CL and FA Cup. We’re only a couple of games into the season. No tiredness excuses please. Newcastle’s biggest problem yesterday was their 4-4-2 formation. Their midfield was simply overrun in the first-half. I’m sure Pardew will be more circumspect in the future when he is deciding whether or not to select two out and out strikers. Ben-Afra in behind Cisse would’ve made more sense to me.
Good display, especially first half. Eden and Juan look like they’ve been playing together since kids with a great understanding.
Like Ryan I’m a bit bemused by Pardew’s moaning after the game. Back end of last season we were playing every 3 days in big big fixtures. If he wants Newcastle to be a big club he needs to start acting like a big club manager. Maybe he was wound up and frustrated that he hadn’t been able to punch one of the officials but after seeing porky Dowd wobbling around the pitch I guess we all felt like that.
Hopefully Dales Winton isn’t feeling his job is under threat after witnessing JT perform the lottery draw at half time!
Nice image Nick. Will you start to introduce images of Eve (pre eating the apple)?
I like the approach the coaching staff seem to be taking with regards to the first team. If we happen to find ourselves in a reasonably comfortable position, like 2-0 up, we shut up shop and save our legs. This is a long season and I understand that. It actually reminds me a bit of the Mourinho era, being incredibly professional, but having the ability to step it up when we need to. But we are also playing more exciting football when we need to with Mata, Hazard etc. Things are looking good.
Also Lukaku has looked great at West Brom. First team football is exactly what he needs, and seeing him bully pretty good defenders at Liverpool and Tottenham excites me a lot. He looks like a faster, bigger Drogba. In the long term he offers us something that a lot of teams don’t have. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Man Utd and a few other teams find it difficult to play a more direct style of football when the time requires. Imagine if Barcelona had pumped pin-point passes into the box to the likes of a Lukaku or Drogba in the semis last year. It doesn’t bear thinking about!
Things are looking up at Chelsea, and the next few years should be great. We are buying thoughtfully, and Gourlay actually seems to be doing a pretty good job bringing money and sponsorship into the club. We are slowly turning from Roman’s toy to something slightly more sustainable, and I like it.
A comfortable 2-0 home victory. Much improved Torres. Luiz and Cahill doing their job in absence of JT. Nothing much to complaint about really.
And the fact that we still have Oscar, Marin and Moses lining up seems really really good.
Still we can get better. There were times when dummies did not come out right, or players on a different wavelength, but not too worried about it, it’s just a matter of time.
Btw, is there any syndication going on with the media reports? Just read almost same article on how Torres is thriving now on Guardian, the Telegraph and some other sites as well. Same with Suarez ‘interview’. They were almost exactly the same.
Well, having had the benefit of watching us live at The Bridge twice in 4 days now I’m struggling to hold back some strange emotion which I believe is called optimism.
I keep telling myself that cynical opponents will catch on soon and start hacking Hazard’s legs to bits outside the penalty area until they take the edge off his cavalier displays and that Nando is bound to pick up a season-ending injury before the clocks go back.
I’ve even reminded myself of Carlo’s second season when we carried on like the Double Winners we were scoring goals for fun against everyone till the wheels started to come off when Roman’s henchmen decided to dispense with Uncle Ray for whatever it was he said about them.
Dear God, I’m even contemplating adding Hazard and Torres to my fantasy team after the international break, which will surely make an “it’ll all end in tears” conclusion inevitable.
I call on Fiftee and other doom and gloom bloggers to do their duty and talk me out of this forthwith.
I’m afraid you’re going to have to man up and face the possibility that we’re actually very good.
So what have learned after this weekend?
1. Well Arsenal look like the might struggle to score without Van Persil
2. City seem to be struggling getting to grips with their new 3 5 2 formation.
3. Utd’s goalkeeper is a great shot stopper but struggles in every other dept along with their defence.
4. Liverpool attempts at trying to play like Barcelona, are going to lead to them leaking lots of goals.
5. Newcastle look like they over-achieved last season.
6. Spurs never fail to give me a laugh.
7. And on current form Swansea are going to win everything!
Reading Jason Burt’s review in the Telegraph reminded me about the 0-3 v Sunderland 2 seasons ago, when we had no team shape or midfield drive without JT and Frank. We’ve made a huge improvement since then, and having squad players like Miereles (“He cuts his own hair”, I like it) has helped make us stronger with quality in depth. Also now we’ve got a proper right-back gives us Branners as another CB choice.
