Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chelsea v FC Nordsjaelland - A key win

Well my prediction was a bit off I must say.  I was quite sure that Chelsea would not be able to run away with a 4-0 win, but it is always nice to be wrong in this way.  There were a couple good things about the results from today's group stage matches. 

First, of course, Chelsea got a valuable three points and a +4 goal difference.  Second, Bayern was crushed by BATE.  I know that they're not in the same group but it is wonderful to see the team that we beat last year in the final go down in a ball of fire to seemingly weaker competition.  Progression in the tournament will be that much easier if Bayern don't make it out of their group.

Thirdly, and more germane to Chelsea's group, was the result of the Juventus v Shakhtar Donetsk game.  To see Juventus get another tie is a good thing, although it certainly would have been better to see them lose.  Juventus is an incredibly strong team and it wouldn't be surprising if Chelsea had to play them again if they emerge from the group stage.  Juventus was able to draw with Chelsea and to see them draw again is encouraging.  However, that also leaves a bit of a question mark around the strength of the Ukrainian club; they seem strong!  Chelsea fans will have to keep a close eye on the result of the next few group games as Shakhtar may hold the key to Chelsea's ability to get past the group stage: Shakhtar play Juventus again on the last match day.

Finally, it was great to see Frank Lampard out there contributing.  As previously noted, this was a good thing for the Danish side to be able to play with a football legend and take something special from the game (if not any points). And this was great for Chelsea to give him minutes and build a camaraderie with the new guys.  Frank is a leader and a strong part of what Chelsea is.  It's great to see Hazard stepping up and also to see Frank still involved.  Let's hope the midfield transition is smooth.  Let's also hope that Fernando Torres comes more alive.  Yes, Juan Mata scoring goals is an excellent thing but we need the Torres of the Liverpool era to emerge again.

Sorry to all you Bayern fans out there and cheers to my Chelsea mates.

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