Champions League: Chelsea Play To A Different Tune




When Chelsea entertained Bayer Leverkusen in Stamford Bridge for the opening game of their Champions League campaign of their season, it looked as if almost the team had turned a new leaf. Often dubbed an old team with a uni-dimensional approach to the game, this Chelsea side seemed different.

Champions League: Chelsea play to a different tune
Champions League: Chelsea play to a different tune

With an impending visit to a frightening looking Manchester United side, AVB left Lampard on the bench and gave the day off to Mr Chelsea- John Terry. AVB would be celebrating his debut in the competition and his team selection gave a lot of food for thought. There were two attacking full-backs and a center back who is usually found out of position whenever Chelsea mount an attack. It surprises me how Ivanovic’s hoick from defence in the build up for the first goal was brought down by his center defensive partner David Luiz. With just one defensive midfielder rather than the normal two, the emphasis was on attack. Fernando Torres was given the support of his Spanish team mate Mata and Sturridge. In the middle Meireles was given a role not too different from one performed usually by Lampard.

The team was set out to attack but for the first half most Blues fans would have been embarrassed by the lack of creativity in the team. Torres started brightly but faded. His initial enthusiasm was matched by the crowd who are waiting imperceptibly for the moment that he clicks into the 50mil goal scoring machine of yore. He huffed and puffed but rarely produced any moment of genuine brilliance. The second half saw the team grind out a result with two goals that were probably deserved given their dominance. Torres provided assists for both goals endearing himself to the Bridge faithful who were happy with his contribution though his prolonged drought is proving worrisome at best.

The new Chelsea passed with authority and displayed an athleticism that seemed missing for most of last year. The fixture was a tricky one at best and the fact that Chelsea achieved the result with consummate ease without the services of the Terry-Lampard-Drogba spine makes it even better. The new look Chelsea team are slowly clicking together but their relatively slow progress seems to be now irritating their manager who sat nervously on the sidelines in various yogic poses that would have been deemed impossible in the suit that he was wearing. This team has the potential to shut out opposition and an attacking edge that would provide nightmares to quite a few defences if they click.

An opposition in the form of Manchester United awaits them on Sunday. United are in the form of their lives with everything going their way while they play a ruthless and effective brand of football. They would provide the sternest test so far to this Chelsea outfit who would have to do very well to come out of Old Trafford with three points. It shall not define their season but shall serve as a very important indicator of the progress made.

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