We were great for the first 30 minutes on Saturday, then in cruise control but comfortable for the rest of the game. I thought Mata was our best player 1st half,but he faded as the game went on. I was happy with Mikel’s performance, nice and solid with no silly misplaced passes. I love Torres, and he scored a cracking goal, but he had two opportunities for a one-on-one run on goal against a defender with the ball and couldn’t win either. When I see him do that I have my Sheva thoughts, the blistering turn of pace that will never return. The effortless way Hazard glides around the pitch reminds me of Zola.
I actually thought the movement of Newcastle’s front two on Saturday was very impressive, but (luckily for us) they didn’t get a quality service.
I agree with all the other posters, things are looking good and will get even better as better understandings are developed. I also think Moses will go straight into our league starting line-up, on the wing.
I still think that we’ll end up 2nd in the league this year (maybe behind Swansea, but probably Citeh) but let’s hope I’m wrong and we go one better.
PS Any word on Malouda? The clock is ticking…
There were I think three occasions when Nando tried to lose his marker by turning, and ended up not bringing the ball with him. It reminded me what a big bloke he is. One tends to think that because he’s Spanish he’s all nifty and technical and midget-like but in fact he’s surprisingly similar to a Big Lad Up Front.
Wonderful goal, though, and he does proper defensive work too. The attacking balance looks really good. Bertrand was excellent yesterday, so when you think of all the different ways we can line up three attackers behind Nando — Studge could play in one of those positions; even Benayoun could — there should be plenty of good options to support him.
Ditto the two more defensive midfielders. Essien, Romeu, Ramires, Frank … all offering slightly different qualities, and the various combinations are exciting to think about.
I thought Newcastle were actually pretty good. Ben Arfa played very well. It’s encouraging that we managed to restrict them to virtually nothing in the first half without sacrificing any of the Mata-Hazard attacking intent. Let’s hope the unpleasant grumbles around the crowd about Obi being “f***ing useless” will disappear for good. He kept a tight grip on their passing game and he was very secure with the ball as well.
It’s a very different feeling from the beginning of last season, when you could see the strain of the team trying to do something different. If we are looking at the new Chelsea (and I think we are) then it’s obviously a comfortable fit for this group of players.
Of course it’ll all be different once we lose a couple of games, but the signs seem good at the moment.
Ditto, ditto, ditto…
That’s me agreeing with almost all of the above.
These nine points could be some of the most important of the season. We’ve taken the initiative and built up a lead where old rednose would’ve kept a game in hand, hoping to take advantage when others (usually us), faltered later on.
It was a bit risky, but that’s what European Champions are supposed to do, and now we go into our next overseas adventure and an International break, with max points and improving form; and the other ‘contenders’ are already playing catchup.
Radamel Falcao is on fire for Athletico Madrid with two first half goals, if anyone is interested. Thibaut Coutois hasn’t had a save to make yet.
I think somebody has already asked the question, but, will Courtois play against us?
Yeah he has permission. PL rules prevent loan players facing their parent club. No such restrictions apply to the Super Cup, although I imagine if CFC really had a problem with it they could’ve made it a condition of his loan that he wouldn’t be allowed to play against us. Suppose they just see it as another good experience for him in a reasonably high profile game (even if it doesn’t mean a great deal really).
If the rest of La Liga intend to be as poor as Athletic Bilbao were last night it’ll be good for him to get some practice against us. He must be nailed-on for a PL loan next year.
Suppose it will be a decent test for him, and he won’t have any particular advantage, given that he doesn’t train with us.
Makes the whole thing a bit more interesting, though a little odd when we want him to play well, yet we still want to win.
Yeah. It’s not often you’ll find yourself hoping the opposition GK doesn’t make a mistake!
Using Chrome browser and the format has completely changed – now the replies are grouped with the original comment, which kind of makes sense, but it’s hard to follow the general thread.
Is it something I’ve done to my pc, or is anyone else got strange things happening to their layout?
Nope. I guess we just introduced some changes to the comment module?
Whatever it is, I like it. Nested comments and all.
Small annoyances will go away once we get used to it.
BTW, if you sort Discussion by “Oldest”, it makes the most sense.
We use the Disqus comment system, WCP. Disqus enabled their latest update on the blog yesterday. I can disable it and go back to the old style but I thought I would leave it, test it out, see what people think (and Disqus will probably drop the old style at some point in the future anyway). I’m with E Is Mcsquare, nested replies make sense. One thing I can’t change in the new style is the position of the comment box, it’s always at the top (not a problem if you’re leaving a reply though). The new system does include live updating – new comments should appear without having to do a page refresh.
I know statistics are not much favored here, but working in Analytics industry (though mostly on Tech side), I always wondered why nobody thought about it. Until now.
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