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Michael Tucker

NK Maribor 1 Chelsea 1

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For me, it's one of those games where you shrug your shoulders and say"Ho-Hum. Next."

We've got Schalke next and we are 3 points clear of them and have better GD. We go through regardless.

GD isn't really a factor because direct results between teams trump it.

So if Schalke beat us and we're both on 8pts, they will be in 1st due to having taken 4pts from our two games.

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Khobar   

Not the worst result, although let's be honest I don't think anyone would say we didn't deserve to win.

I don't like to harp on about the ref, but I thought he started well in not giving free kicks for minor contact(I was going to say minor touching but in these days of operation Yewtree) by both sides he suddenly gave a yellow card to Luis for a fine tackle and from therein things went broadly against Chelsea, including a stone wall penalty on Oscar, another arguable one on Costa and a foul for pulling back by Drogba which, frankly, wasn't. Quite a few unpunished fouls by Maribor too.oh, and a good goal disallowed too.

I thought Fabregas had a dreadful night. Caught in posession to often and Maribor simply played the ball around him in midfield. Not going to labour the point as he has been great this season, but I think he should have been subbed on this occasion.

Hazard was magnificent and its somewhat unjust that the main talking point is his missed penalty.

Good all round performance in which circumstances played a part in denying us the win.

If Maribor intended to isolate and pressure Fabregas, then they did a bloody good job and deserve credit. It will be interesting to see what tactical genius Rodgers makes of it on Saturday - if he man marks Fabregas it still leaves Oscar and Hazard to make opportunities for Costa.

Oh, Schurrle really has to start making an impression in these games.he's a far better footballer than he's currently showing.

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Holymoly   

A lot of positives to take out of that. Some brilliant interplay all over the pitch but the biggest negative is our wenger-esque refusal to frigging shoot on sight when we're in good positions.

Hazard was excellent but he hardly ever shoots. Same with Willian.

Tend to agree. Oscar aside we're becoming a little Arsenal-esque in our desire to walk it into the net.

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Bad spell. Another bad game. Not beating Maribor by 4 goals would have been a bad result for the strawberry team.

Hazard and after coming on for H2, Costa and Oscar were good. But the rest were poor. And we should not forget that they missed a few chances including one sitter.

Ramires at FB was the old JM Essien at FB ploy. Which later on morphed into the Ashley Cole as sweeper ploy when the CBs all pushed up and largely stayed up.

Disappointed with Drogba. If he is going to do a job for us this season he has to do it against clubs of this level. Not that he was worse than others, but that this was more of a key test for him.

Not the worst result, although let's be honest I don't think anyone would say we didn't deserve to win.

Which is why we should just have played the kids since the result doesn't matter much.

I am assuming here that JM is worried about our recent form, as are many of us. A second good tonking of Maribor might have given them just the filip that JM thinks they need. Contrary to common perception, JM is not always sypathetic to his players, but just recently he has been. I'm guessing he feels that right not the current lot need some TLC rather than a boot up their arse.
But it turned out an opportunity wasted.

Truth is simple. Not enough first team options.

We got a good enough result in the CL, City didn't. But that just means we are going to need the big squad later this season, not them.

I don't like to harp on about the ref, but I thought he started well in not giving free kicks for minor contact(I was going to say minor touching but in these days of operation Yewtree) by both sides he suddenly gave a yellow card to Luis for a fine tackle and from therein things went broadly against Chelsea, including a stone wall penalty on Oscar, another arguable one on Costa and a foul for pulling back by Drogba which, frankly, wasn't. Quite a few unpunished fouls by Maribor too.oh, and a good goal disallowed too.

Poor ref. It is a popular thing to say in the UK that refs should allow play to carry on. As a result though, most of the fouls that do occur in the Prem happen because defenders know they won't get penalised for them. It is a bit like Sainsbury's announcing that it won't prosecute anyone found stealing less than £5 worth of goods.
Generally CL refs are good in that they set their standards, and don't have the biases that develop in the boot room of the PMGOB during their weekly meetings.

