Massive win for Chelsea last night against Valencia. It was a must-win game and Chelsea’s big guns came up big. Here are my thoughts on the game:
- Massive decision by Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas to drop Frank Lampard for Chelsea’s biggest game of the season. AVB is the first manager since Ranieri to drop Lampard for such a big game and signaled to everyone that the era of player power is over at Stamford Bridge.
- Heading into the game all the talk was about whether Chelsea would even qualify for the knockout stages. By the time the final whistle had went Chelsea amazingly ended up topping Group E, which means they will miss all the big European sides in the round of 16 draw
- When Didier Drogba is in the mood, he is still one of the best strikers in the world, even at 33. He was terrific last night and scored two massive goals. The first goal after only 3 minutes removed any tension from Stamford Bridge and got Chelsea off to a great start.
- AVB’s decision to play a midfield of Meireles, Romeu and Ramires worked. Raul Meireles ran his socks off in midfield while Oriol Romeu was terrific, showing what good signings they were this summer.
- Chelsea’s defence has been lambasted for their poor play, but that is clean sheets against Newcastle and Valencia. Against Valenica, AVB seemed to abandon the high line that has caused problems all season and it cannot be a coincidence that John Terry and Ashley Cole had their best games in weeks last night aftert eh tactical change
- David Luiz has got a lot of stick for his play recently, but I thought he played really well against Valencia. He stayed at home more, and rarely looked to get upfield with the ball, instead focusing on his defensive responsibilities. And it worked.
- Petr Cech made several big saves at important moments in the game to deny Valencia the foothold they were looking for to get back into the game.
What did you think of Chelsea’s performance against Valencia?