Nov 1, 2012

Lessons from Chelsea's Capital One Cup win over Man Utd

After a disappointing match that most Chelsea fans, if not all, were left feeling cheated, a win over the same opponents at the same ground did bring a sense of satisfaction! Here are my conclusions from the game.

Oscar can be the new Lampard:
Oscar was brought on for Romeu, and played the role of the holding midfielder, in place of his general attacking midfield role- and he did the job well. He was good in possession, distributed the ball well, and made surging runs forward. His shot in the dying minutes of normal time caught Lindegaard off guard, and left him off balance, and he was the missing piece that brought Chelsea's midfield back to life! One point to note is that Mata, Hazard and Oscar were collectively not attacking in their original position- this was a new thing, and it certainly paid off.

On Piazon, Azpi and Romeu:
Piazon is still a kid, but he would remain a kid, if not given regular chances, at least off the bench- otherwise, he might end up being the next Kakuta! He looked uncomfortable all the time, until Hazard came on for him. Azpilicueta still needs to learn, he missed two glorious opportunities when left totally unmarked by Rafael. A bit of calmness ought to do the trick. Romeu needs to learn to take responsibility. Although, he distributed the ball well, he was totally at fault for the first ball as he took a touch too many!

Moses getting the penalty
Moses is the real deal:
He literally forced Buttner out of the game, which forced Ferguson to make a substitution at half time, pulling Fletcher to Right Back, and Rafael to Left Back. He has the power, and is hand made for the Premier League; certainly deserves more starts, at least in the less important matches!

Chelsea's defense needs to tighten up:
I am losing track of how many times I have mentioned this! John Terry's calmness was missing. Romeu gifted United the first goal and Luiz the second. Luiz needs to stay in position. He went too forward with the ball, lost possession, and would have got away with it too, had Chicharito not made that fine run, followed by a perfect finish.

Coming back three times- shows the determination:
It must have been an emotional match, considering Sunday's events! It was great to watch the comebacks- especially the goal on the 95th minute!

On the referee Lee Mason:
Lee Mason is all that was required after Sunday's horrible officiating. He awarded three penalties- all rightly so, but denied one to Chelsea, which was not enough to stop them from winning. The United fans were singing- blame the referee- for much part of the second half, but it did come back to haunt them! Mason also refused to give any reds, for example the Ryan Giggs tackle late into extra time, or a few second yellows here and there, and the bookings of Oscar and Nani after their spat!

Players still affected by Sunday:
Nani and Oscar got tangled in extra time and there, it just sparked it off. Gary Cahill and Azpilicueta got in with their arguments, and Cech had to come in and cool things off. Both Nani and Oscar were booked, but it was handled well by Mason, I must say.

Sturridge has a long way to go:
At a time when Chelsea were trailing with a few precious minutes left, he successfully drew out Lindegaard from his comfort zone, but took the shot hitting it straight at him, instead of passing! He played a good through ball later to Moses, which he could not take advantage of. He did take advantage of the mistake of teenager Keane, but his shooting-too-soon habit is still there. We might give him a change or two more, but we need either a new guy or Lukaku back into the team!

False no 9?
Personally I hate the false no 9 policy of Barcelona and Spain. But, as Chelsea have so many creative midfielders, with very few true no 9s, I think they should give it a try with either of the Mazacar trio capable of playing in the 'Messi' role!

Bertrand can succeed Cole:
Although there was nothing great about Bertrand in the match, he was defensively sound, which no fusses, unlike the centre backs and the central midfielders. If Cole doesn't extend his contract, Chelsea just might not miss him too much.

Where is Marin?
He was there at the subs, and is yet to make a proper debut for Chelsea. Zhirkov had a similar time, making his debut finally in November, I just hope Marin doesn't suffer the same fate...
Ferguson's red face- Worth Watching:
Ever since Wooton conceded the penalty, his chweing-gum-smile changed into a frown. By the time the match ended, he was fully red- thinking maybe that he should not have wished Mason luck. Blamed Nani for the defeat. Typical Alex Ferguson.

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