Love your write up of the City game and Mourinho's interview.
First Knockout Round - First Leg
Let's be honest here about last night, we were sitting waiting to see what kind of performance Chelsea would put into the game. The world was watching in hope we'd slip up, the media were hungry for more Chelsea drama and with Atletcio not having lost at home in over a year, we definitely had a great match ahead. Instead and to their credit, Chelsea played well, put in a much better all round performance and won this one with ease.
Jose Mourinho surprised us all with his formation but not so much his selection after revealing that Costa would start against the club that shot him into stardom, and understandably Remy was bought onto the bench to offer something a little different if need be.
It wasn't so much the team selected and a certain Cesc Fabregas being played in a very unfamiliar position, but the formation of a flat 4-3-2-1 that surprised everyone, except the Chelsea players. With Mikel and Matic given the instructions to sit in front of the back four and not to stray from their duty it was back tobasics to get some solidity in defence. As the game progressed it became apparent that Chelsea were playing quite a narrow midfield three when we never had the ball and for the most part it worked.
Chelsea lined up quite defensively, but it was nothing new as weve seen this before in their away ties in the Champions League
With the ball it was really effective as Rodriguez and Azpilicueta were looking to get forward, Griezmann was buzzing in and around the front the main two of Costa and Hazard and Chelsea dominated the game. not no much the possession, they created numerous chances and had over 15 shots on goal in the game with just less than half on target. It was signs of encouragement from Chelsea.
Matic was busy all match, Hazard had his best game he has had in weeks and Diego Costa played really well. There were numerous instances that Costa is very much understanding his teammates with the constant link up the play. It still looks to me as though he is apprehensive at times in and around the box but the bloke is class and goals with continue to flow.
He was unlucky in the first half where he cut inside in the box and forced the keeper into a great save, he was through on goal a couple of times but under pressure couldn't quite get that killer strike on goal. Like I said it will come, but there is more than enough to suggest he will continue to play a massive role at Chelsea.
Isn't it funny though that with most of the headlines being about Costa, Luis and Griezmann, Costa did step upto the plate and grabbed the decisive goals and last night was the man of the match, His first goal was a gem. Miranda's back pass found Costa 35 yards from goal. With Hazard making a run to take one of the defenders away, Costa was head down and head into the box, under no real pressure he looked up and drilled his shot under the keeper and into the net from 15 yards. Great finish. As soon as the goal went in it seemed Chelsea down.
Atleti had their fair share of possession last night but found it difficult to open Chelsea's defence up and this was another thing that for the most part, was encouraging again.
If the ball was played up to their forward line then once more led by the hard working JT, closed the ball down. Rodriguez, Cesar and Zouma did the same and it was really good to see. Let's think back to the game, Courtois had a few saves to make but none of them ever really worried him or caused him any problems.
Chelsea killed the game off and you could say won the tie with Costa's second goal. Again slick passing in midfield found Oscar and with his instant reverse pass across Costa's body, Costa was onto it right side of the box and again, first time, he struck the ball cleanly into the bottom corner giving the keeper no chance. Fantastic pass from Oscar getting in behind the front two supporting them.
It was game over. it was comfortable for Chelsea. A professional performance and one that Jose and supporters can take many positives from.