Saturday, 13 September 2008

City 1 - 3 Chelsea

  • A necessary reminder that Chelsea are much better than us. Maybe five years after our takeover we'll be this good, but for the time being we are not serious contenders. This doesn't mean that we should buy a new squad in January; we have a good foundation to build upon - but that instant success is unlikely. Important wins for Arsenal and Liverpool further demonstrate the gulf in quality.
  • After the first fifteen minutes, Chelsea outplayed us. They passed the ball around us at ease. As hard as Hamann and Kompany worked in midfield, they just could not cope with the movement of Cole, Lampard and Deco. For the most part we dealt well with high balls, but with the ball on the deck we were outclassed.
  • Some of the interplay between Robinho, Wright-Phillips, Ireland (not Petrov!) and , particularly before Carvalho's goal, was very good. They were all willing to run at defenders and to switch positions. facilitated this through his ever improving hold up play. It certainly faded later on - Wright-Phillips and Robinho were particularly part-time, but the signs of quality were there. Reproduced against lesser teams, it will prove successful.
  • With Ireland out on the left hand side, there was no-one to link play between Kompany and Hamann and the front players. Against Sunderland Johnson played in front of them, moving the ball from the two holding players to the front line of Ireland, SWP and . Today there was no such link man. Choosing Ireland over Elano made sense, but maybe he ought to have played central rather than wide left?
  • Some people think Lampard is overrated and only scores deflections. I do not. But it was still funny to see us score with a free-kick deflected off his head. Similarly, I am less anti-John Terry than some people. But his getting sent off was entertaining. It was clearly not a professional foul - but awarded, debatably, for the rugby tackle as 'serious foul play'.


Alaric said...

I think Petrov was a lot less influential than you say. This may have been because he wasn't playing.

JPB said...