Monday, 23 July 2012

Chelsea 1 - 1 PSG: In the Yankee Stadium

Monday, 23-07-2012 09.23 GMT+7

Getting ready: Players warm up before the clash

       It was a good game overall in our second pre-season game against PSG in New York. I was admittedly surprised when I found out that we were playing in the New York Yankee Stadium, temporarily converted to fit a football pitch. Outstanding!!

       It was good to see more familiar faces from the Euro 2012 squads, including JT, Cole, Malouda, and Cech too. Meireles wasn't in the squad but was in New York already. Just Torres remaining, as Mata, Sturridge, Bertrand, and Romeu are all in the Olympics squad.

       I only managed to watch the second half, to my disappointment. However, as I have read, the first half doesn't look too good for us. There were six changes to the side that started the game in Seattle, however it looked a much stronger side, although to be fair, our opponents this time was also a much stronger team. Nevertheless, it may be true that our team was second best throughout the first half, with the scoreline at the interval 1 - 0 for PSG.

       There were four changes made at half-time, however we still can't find the equaliser. The remaining seven changes were made on the 62nd minute, including the introduction of our captain John Terry. The game was much more even on the 2nd half, with our team finding the equaliser after a brazilian masterpiece by Lucas Piazon and Ramires. After that it was much more open, and both sides have had chances to win it. However as the whistle goes, honours were shared at the first football game in the Yankee Stadium between Chelsea and PSG.

       It was good for me to be able to see more familiar faces in blue, however the performance I saw was not class, and definitely not European Champions. Not yet. Well this is just a pre-season game, so we can only hope that when the season starts, we will be much, much better. We are still missing a prolific striker here, with only one name in my mind and it is none other than our number nine, Fernando Torres. I can't wait to see him back in action as our first team striker. The old guard have always showed great resilience and leadership, while the younger boys are trying hard to impress and to link up well with the team. Piazon was excellent with the goal there, but impressed nothing more. I see him as a player with great potential, but not as a target man, more of a second striker behind the target man.

       We may well have avoided defeat, but we should now carry on focusing for our next game against MLS All-Stars in Philadelphia in 3 days. In other news, our UCL hero Didier Drogba made a wonder debut for Shanghai Shenhua, with an assist and a spectacular free kick, coming on from the bench. We wish him the best of luck with his career in Shanghai. #CFC


Thursday, 19 July 2012

Seattle Sounders 2 - 4 Chelsea FC: New Signings Showing Potential

Thursday, 19-07-2012, 10.50 GMT+7

Branislav Ivanovic, Marko Marin, Chelsea - Seattle Sounders FC

       So, here we are again in blue with the pre-season games in the United States. First game went well, with Chelsea beating Seattle Sounders with a scoreline of 2 - 4. That is with the squad that RDM brought so far, excluding players who participated in the Euro 2012, and those who may participate in the London 2012 Olympics.

       Collectively, our performance for the day wasn't as consistent and as good as we should be. But then again the squad itself is, of this moment, still more of a tryout squad. However, good news is that our new signings have shown good potential to be an integral part of the first team squad, with Eden Hazard and Marko Marin also scoring debut goals in this game. And our youngsters showed great determination and potential that in the near future they might join fellow team-mates in the first team squad.

       The first half was hectic, and full of goals. We had 2 early goals in quick succession, with Lukaku scoring the first from an excellent through pass by McEachran, followed by Eden Hazard scoring his debut goal, cutting in from the left-hand side. But soon after that, we struggled to gain possession and kept getting attacked by the home side, which resulted in 2 goals by Montero, to equalise the scoreline. But then just before the interval, we had 2 other quick succession goals, by Marko Marin with a goal similar to Hazard's, and Lukaku scoring another excellent goal.

       During the half-time break, Chelsea made seven changes including the senior players like Lampard, Cahill, Essien, and soon made the remaining four changes in the 63rd minute, bringing on youngsters such as Kane, Piazon, and also Saville. The second half was a bit slow, and no goals are produced. Thus, the final score remained 2 - 4.

       This game is also a farewell game to Sounder's player Roger Levesque, who has spent nine years with the club. In view of our side, it was a good match, where individual skills are showing potential by the new signings & youngsters, although collectively, we weren't very consistent. However, this is just a friendly match, and it was, a win, though. So well done to the players, and also to RDM. Hope we can continue our good form into the remaining games, and into the season coming ahead soon. By the way, this season, we have the opportunity to win seven titles. Yes, Seven!!! #CFC