Monday, 31 December 2012

Everton 1 - 2 Chelsea: A Win to End 2012

Sunday, 30-12-12 22.52 GMT+7

Everton v Chelsea

          Some end of the year this is for the blues. We are now in a 4 successive premier league wins following the comeback at Goodison Park. It was not a magnificent win, but the Blues once again showed character in coming from behind, albeit with some luck yet again.

          After only 63 seconds, we conceded a rather unsettling goal scored by Steven Pienaar, and the minutes the followed wasn't very comforting either, we were struggling to get going, while having to survive several waves of attack by the home side. But as the game went on, we found our foot in the game and finally Lampard scored a fine header to equalise just before the interval.

          The second half wasn't that much different. Both sides had chances, and although the Blues seemed the more likely team to win, we needed luck again as Jelavic's header hit the bar once again. And the man to bring us all 3 points was none other than Frank Lampard himself, combined with some fine effort from Mata & Hazard. 

          It was good to end the year with a win on the back of 4 successive victories, and although the game today wasn't all beautiful and majestic, but the players once again showed character to keep going and work together to come from behind. And while Everton are in good form, this is definitely a good win, and a much needed one considering that both Manchester clubs won yesterday and we needed to keep up. So it was a good end for the year, and we will come to 2013 with the hopes of winning the title still alive. #CFC


Monday, 24 December 2012

Chelsea 8 - 0 Aston Villa: We're back!!!

Monday 24-12-2012 01.11 GMT+7

Frank Lampard after scoring against Aston Villa

          Jetlag? What jetlag?? 13 goals in 2 games right after a trip from the far east, the Blues are reminding premier league clubs that we are back, and that we are hungry for glory. That is the message Chelsea brought after the 8 - 0 thrashing of Aston Villa.

          There was a slight change in the line-up, as David Luiz played in midfield for the first time in the league, alongside Lampard, who played his 500th premier league game of his career. The first half went off brilliantly as a confident Fernando Torres scored a powerful header after just 2.5 minutes played. David Luiz scored a second with his brilliant dropshot free kick, before Ivanovic made it three as we went into the interval with a 3 - 0 lead.

          What more can you expect from the second half, if not more goals? And that is exactly what we saw, and more. Five goals followed, as 3 brazilians (in Ramires, Oscar, and Piazon) all entered the fray and enjoyed some football too. Frank Lampard made it four just before he was replaced with a classy long-range effort, and Piazon's debut in the premier league started brightly with an assist for Ramires' first, and Chelsea's fifth. Oscar made it six with a brilliantly struck penalty, before Hazard made it seven, and while Piazon missed a penalty, there was no stopping an eight goal, kindly a tribute for Frank Lampard (8) himself.

          The whole team was brilliant tonight, but there are just some players I would like to quote. Firstly, Lampard reached a milestone today, and boy, did he do it with some style too. An excellent long-range strike, one worthy of this landmark, and it was a goal of difficult technique, one not many have, but he does. Next, it was certainly great to have a confident striker and it's just what we have right now. Torres' 3rd minute header was his 7th in six games, and it was not easy to score a header from that range, the way he did today. Throughout the game we could see his confidence, and you just want to see that every game, don't you?

          David Luiz played a different position tonight, but I think he played well there today, in fact, I think it suits him better there. His sloppiness will be less costly, and moreover, his expressive football will be better harnessed there. Knowing he will still contribute defensively too, I think it was great to see him there. His skills, both offensively & defensively, are expressed more in that position, and you know you can always call him back to defense or anywhere else, for a player of his quality and talent. Lastly, it was great to see Piazon earn his premier league debut, and he assisted a goal too. Unlucky with that penalty, otherwise it would have been an excellent debut for him. Nevertheless, he played well, and now we know that he can play when we need him.

          8 goals, 7 different goalscorers, and another smashing win for a return to the league. The  Chelsea players' hunger outmatches the jet lag, and we came back from Japan, to the league, sending a message, that we are back, and we are hungry for more. With our next match coming, away at Norwich City, let us hope that this message will be translated to another victory!!! #CFC


Sunday, 9 December 2012

Sunderland 1 - 3 Chelsea: 3 Goals, 3 Points...

Sunday, 09-12-2012 00.55 GMT+8

EPL - Sunderland v Chelsea, Fernando Torres, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Victor Moses

           It was a much needed win in the league, certainly considering the fact that the squad we'll be off to Japan soon, and also that at least one of the Manchester clubs will drop points the day after. 3 confident strikes all but sealed our victory for the night, with one goal back by the home side shifting the game back into balance, but ended with a win for the Blues.

          The first half was pretty much our game all the way. We played well from the start, and should have been given a penalty when Hazard was pulled back by Larsson. We kept possession and kept creating chances, and our first goal came with a brilliant volley by Torres, a confident strike indeed. For much of the half we dominated the game, and just before the interval we got ourselves a penalty (a reckless needless challenge by Larsson, good for us though), and Torres wanted to take it, and he didn't disappoint.

          The second half started well for us, we got our third goal just about 5 minutes after the restart. And the goal came with a brilliant effort by Torres which unfortunately hit the post, however Mata took the rebound with a clean strike and netted our third. Credit goes to Torres for that strike, and what a goal that would have been. Three goals pretty much put the game out of reach, but there was some scare there when Sunderland pulled one back, a curled shot by Johnson. It gave the home side some hope and the game was much more even then, but the scoreline remained until the final whistle.

