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Michael Tucker

Chelsea 5 Stoke City 0

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The first half hour and in fact most of the game was 433 I'm pleased to say.  Indeed some might say 253 given how our FBs were playing as FBs always have done, and pushing forwards.  Even when Azpi did drop back into the back 3, there was no DM covering the area in front of the CBs, and Kante/Baka & Drinkwater were able to hunt down the man on the ball instead of offering needless protection.
All we need to do now is to play that way against full strength teams.

433=5-0 it seems, though of course the very weakened Stoke side had much to do with that.  Their game plan appeared from the start to keep the score down to 5-0 max.  They achieved that.  Given we beat them 0-4 at Stoke, I guess they can say mission achieved.  

Willian and Pedro were the stars, while Drinkwater showed that he can play alongside Kante and Baka showed he can play instead of Kante.
Neither Morata nor Bats impressed, and most of the rest of the team had little to do.  
Should Zappacosta or Moses be starting, well this was a game much in Zappacosta's favour.  His real pace means it is much much harder to pick him up lurking just inside the oppo half as opposed to Moses standing on the corner of the box.  The irony for Moses is that his career has been pretty much finished by Conte picking him so often.  He has gone from a wannabe AM with little cutting edge but hard work to a workaday WB with nothing particular to offer at all.  Much like Kenedy, but at least Moses has been picked for a season or two.

3-0 up, cue the very soft penalty.  Funny that.  The defender has the ball in his control, runs with it and Willian puts his foot in, maybe touches it but brings the defender down.  Defence free-kick?  or Not?  But never a penalty.

 

23 hours ago, JaneB said:

Dont like to see one of my favourite ex Chelsea players doing badly as a manager though........apart from this afternoon obviously. 

Hughes lost any loyalty I had with that Birmingham game where his players set out to crock Robben,

29 minutes ago, xCELERYx said:

Willian likes to dribble but lacks guile and decision making at times when it comes to a final ball. That's not going to change at this point in his career. However, he was more direct (as was Pedro) with this performance and it made a difference. We need more of that, opposed to dribbling into dead end positions and holding the ball for too long. Pass and move, pass and move.  

Willian was easily man of the match and more proof that he is back to his best form which made him so phenomenal in the last 3 seasons.
Pedro was pretty damn good too with a fantastic finish (again).  Confirmation of just how good they have always been.

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10 hours ago, Blue Rod said:

Nice, neat and comfortable. Just the way it should be against such a line up that Stoke produced. Besides the goal, the team looks fitter and sharper.

Willian appears back to his nimble self even when he couldn't complete the moves.  But the standout performance in terms of progress belongs to Drinkwater. From a purely objective point of view I do not see why Bakayoko should start any match ahead of a half fit Drinkwater at this rate.

I think both Willian and Hazard (in other matches of course) could be guilty of overplaying sometimes. Even when you've successfully dribbled, an early pass might have given the opposition a bigger problem. We should have more movements when either of them has the ball. Instead of teammates waiting Hazard or Willian to take the ball to them, their movements should create better options for a pass. I think this is one reason the two players may not be having the end product that their effort deserves. 

We've only just passed the halfway mark, but if the table looks like this at the end of May I wouldn't be too disappointed at all. 

Me neither Rod.

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1 hour ago, Droy was my hero said:

Hughes lost any loyalty I had with that Birmingham game where his players set out to crock Robben,

Yep, agree totally and there were other occasions too. Blackburn comes to mind.

Edited by PeteRobbo

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30 minutes ago, PeteRobbo said:

Yep, agree totally and there were other occasions too. Blackburn comes to mind.

Whoops - I meant Blackburn, not Birmingham.  Long time ago now.  But there have been other occasions too.

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4 hours ago, Droy was my hero said:

Whoops - I meant Blackburn, not Birmingham.  Long time ago now.  But there have been other occasions too.

Yeh, for sure. Bit of a "boyo" is our Mark.

Edited by PeteRobbo

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22 hours ago, PeteRobbo said:

Yeh, for sure. Bit of a "boyo" is our Mark.

Yep. Personally, I loved the way Sparky played the game. A terrific competitor, a la Wisey: Ask no quarter, and give no quarter. He manages in a similar fashion, and I can't bag him for that.

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