Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Atletico Madrid 0 vs Chelsea 0

Atletico Madrid 0 vs Chelsea 0

Champions League Semi final, 1st leg


Atlético Madrid starting lineup (4-2-3-1):

Thibaout Courtois | Filipe Luís, Diego Godín, Joao Miranda, Juanfran | Gabi, Mario Suárez | Koke, Diego, Raúl García | Diego Costa

Substitutes from: Dani Aranzubia, Toby Alderweireld, Tiago, Arda Turan, Cristian Rodriguez, Jose Sosa, David Villa

Chelsea starting lineup (4-3-3):

Petr Cech | Ashley Cole, John Terry, Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta | David Luiz, Mikel, Frank Lampard | Ramires, Torres, Willian

Substitutes from: Mark Schwarzer, Nathan Aké, Tomas Kalas, Oscar, Marco van Ginkel, Andre Schurrle, Demba Ba

As far as a Parking the Bus goes, that was straight out of the text books

( it actually looked like an Aircraft was parked in the Vincente Calderon )

So Job done!

There were casualties though

Petr Cech The goalkeeper went down under pressure from an Atletico corner earlier in the first half, got tangled up with Raul Garcia and was badged accidentally by David Luiz. Unfortunately he will now miss the rest of the season with a dislocated right shoulder. Mark Schwarzer came in for the stricken Czech and did well enough. He took Edwin van der Sar's record as the oldest player ever to feature in the Champions League, at 41 years and 198 days.

John Terry ( left ankle sprain) - while landing awkwardly on David Luiz' foot ( during a corner kick in the second half)

Lost to yellow cards: Frank Lampard, Mikel

Lost finger nails ( from biting) : Chelsea fans

( Gabi will be missing the return fixture for Atletico too due to accumulated yellow cards)

Atletico were frustrated when they tried to go through the middle , John Obi Mikel and David Luiz formed an admirable wall in front of the centrebacks. The Spaniards were forced to go wide and cross, but this was easy Peazy, lemon Squeazy for Gary Cahill and John Terry- as they won most of the aerial battle against Diego Costa and Raul Garcia

Actually I underplayed that ( it's no mean feat to win headers against the Atletico strikers. They are very good in the air)

Willian provided cover for Ashley Cole against the attacking threat of JuanFran and Diego on the left. Ramires provided cover for Azpilicueta against the attacking threats of Filipe Luis and Koke on the right

Chelsea didn't really pack a punch going forward. Lampard's 20-yard effort, two minutes into the second half, was Chelsea's first shot on target, albeit straight into the arms of Thibaut Courtois.

Chelsea had Fernando Torres ( formerly known as El Niño ) as the lone striker up front. That should tell you all you need to know about our attack on the night

This about sums up the whole match!

My thoughts:

Feels good to be the ones parking the bus again

After getting shafted by defensive teams all season, I revel doing the same to another club at their home.

John Terry gets a 10, he was immense at the back and his aerial presence was missed after the injury. Diego Costa had his best chance then. Thankfully, his header was wide off the mark

I'll give a 9 to Cahill and Azpilicueta

Mikel gets a 10 too, actually make that a 12 for his Mohawk

He’s very positionally sound almost to a fault. He is great at holding up play in the midfield and makes the safe pass. He rarely loses the ball, even under high pressure. In games like this one, he’s crucial to our success.

Ashley Cole's beard was in form! There were a few iffy moment earlier on but after that, he played like he had never been away

Heard David Luiz is a direct descendant of Jamie Lannister The Kingslayer

Inadvertently took out both Cech and Terry.

Chelsea's set pieces were dire in this game...and those were our only avenue for nicking a goal!

David Luiz should be banned from taking free kicks. Period!

He has not even come close to scoring from one this season

Lampard's corner kicks always manage to end up in Courtois' hands too

Torres, ha!

It might be a bit too harsh to criticise him a lot in this match because of the way Chelsea set up, but he was dire earlier on in the game

When you're playing as a lone striker in such a match, your first touch must be impeccable, you must be able to hold up play and bring your midfielders into action

He failed in this task earlier on.

He was better towards the end of the game but there were three or four different occasions when he had a team mate he could have passed to.

Instead he was channeling his inner Messi : he tried to take on 3,4, or even 5 players and just ended up losing the ball!

Ba can't be worse in this role, or can he?

I'm a bit worried about the 0-0 rather than a 1-1 though. I'd have probably preferred Chelsea to be more daring, introduce Ba and Schurrle around 70 mins and try to nick that away goal

Hazard will probably be back next week.

With him and Eto’o, Chelsea's chances of scoring increases immensely

We'll probably play like this next week:

(I'm assuming John Terry doesn't shake off his ankle knack in time)


Azpilicueta – Ivanovic – Cahill – Cole

Ramires – Luiz

Willian – Oscar – Hazard


Yeah, some so-called 'Purists' may say that the game was boing, no goals

This is a different kind of 0-0 though

It was a strategic battle. Atletico play the same style as Chelsea, so they’re not used to controlling the game too. They looked really clueless when on the ball.

Mourinho won this round - this was the first time this season that Atletico failed to score in the Champions League

If you don’t get it, you should go watch basketball next time

( Ok, I lied a bit about that not been boring. So what? Sue me! Throw all your hissy fits after Chelsea refused to lay down and die for the sake of keeping you neutrals entertained.

My English team is in the semi final of the Champions League, yours is not! )

But even Mourinho'd be too smart to underestimate Simeone in the return next week. His side is capable of scoring that away goal which may put Chelsea in trouble

Expect another battle of attrition from two tacticians who have similar philosophy next week.

He who blinks first, loses!

Demba Ba: "And be patient, for indeed, Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good. [11:115] ".




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