What a night. What a fantastic night to be a Chelsea supporter. I love the Champions League, the anthem, the class, players squaring up to Antonio Rudiger, the opposition fans.
But more importantly, the performances Chelsea always seem to muster in these great european nights.
Missing Mason Mount, Jorginho and Thiago Silva, arguably three of Chelsea’s most important players would usually cause some sort of nerves. Especially when you’re playing the leaders of Spain’s top league, La Liga.
However, going into the game, I wasn’t overly nervous. I was confident Tommy Tuchel’s team would do the business.
Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner all starting as the spearhead in the formation had me genuinely excited. Werner is genuinely faster than lighting and I thought it would just be a case of Kai holding it up with Ziyech playing the balls in behind for Werner to get on the end of.
This clearly seemed to be the plan, when attacking Werner being the man to set off became the go to pass. Ziyech found this pass with ease during the game. This is a great sign going forward due to the nature of Chelsea’s attacks being the final piece of the puzzle is yet to solve…
Then along came the goal. Werner was working like a trojan getting back to help out with the defence when he helped win the ball back. All of a sudden Werner was a man over allowing Havertz the space to run into and launch a devastating counter attack. This is one of the first time all three summer signings have linked in such a fluid attack. Not only that, but they destroyed one of the safest defences in European football. This is hopefully the answer to Chelsea’s attacking problems answered.
N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic were also phenomenal in midfield. The movement between both players with one holding and one going was fantastic to watch. It was reminiscent of how Kante and Cesc Fabregas worked together back in the days of Antonio Conte.
Another player who had his best game since the 2018 FA Cup Final was Rudiger. My god what a defensive performance (he was my MOTM). I tend to watch the Chelsea games without the added crowd noise and constantly hearing Rudiger scream at players he’d just tackled may have been one of my favourite things I have ever heard when football is concerned.
The Chelsea defence have now faced the following players under Tommy T: Suarez, Joao Felix, Rashford, Martial, Fernandes, Bamford, Son, Salah, Mane, Firmino, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison.
This is a list of some of the best strikers currently playing in Europe and none of them have scored. Not only that but few of them have even managed a shot on Chelsea’s goal. That is some seriously good defensive performances. Granted Chelsea aren’t scoring much, but when you don’t concede, you only need one.
After the Bayern Munich vs Lazio game I saw an interview with Lazio midfielder Marco Parolo (also midfielder for the Italian national side) and he said the problem with Italian sides in Europe is the lack of going for goals when the side is already winning. Mainly commenting on why Italian sides have suffered in Europe this season. This then got me thinking that in the last ten minutes of the game against Atletico Chelsea had a further 5 attacks and then scored a fantastic goal when Emerson rounded off Christian Pulisic’s fantastic forward run.
Ultimately the point being, Chelsea didn’t take the ball to the corner but instead went for the throat. In my opinion, thats exactly what a winning team should do in competitions like the Champions League.
Overall it was a fantastic Champions League night at Stamford Bridge and the only problem was none of us could’ve been there to scream and shout at our heroes in blue. It won’t be long, but I for one can’t wait to be back at the Bridge.