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Holymoly   

Fabregas get a haircut ffs. You look like Hugh Grant in Three Weddings...

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Marginally dominant, no Red card, some poor finishing by the oppo, a good finish by Hazard for Goal 1, and it's a 3-0 win, not a 0-3 or 1-4 defeat.  The gap between win big and lose big is not so great in the Prem.

But it was win  :)

For me Pedro was key to this - the 2nd AM (only AM given the way Hazard plays, alternating between 2nd striker and QB).  He was the guy who won the ball in their half and put WBA on the back foot after the awful first 20.  That is what is key to defending and key to not conceding as many goals as we did last year - a playing presence in the oppo half.

The net net on Hazard is missing for 20 mins, but very very good at moments.  Not only shoots early, but is giving the keeper the eyes even from outside the box.  I don't know if anyone thought he would shoot for the 3rd goal, but I bet no one at all thought he might shoot near post.  
The net net on Moses though is that he just ain't good enough.  Nice effort for his goal - cross and follow up.  But if we are going to play a system where the WBs have a core role going forward, they need to be better than Moses.

My sense is that Fabregas was being marked closely for first 60 mins, which is why in turn Azpi stepped up so much and became play-maker.

1 hour ago, GURJ SS said:

Ridiculous from the ref and linesman that, so knocking into a player from behind is allowed now!?

Saying that Chris should have cleared it a lot sooner.

Yes, yes.  But looking at the ridiculous shove from behind on Kante, and an earlier sprint and shoulder charge on him from a player taking no interest in the ball until after Kante had gone down, I guess it is allowed.  I think the ref was commanded to observe the old Ramires penalty and swear 3 times "it is not a foul to know a player over".

11 minutes ago, Holymoly said:

Fabregas get a haircut ffs. You look like Hugh Grant in Three Weddings...

:) but true. Floppy was the school nick name if I recall.

At least in February the low neckline is gone and we don't have that beard from naval to nose.

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I was at the game. Due to finances I barely get to go so was my first game this season.

A few thoughts:

Morata - his movement is insanely good. He barely gets any credit for it, but his movement was key to creating the second two goals and another chance. Physically he needs to bulk up a bit but he is tall and intellegent, and deceptively quick. He will improve and be a top striker for us IMO. 

Giroud - huge upgrade on Bats. Movement strength, power, height, good link up play. Excellent signing.

Conte - he deserved criticism after the last month. His tactics were found out, team selection poor and unable to motivate players. Tonight he finally changed that. Players were pressing higher, had more drive and energy for the game and more focus. And he picked the right team. No more Cahill. Ever. Ever. So credit to Conte, keep on like this and he will keep his job (till the summer at least) and deserve to.

Christensen - wow. Best defender we have. Calm, great on the ball, solid defensively and good passer. As soon as Cahill replaced him our defence looked more vulnerable. Shock horror.

Hope we can build on this in the next few games.

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JaneB   
49 minutes ago, Holymoly said:

Fabregas get a haircut ffs. You look like Hugh Grant in Three Weddings...

I think Cesc can have his hair how ever he likes. 

And it was Four Weddings btw

Edited by JaneB

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Important win after a nervy start. Giroud and Christensen gave us a focal point at either end. Azpilicueta was terrific.

Still not convinced that Fabregas and Kante offer us enough in midfield. We looked a bit ragged at times and Conte won't risk them against stronger opposition. He'll likely play Drinkwater in there alongside.

Was going to complain about what a poor game Moses was having when he sprung into life with a goal. Not sure that'll be enough to redeem him.

Hope that kills for good Conte's attempts to play Hazard as a central striker.

Some interesting games coming up...

 

 

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DannyLB   

It’s clear to see why Conte plays Bakayoko, our midfield is weak. He’s trying to add more power to it, unfortunately Bakayoko is not stepping up to it. 

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Kezza   

Drinkwater could be in between Kante and Fab. Wish he will play more. Ahead if Baka for now at least.

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kev61   
27 minutes ago, DannyLB said:

It’s clear to see why Conte plays Bakayoko, our midfield is weak. He’s trying to add more power to it, unfortunately Bakayoko is not stepping up to it. 

There is a clear disconnect between the manager/coach the board and the owner with us.There seems to be a Mexican standoff that will see Conte gone at the end of the season and a incoming manager that will inherit what?.....

A team that has over achieved with a manager that makes sense.Goodbye cruel world!.

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Hazard - SO good. Just pay him whatever he wants and convince him to stay.

Christensen - Mature beyond his years and a top top defender.

Azpilicueta - Superb last night, true leaders performance.

Rudiger - We look so much more comfortable at the back when he plays ahead of Cahill, Cahill for me, sadly, is past it now.

Pedro - Worked his socks off and did really well, the front 3 with an actual striker is such an improvement on the last couple of months.

Giroud - Decent home debut, tired quickly in the second half, but gives us the target man we wanted.

Morata - Good to see him back and he looks much fresher and closer to the Morata from the start of the season.

 

I'm hopeful last night will be the catalyst for or final push this season and hopefully not too late before for the Barca and Manchester games, but we'll see. Surely Conte will see he has to play 343 now we have 2 proper strikers to choose from and Bakayoko should not be back in this team for quite some time - Kante & Fabregas did ok last night, still not the strongest pairing but against lesser oppo it's fine, in the bigger games they'll struggle, but not sure Drinkwater or Bakayoko would make us much better... Luiz maybe?

Edited by My Blood Is Blue

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jones   
2 minutes ago, My Blood Is Blue said:

Hazard - SO good. Just pay him whatever he wants and convince him to stay.

Christensen - Mature beyond his years and a top top defender.

Azpilicueta - Superb last night, true leaders performance.

Rudiger - We look so much more comfortable at the back when he plays ahead of Cahill, Cahill for me, sadly, is past it now.

Pedro - Worked his socks off and did really well, the front 3 with an actual striker is such an improvement on the last couple of months.

Giroud - Decent home debut, tired quickly in the second half, but gives us the target man we wanted.

Morata - Good to see him back and he looks much fresher and closer to the Morata from the start of the season.

 

I'm hopeful last night will be the catalyst for or final push this season and hopefully not too late before for the Barca and Manchester games, but we'll see. Surely Conte will see he has to play 343 now we have 2 proper strikers to choose from and Bakayoko should not be back in this team for quite some time - Kante & Fabregas did ok last night, still not the strongest pairing but against lesser oppo it's fine, in the bigger games they'll struggle, but not sure Drinkwater or Bakayoko would make us much better... Luiz maybe?

Agree with pretty much everything.

How Hazard has performed lately, despite the poor team form is impressive. 6 in 6 PL games in 2018, despite playing two of them as false nine (the two we lost). Christensen is already our best CB, by some distance. Luiz is suddenly past it, Ampadu ahead of him in the pecking order now. Cahill too for that matter - while I expect Luiz to be sold in the summer, Cahill will likely run down his contract as a back up option.

A few words on Giroud: last night proved how much of an upgrade he is on Michy. Fighting spirit and better link up play than Michy has had in his entire Chelsea career so far. Should have scored on that first chance, but of course our only left footed player got a sitter on his right ...

Morata looking very eager, going for goal and bagged himself an assist. Obviously not made worth of the 57mp he cost, but 10 goals and 5 assists in 1551 minutes (20 games) in the PL is not bad overall, given how he has struggled with injuries and the burden of not having a back up to take over when needed. It is his form and confidence that has been worrying, not him fitting into the way we play. Still believe he can be a very good striker for us, even if he is not the all eggs in one basket kind of striker that Costa and Drogba were.

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