But this ref was poor. When we had those 3 "TV penalties" (easy to call on replay, hard live) turned down in 5 minutes I assumed that UEFA must have given up on the 4th and 5th assistants behind the goal. Yet when we were given a "you could see it from the far end" penalty there was clearly a man in a blue shirt and dark shorts with some stick in his hand near the post staring at the incident from 3 yards. And he carried on staring and didn't react at all. The ref gave it without a word to him.

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Holymoly   

We lack a little something going forward. A bit of drive is missing from the team. Still thought we did enough to win the game though. Hazard was phenomenal in his play... Wished he had scored that penalty.

I feel what we are missing is a credible threat from 18yds apart from Oscar. We appear intent on getting the ball into the 6yd box before going for goal. A little too Arsene for my liking.

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Khobar   

I feel what we are missing is a credible threat from 18yds apart from Oscar. We appear intent on getting the ball into the 6yd box before going for goal. A little too Arsene for my liking.

We did seem to be trying to walk the ball through a packed defence last night. Only Hazard appeared capable of actually doing it.

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Khobar   

Incidentally, I didn't bother watching the game live as I was at the DFS sale - no contest!

I'be always been more of an armchair fan really.

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Not the worst result but leaves us with a must not lose battle at shalke next. I was disappointed on Drogba but the player I'm most concerned about is fabregas. He looked wasted long before the final whistle. I wonder whether Jose will consider starting a middle trio of matic, ramires and Oscar especially given that Oscar and ramires should be fresh alongside matic.

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Bad spell. Another bad game. Not beating Maribor by 4 goals would have been a bad result for the strawberry team.

Hazard and after coming on for H2, Costa and Oscar were good. But the rest were poor. And we should not forget that they missed a few chances including one sitter.

Ramires at FB was the old JM Essien at FB ploy. Which later on morphed into the Ashley Cole as sweeper ploy when the CBs all pushed up and largely stayed up.

Disappointed with Drogba. If he is going to do a job for us this season he has to do it against clubs of this level. Not that he was worse than others, but that this was more of a key test for him.

Which is why we should just have played the kids since the result doesn't matter much.

I am assuming here that JM is worried about our recent form, as are many of us. A second good tonking of Maribor might have given them just the filip that JM thinks they need. Contrary to common perception, JM is not always sypathetic to his players, but just recently he has been. I'm guessing he feels that right not the current lot need some TLC rather than a boot up their arse.

But it turned out an opportunity wasted.

Truth is simple. Not enough first team options.

We got a good enough result in the CL, City didn't. But that just means we are going to need the big squad later this season, not them.

Poor ref. It is a popular thing to say in the UK that refs should allow play to carry on. As a result though, most of the fouls that do occur in the Prem happen because defenders know they won't get penalised for them. It is a bit like Sainsbury's announcing that it won't prosecute anyone found stealing less than £5 worth of goods.

Generally CL refs are good in that they set their standards, and don't have the biases that develop in the boot room of the PMGOB during their weekly meetings.

But this ref was poor. When we had those 3 "TV penalties" (easy to call on replay, hard live) turned down in 5 minutes I assumed that UEFA must have given up on the 4th and 5th assistants behind the goal. Yet when we were given a "you could see it from the far end" penalty there was clearly a man in a blue shirt and dark shorts with some stick in his hand near the post staring at the incident from 3 yards. And he carried on staring and didn't react at all. The ref gave it without a word to him.

Yep, it's a bad spell alright and there's a growing feeling that while our best players are really good, (either GK, Ivan, Terry, Azpi, Cesc, (mostly), Hazard, Costa), there are a number of others who are sometimes good, sometimes OK and, not infrequently, not good enough - Schurrle, Willian, Salah, For example. Others like Ramires and Oscar I like basically, although both can perform poorly on occasion as well.

Maybe there will still be more squad refinement necessary before Jose has got a final collection that he feels truly satisfied with?

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Incidentally, I didn't bother watching the game live as I was at the DFS sale - no contest!

I'be always been more of an armchair fan really.

I'm just sad "bakeoff" is finished.

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