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Michael Tucker

Atletico Madrid 0 Chelsea 0

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Please use this thread for all posts relating to our Champions League Semi Final match against Atletico Madrid at Vicente Calderon, before, during and after the game.

Moderators and our legal people will be keeping an eye on things. Keep it intelligent.

Please note that this un-moderated forum is a privilege and its abuse will result in the suspension of your account.

The match is scheduled to kick off at 19:45 GMT, Tuesday, 22nd April, 2014.

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DLU   

It's going to be hard after a disappointing weekend, but if we pull ourselves together and stay focussed we can do it. The main thing is not to get caught out early on like against PSG and stay solid at the back. If they score early like they did against Barca or like PSG did against us, they'll have us where they want us and can play their game.

The longer we keep the ship steady, the more this tie will shift in our favour. Also, they haven't been behind in their two previous ties, so if we score first, they'll have a completely new challenge to face. They conceded fairly early against Real in the Copa, and were inept at chasing the game. It's just not their strength. They won only two games this season in which they did not scored first, both against fairly weak teams. But even a 0-0 would be a good result and will make Atletico nervous as they're quite unexperienced at this stage of the competition.

I would play a three man CM including Luiz, Ramires and Lampard, with Willian and - hopefully - Hazard on the wings.

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I wouldn't be surprised if we stank the game for everyone watching. A boring game, a draw, so we can bring it back to the Bridge on an even keel.

It doesn't matter how you get to a final,so long as you get there.

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Very worried.

Fearing them overrunning us right now. Who are we to play? Ramires-Luiz at CM? God give me strength.

Torres/Ba up front?

Too many central positions where we're no better than average at the moment. Will be interesting to see how we approach the game. Not sure we can afford another Napoli/PSG scenario....

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Massive game, forget yesterday - not relevant in the slightest. As long as the players remember that then we're in business.

I agree it's key we start off rock-solid here, 0-0 after 30 mins is fine by me. However I would say that 0-0 would be a dangerous result for us and 1-1-1 is far preferable.

Things to be concerned about are the booked players - Mikel, Lampard, Luiz, Willian if I remember right - and the midfield setup here as it's crucial to how we do.

The game will be intense throughout as only a CL semi can be and every single player will have to be on the money.

Time for Eto'o to score his first away goal for us and I think he's in with a great chance of doing it. Hazard will be a miss but hopefully fine for the second leg.

I agree that a PSG away result will not do here.

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2-2 at their home. 1-1 at ours. We head to the finals, Take out Real Madrid after Ramires dribbles past 5 players chipping their keeper, giving heart attacks to the masses, Mourinho lifts the big one with the big club at his place. The scouse celebrate the Prem and we celebrate the Champions League. Chelsea FC making the successes of others look miniscule in comparison. Chelsea FC, Making History not Reliving it.

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2-2 at their home. 1-1 at ours. We head to the finals, Take out Real Madrid after Ramires dribbles past 5 players chipping their keeper, giving heart attacks to the masses, Mourinho lifts the big one with the big club at his place. The scouse celebrate the Prem and we celebrate the Champions League. Chelsea FC making the successes of others look miniscule in comparison. Chelsea FC, Making History not Reliving it.

I'll have some of that.

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cii99mn1   

Fearing them overrunning us right now. Who are we to play? Ramires-Luiz at CM? God give me strength.

Is it really the central midfield that's been the obvious problem the last couple of months? Where we have struggled in my eyes is in creating and finishing our chances, especially against teams that 'park the bus'. Our defence has been rock solid and the stats back that up as well. Surely or central midfielders have been part of that? Of course they should help out in the attacking department too, but most of the blame should be with the strikers and the attacking midfielders.

I have read some comments by Man C supporters after they dropped some vital points and they blame a lack of heart in their players. We are the opposite: we blame our technical ability. I don't know about you but I rather be us - it feels so much better winning then. And I can almost guarantee that whatever happens both Luiz and Ramires will show a lot of heart.

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Is it really the central midfield that's been the obvious problem the last couple of months? Where we have struggled in my eyes is in creating and finishing our chances, especially against teams that 'park the bus'. Our defence has been rock solid and the stats back that up as well. Surely or central midfielders have been part of that? Of course they should help out in the attacking department too, but most of the blame should be with the strikers and the attacking midfielders.

I have read some comments by Man C supporters after they dropped some vital points and they blame a lack of heart in their players. We are the opposite: we blame our technical ability. I don't know about you but I rather be us - it feels so much better winning then. And I can almost guarantee that whatever happens both Luiz and Ramires will show a lot of heart.

Central midfield has, for me personally, been one of our problem areas ever since Ballack left and Essiens injuries finally got the better of him. That's years ago...

The players we've bought for CM haven't been world class for several years now and it's an area where we have players who fail with the basics.

Matic is a great signing and a player that's dynamic and has technique and ability on the ball. We need a partner to him. For me a Kroos-Gundogan type of player would be ideal.

Because our midfield play is so slow it means our attacking players are always receiving the ball well covered by the opposition or it's always played a fraction too late. So the chances we create are always harder to convert from.

No wonder we've been at our best when we play opposition that are a bit more expansive and not as rigid at the back. Then that extra second it takes us to play the ball won't mean the world.

But you are right when you're saying we also lack a striker. For me our CM issues are just as bad as our striker issues.

A player of Ramires or Torres quality can't be an automatic starter for your club when you want to play with quick incisive passing. It ruins the whole strategy and set-up.

But I'm afraid Jose won't improve on Ramires. He seems to like Ramis fighting spirit. For me it's not nearly enough.

Ivanovic and Azpi are also players who, although good players in isolation, makes us worse and they limitations doesn't go well with our style.

Azpi being right-footed means we have zero penetration from the left and it's easy for our opponents to close down Hazard (as there is no LB threat to close down). Ivanovic couldn't execute a half decent cross or pass even if his life depended on it. We need atleast another fullback who's comfortable with the ball.

In an ideal world I'd buy two fullbacks, two strikers and at least one CM. But that'll never materialise.

I'll be pleased with one FB, one CM and a striker. It's a step in the right direction. But they need to be top class players with great ball skills and passing game.

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