In a hard fought 1-1 draw, the Blues looked disappointing in a match they were expected to easily win. With match day one at Stamford Bridge out of the way, let’s look at 5 things we learnt from the exciting match in England;
- DIDIER IS PAST HIS BEST
One thing that stood out throughout the entire 72 minutes the Ivorian was on the field, was his thoroughly awful forward play. The Big striker though he was brought into the game for his experience in the competition, didn’t offer any visible advantage.
We knew the former Galatasary man had lost his speed and most of his agility. So a lot people weren’t surprised at the lethargic way he was playing. However, what did surprise football fans all over the world, was that Drogba didn’t even perform averagely in certain plays that were supposed to be his bread and butter.
The 37 year old didn’t hold the ball well enough to bring the wingers, Willian and Hazard into play and at some point was getting in the Belgian’s way.
Minutes before the Ivorian was eventually substituted, he missed a one on one chance to extend the Blue’s lead.
- FABREGAS HOLDS ON TO THE BALL FOR FAR TOO LONG
In a match that should have been a defining moment in his Chelsea career, Cesc Fabregas made a fatal mistake of holding on to the ball for far too long against a team that had been pressing the Blues like hound dogs the entire match. It is a mistake that has been prevalent so far in his short stint with the London club. The Spaniard is often guilty of wanting to deliver the perfect pass, which leads him to dawdle on the ball for far too long in search of it.
- REMY IS SHOWING THAT HE’S THE REAL DEAL
The Frenchman impressed greatly, in a match that saw him play on the left and right of the attacking midfield position and through the center. Remy showed in his admittedly very short cameo on the pitch, that he should have started in place of Didier Drogba. The former Newcastle forward even had an effort cleared off the line in the latter stages of the tie.
- JOSE MOURINHO MADE 2 UNCHARACTERISTIC MISTAKES
The Portuguese is unquestionably one of the best around, but even he can make mistakes. The first error was starting a Didier Drogba who had just recovered from an ankle injury. As a rule, when players return from injury lay offs, they are not supposed to take part in matches of such importance. This is coupled with the fact that at 36 years of age, the Ivorian’s needs a bit more time to fully recover from injuries.
The second mistake from the special one, was his removal of the engine room, Ramires. The Blues in an attempt to throw everything at Schalke, lost midfield solidity and could have even conceded, were it not for the heroics of Thibaut Courtious.
- CAHILL’S DEFENSIVE WEAKNESS
A fine defender no doubt, Cahill does have a problem dealing with attackers running at him. In the first half Schalke’s Draxler almost scored because the England international kept backing off him. In the later stages of the second half, an almost identical threat from the same player no less, leads to the equalizer.