Saturday, 31 August 2013

The UEFA Super Cup: Bayern wins! Review & Thoughts- from a Chelsea fan

The UEFA Super Cup: Bayern wins! Review & Thoughts -from a Chelsea fan


Phew! One word to describe that Spectacle at The Eden Stadium: KARMA!!

There was no way Jarvi Martinez scores that equaliser in the dying seconds of the match, otherwise!

The footballing gods must have been laughing when we thought we could nick that!

The Super Cup winner has alternated between the Holders of the CL and Cup Winners Cup/Europa yearly in the last 11 Seasons!!

It was our destiny to be on the losing end in 2 consecutive editions.

Mourinho set up his side in the traditional 4-2-3-1, which dynamically shifted to 4-4-1-1or 4-3-3 depending on defensive or counter-attacking needs

Crucially, he retained 'Rampard' (Lampard and Ramires) in the Pivot. A word on this later

Bayern played a 4-1-4-1 formation which turned into a 4-3-3 as required

Schweinsteiger and Thiago were unavailable due to injury and Jarvi Martinez wasn't fully fit. Hence ( strangely) Lahm was given the sole holding midfield role! while Rafinha played at RB.

Counter-attacking football was the right approach by Chelsea against the best team in the world- and it paid off beautifully early on as Torres scored a beauty from one of those moves. Swift brilliant play by Hazard, who found Schurrle on the right wing. The latter's accurate cross was met by a crisp volley by Torres. ( the finish was 2007 Torres-esque! )

We could have increased the lead later on 2 occasions -if his decision-making was better in the box.

In fairness, Bayern could have scored at the other end too with Alaba and Ribery getting a lot of joy on the left- Ivanovic was often isolated. Poor final ball and shooting ensured that we went in on the break ahead

Ribery got the goal that his general play deserved early in the second half but Cech will be disappointed at being beaten from such a long range.

Guardiola immediately deployed Martinez to secure the centre. Lahm shifted to his traditional RB and Rafinha was replaced

Bayern was on top thereafter for about 10 mins but Chelsea remained compact at the back and saw out that wave

Dante slipped at the other end and Schurrle threaded a pass to Oscar who tried to chip the ball into the net but was blocked by Neuer. He should have done better.

Chelsea swiftly found their Mojo back and could have taken the lead with their counter-attacking game. Ivanovic hit the crossbar from a corner. Hazard had a shot blocked by Dante. David Luiz momentarily looked like he'd grabbed the winner before Neuer clawed away his header.

Gotze came in for Mueller but the former was still match rusty

The game-changing moment was the red card to Ramires-after a second yellow card for a crude challenge on Gotze

It was always going to be difficult against Bayern with 11 men. It became even more daunting with 10.

This forced Mourinho to make the first change- bringing in Mikel for Schurrle. This changed the formation to a defensive 4-4-1, which became 4-2-2-1 at counter attack

With ten men, it didn't seem likely that we'd be able to seize the lead in extra time, but thanks to a clever ball by David Luiz, a cut inside by Hazard and a mistake by Neuer -Chelsea went ahead again in the 93rd minute. From then on, it was all hands on deck defending. Romelu Lukaku came in for Torres and ended up playing as a central midfield cum right back hybrid. John Terry was introduced for Hazard.

Cometh the man Cech!

Cech from Czech earning his Cheque!!

The big goalkeeper came up with brilliant saves against Ribery, Mandzukic and Martinez as the minutes ticked away, but in the dying seconds, with the last kick of the match, Gary Cahill lost Martinez and allowed him to smash home the equaliser after a deflection. Destiny!

We just couldn't hold on to the ball for about 10 mins prior to this goal. When you invite such pressure you're always going to be susceptible to such rotten luck!

Then came the lottery-Penalties!!

8 good penalty kicks from both sides. Cech got a hand to Shaqiri's kick but couldn't save it.

Lukaku missed Chelsea's last kick and Bayern got their revenge!



Much better performance compared to the debacle against Ath. Madrid last year

You won't get many easy goals against Chelsea this year. Mourinho has got it right in the defence

-The tactics yesterday (for most of the game) was spot on

Mourinho is still a great motivator. Players are willing to shed blood for him. Cue the 'crazed' determined look on Ivanovic's face during the extra time team talk

-We held our own against the current best team in the world...even with 10 men for nearly 45 mins! This Bayern team scored a combined 11 goals over 4 matches without conceding any- against Barca and Juventus last season!! I hope the Critics marinate on this!

-The prospect of Eto'o and Willian in this team is mouth-watering!!

-It was Lukaku's destiny to miss that penalty yesterday. His reaction after shows just how much he cares for the club. I hope the experience motivates him enough to do great things at this club


-Rampard doesn't work in the pivot. QED

-Mourinho is playing Lampard to death!

-Creativity is sacrificed against good teams with this duo. I understand the concept of an experienced head as a calming presence but don't play Lampard for 120 mins!....or in every game!!

-Ramires has tons of energy but he's a poor passer and not particularly an intelligent tackler either. This meant that Bayern were able to recycle their attack easily after it broke down as our duo can't hold on to the ball and were second best with loose ball situations

This also meant that we couldn't exploit that weakness in the centre of the Bayern defence as much possible (Dante has lost form)

-Bring Oscar to the pivot, pair him with Mikel or MvG ( Marko van Ginkel) and watch this team transform.

Oscar tackles intelligently, is energetic and will be more effective as a No 4 than a No 10

-The best passer in this team is Mata. I don't care what anybody says, Mata deserves that No 10 slot. If our best player in the last 2 seasons is going to warm the bench then Mourinho should let him go to other clubs where he'll be appreciated

-Mourinho left his changes late yesterday. One could argue that he didn't want to make any changes until the red card. Once Pep made his first change I think Mourinho should have reacted too-bring in Lukaku for Torres, take out Ramires, switch Oscar to the pivot and bring in Mata to improve creativity in front.

- Agreed Mata is not the best tackler in the world ( so perhaps didnt deserve to start due to the tactics used by Mourinho) But that game was calling for Mata at that moment! -Ramires' clumsy challenge which led to the second yellow card was largely due to fatigue.

Once he got the red card, it wasn't the kind of game that called for Mata anymore.

-We ( Chelsea fans) won't get to see our darlings for some days now- due to the international break!

Blue is the colour, Football is the game, Chelsea is our name. CHELSEA!!


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