Finally a night to celebrate at Stamford Bridge, its been a while but lets hope they come along like buses over the coming weeks.
Anyone who had been locked in a cupboard for the last few months would be questioning what all the fuss is about. Courtois never broke a sweat, we looked rock solid at the back, we won all the key physical battles in midfield and created enough chances to have run up a cricket score.
We even had a return of a little luck as our opening goal was a ricochet Porto own goal, following a Cassilas save from Costa. You don’t get much more “rub-o-the-green” than that.
And while we are at it , will someone explain why we had to rely on an eagle-eyed official as opposed to the goal line technology used everywhere else! …. I guess Platini was holding out for a bigger back-hander from the camera company!!
Jose would never admit it, but I’m sure he will sleep a little easier tonight.
He went back to what he knows….. The triumvirate of Oscar, Hazard and Willian.
Willian yet again getting a crucial goal when it mattered, the Brazilian secured the 2 goal cushion that meant the rest of us could actually enjoy the last 10 mins of a football game for a change!! For this he was probably our man of the match, but personally I still think that it was Oscar who deserved that accolade tonight. He continues to be the missing ingredient in our creative recipe. I hope Jose gives the three of them more match time together after being reminded what they are capable of.
Even, yes , even, Diego Costa had a good game. He should have scored at least once, but at least he was getting into scoring position again. He still seems more keen on faking a penalty appeal than going for goal, but hopefully he will grow out of it.
Leader, Legend JT marshaled the back line superbly, he also still has enough speed to win a one on one with an opposing striker ten years his junior.
Matic and Ramires formed an unassailable wall in the middle freeing up the triumvirate to play some wonderful one touch football.
The one glaring ommision was Cesc Fabregas. After his dreadful performance on the weekend, and the fact that we needed more steel in the midfield, he was rightly sacrificed. He needs to get some physicality back, both in the form of speed and strength if he expects to reclaim his Champions league berth. He will be the first name on the team sheet for the FA Cup tie against Scunthorpe or Orient.
It may be as simple as our stars find it easy to get up for a big European night, but were arrogant Champions and visits to Stoke and by Bournemouth just isn’t glamorous enough. Maybe Jose had something to do with creating that attitude by thinking (& saying) that this season is all about the Champions League, and breaking the record of winning it with 3 different clubs. Careful what you wish for!…..
All smiles from Roman too. As the crowd chanted our manager’s name, our owner was high-fiving all and sundry.
Lets hope that being beaten at home by Bournemouth fittingly marked the low point in the saga, and spanking upstarts Leicester on their own turf on Saturday would be an appropriate next chapter in the return to normality.
Well done tonight chaps…… first game I’ve enjoyed for a while.