Sep 1, 2012

What went wrong in the Super Cup?

A 4-1 win for Athletico Madrid is something which probably no one would have predicted! After defeating Napoli, Barcelona and then Bayern Munich, Chelsea lifted the Champions League trophy against all odds in May... Surely, no one must have seen this coming! Here is what I think must have gone wrong.

Falcao proves why Chelsea were rightly after him for the last three transfer windows:
All three goals were perfect finishes. He just showed why is the hottest property in Europe now. It also shows how the CR7-Messi crazy media overshadows his achievements last year(36 goals).

Clumsy Defence:
Coming back to Chesea, it was not just Falcao which led to this scoreline. Agreed he was exceptional with his second hat trick in less than a week, it was the Chelsea defense which gifted him all his three goals in a platter. Luiz just had a bad game. He was the reason for the first two goals, with absolutely no coordination with the rest of the team. Cahill marked Falcao more efficiently in the second half. Another issue with Chelsea's defense is that the guys are just not quick enough. Stoke City exposed this weakness two weeks ago, Athletico did the same.

The Curious Case of Branislav Ivanovic:
Ivanovic is a Centre Back. Back in the 09-10 season, he rose to stardom as a Right Back because of his amazing performances throughout the season, thanks to the injury to Bosingwa. However, he (and his agent, for that matter) has always stated that he prefers the Centre Back position. Although I wouldn't question his abilities as a Right Full Back, he lacks the pace, which was seen in the matches against Stoke and Athletico. With the capture of Azpilicueta, I guess it is high time we give Ivanovic what he wants and let him concentrate as a Centre Back.

Slow counter attacks:
When Athletico Madrid attacked, they did so in numbers, and with precision! In case of Chelsea, it was just a single person dribbling away and finding no one else in support. There were times when Mata or Hazard would look back for Fernando Torres, and in his absence, were forced to shoot!

Players out of position:
David Luiz is known for this sort of behaviour, but sadly, it seemed the whole Chelsea team was doing this. Mata was playing too deep at times, Cahill would take time to go back to his centre half role after set pieces, Ivanovic was the only person delivering crosses from the right, and quite inefficiently so.

Poor Support:
For a change, the Chelsea supporters were just not enough in the stadium. The Chelsea side was relatively empty and all the noise was being made the Athletico supporters. Agreed this was a friendly, but as a player, you really don't differentiate between a friendly and one in a competition.

Torres needs to buckle up:
Torres was very anonymous in a day where his counterpart completely outshone him. Agreed he was playing against his boyhood club for the first time, and had even declared he wouldn't celebrate if he had scored, he is still a Chelsea player. He was expected to score and score well.

Where were Victor Moses and Azpilicueta:
Azpilicueta was not even in the bench for the game, whereas Victor Moses was an unused substitute. Even after we had virtually lost the match, I believe Moses should have been given a change to run at the tired Athletico defenders towards the end of the match.

It's not heartbreak for Chelsea. It's not the UEFA Champions League final that we have lost! We have had such defeats last season as well (3-0 Sunderland, 4-0 Liverpool, 3-1 Napoli), but every single time we have bounced back, with a relatively weaker squad. With the acquisition of Hazard, Oscar and Marin, such tenacity is what is required here, and not a revolution. Small tweaks and we will be back. Cheer up, Chelsea still lead the Premier League table.

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