Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Champions League QF: Chelsea vs Manchester United Recap (1st Leg)

1 – 2
Chelsea vs Manchester United

Javier Fernandez scores Man U’s 1st goal during the 1st half.   Didier Drogba equalizes in the 2nd  half but just seconds after, Man U strikes back with Park Ji Sung scoring the 2nd goal.

I never really paid much attention to the English teams.  I had this unfounded perception that Chelsea is one of the weaker teams (as they just seem to coast thru Round of 16 ).  But now, looking at their squad, they actually have a lot of strong attacking players.  You have Fernando Torres, Didier Drogba, Nikolas Anelka, Frank Lampard, etc.  How come they don’t score a lot of goals?  I know I didn’t watch their games, especially in the group stage, but didn’t they have draws or 1-0 wins?

According to the commentator, Carlo Ancelloti seems “to be struggling to find the right combination of strikers, ever since Torres came in as it changed the whole team dynamics.”  Is he like the “Beckham” of Real Madrid? (Remember the club’s Galacticos era where they put in too much money on the offense with Figo, Ronaldo, Zidane, Raul, etc. and not much on defense.  And after signing Beckham they haven’t won the Champions League ever since). 

I also wondered what the logic behind substituting Torres just before the 1st half ended was?  It’s kinda early to make substitutions unless it’s because of an injury.  If it wasn’t, then that must really affect Torres’ confidence level with his “goal-drought” problem.  Won’t things like not being one of starting players and being substituted too soon makes you think the coach doesn’t have confidence in you?  But then again, he is a professional player, so I guess, that comes with the territory.  I feel bad for him, all this pressure.  He really needs to work with the team.

Chelsea seems to be under-playing their potential.  Is it because there is no team fluidity? (for me, it doesn’t really mean much if you have all the best players in the world but if they don’t know how to play together, you won’t the best team). 

So we say good bye to Chelsea as Man U moves on to the semi-finals.

Final Aggregate Score:
Chelsea:  1
Manchester United: 3

Here are numbers:

Man. United

Goals scored
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
32' 45''
Possession (time)
29' 34''
Possession (%)
Fouls committed
Yellow cards
Red cards

33rd minute – Javier Hernandez (Manchester United)
77th minute – Didier Drogba (Chelseas)
77th minute – Park Ji Sung (Manchester United)

Yellow Cards:
John O’Shea (Machester United)
            Ramires (Chelsea) – sent off after 2nd yellow card
            Florent Malouda (Chelsea)
            John Terry (Chelsea)
            Nemanja Vidic (Machester United)
            Patrice Evra (Machester United)

Read 1st Leg Match Preview Here
Read 1st Leg Match Recap Here
Read 2nd Leg Match Preview Here

Great articles on the match here:

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