          It couldn't be argued that it was once again Torres' day, following his brilliant performance in midweek against Nordsjaelland. 2 goals then, 2 goals now (could have been 3), and hopefully it will continue for the rest of the season. The link-up play of the three behind Fernando started to appear bright again, and although it was unfortunate that we were unable to keep the clean sheet, it was good to see Frank Lampard back on the field again, it seemed ages since the last time we saw him there, but it sure is good to see him back, and hopefully bring out the best of the team's characters out there on the field, and especially in Japan, when JT will have to stay back in England.

          So, a first win for Rafa in the league. I don't know about the other fans, but I'm starting to have a good feeling about this, and I sincerely hope the fans would show more support to him. And just maybe, he is the reason out number 9 has been scoring some fine goals. And if that continues, we'll be up there in the title challenge before you know it. A confident win tonight, a much needed one indeed, and we hope that it will continue, starting with possibly our first silverware for the season, in Japan. #CFC


Thursday, 6 December 2012

Chelsea 6 - 1 Nordsjaelland: Not in Vain

Thursday, 06-12-2012 05.40 GMT+8

          The win is not in vain, that much I am certain. Yes, we did thrash our opposition by 6 - 1, and yes, we are not through to the last 16 of the Champions League, just the outcome we all feared. However, considering we have had a winless run of 6 games in all competition, 7 in the league, this win is just what we have been looking for.

          The first half began very brightly indeed for the Blues. We had dominated possession, and kept attacking, unlucky not to find goals in the early minutes, and shockingly conceded the first penalty of the game, only for our hero Cech to make another wonderful save. Then it was our turn with the penalty, but Hazard was unable to convert. But then we had another penalty in quick succession, and this time, a confident Luiz didn't disappoint. The first half ended with a smart pass by Moses, and a run + a calm finish by Torres.

          The second half didn't start as well, in fact we conceded just inside 21 seconds. However it was not to worry, as soon enough we had another goal, a brilliant header by Cahill towards the top corner. As of this moment the game was flowing our way, and it looked all over, especially when Torres netted his second of the night. Then it was followed by a Juan Mata goal, and another by substitute Oscar. The makes it six, and while seemingly in vain as Juventus won in Donetsk, leaving us having to settle for Europa League.

          It was certainly a bright performance by the squad, just the light we had been looking for, having been in the dark for the past month. The fans were as supportive as they could be, at least from what I observed. The players linked-up well with one another, especially in the front four. The spirit was there, and the sharpness was there too. Many positives to be taken for the night, we can only hope that we can continue in the league with this kind of performance.

          Our 'misfiring' striker Fernando Torres scored two for the night, and could've had a hat-trick as well. The difference I saw with Torres this time, was that of his movement. He made more runs behind defenders and that is just what he needed to do. It was good that recently he had been able to make some holds, some passes and flicks, but what he need to be doing is this, making runs behind defenders, take risks, and one or two are bound to be goals. These two goals will be a boost for him, and I hope his form can continue as well.

          In conclusion, the win was not so much in vain, it is a much needed win, and although the outcome didn't matter, I can't help imagining how our spirit will be should we lost. Now that we have an important, confident win, we can only hope we can bring it on to our next match, which is against Sunderland, before going on to the country of the rising sun, hopefully being able to win the Club World Cup for our first silverware of the season. #CFC


Saturday, 1 December 2012

West Ham 3 - 1 Chelsea: More Boos for Rafa

Saturday, 01-12-2012 22.39 GMT+8

          Well, the months of November and December have never been kind to us, but this is just cruel. I am feeling so despaired right now, I don't know why this is happening to us right now. Maybe the fans are right after all, maybe Rafa should leave. He's not the kind of messiah that can bring CFC from a deep sunken situation to rise and fight for glory again. He's maybe just the opposite, at least, in the eyes of the fans. But what concerns me now, is the fact that our players are unable to hold on to the win, not even scoring a second goal.

          There's not much to discuss about the line ups. Just slight rotations the manager had to make. On the first half, we pretty much dominated the game. It was pretty obvious so far. We got the goal, good vision by Moses, good run by Torres, and definitely good finish by Mata. Throughout the half we kept attacking, and we had the chance to score the second goal, but we didn't. The second half was pretty much a free fall. It was one of the worst performances ever. We just sank down there. We didn't put up much of fight, physically we kept going down, and credit to West Ham for fighting back with such intensity.    

          There were some excellent performers, such as Moses, Mata & Azpilicueta as well. And Cech obviously made excellent saves throughout, I can't imagine the scoreline without his saves. But the team collectively wasn't fighting enough in the second half. Torres obviously messed up several chances, and his confidence is not building at all.

          I certainly cannot explain what is going on in the team right now. Maybe the fans aren't giving enough support to the manager? Maybe the manager is at fault for losing? Maybe we are missing a leader in the squad? I can no longer supply thoughts or ideas concerning the tactical & technical mistakes in the club, but I can be superstitious and I wanted to believe that JT & Lampard will return as heroes and leaders and kings to unite the squad and bring us out out of this dark days, but it's just a piece of hope in my mind, and I guess all we can do as fans is just to give continuous support, and hope that light will shine again in the club. #CFC