Sunday, 15 March 2009

Chelsea 1 - 0 City

  • It was never going to be easy. One of the hardest places to go in the league - where we lost 6-0 last season - and with some key players injured. The performance was poor, but given the context it wasn't too disappointing.
  • Even with a full strength midfield, a contest against Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack and Michael Essien was always going to be difficult. And with Vincent Kompany and Nigel de Jong both injured, we never really had a chance. Their experience and quality and size were just too much for our midfield (the tallest of whom, Stevie Ireland, is just five foot ten). Because of this, we barely ever had the ball. Which made everything else harder.

  • It's to the team's credit, though, that for all their possession Chelsea never scored a second. Dunne and Onuoha both made some heroic interventions, and Given saved well from Drogba. Which I suppose makes the fact that we conceded from a basic error all the more frustrating. We didn't deserve to get a point, but had we picked up Essien from that free kick we may possibly have got one. But to have not collapsed like we did last year is a positive to take away. (We're yet to lose a league game by more than two goals under Hughes, which makes a nice change from the 0-6 and the 1-8.)
  • As far as I could tell, we didn't pick up any new injuries. Given that Thursday night in Aalborg is our biggest game for some time, this matters quite a lot. Our season isn't really going to be defined by trips to Stamford Bridge, when we're only ninety minutes away from a quarter-final.

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