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Stoke 0 Chelsea 4

Chelsea recorded an emphatic win at the Britannia Stadium to keep their Champions League ambitions intact.

Rafa Benitez made six changes for the trip to Stoke, compared to the eleven that started against Queens Park Rangers. Amongst them were Petr Cech, who returned from injury, Demba Ba, our January transfer window signing and Ryan Bertrand playing in midfield. On the bench, having played 45 minutes for the U21 side was John Terry, side-lined since early November with a knee injury.

First Half - Chelsea started well but Stoke had the first chance when a shot from Wilkinson was deflected straight to Jones but with the goal at his mercy he shot wide. The early chance seemed to inspire Stoke ad Chelsea were being pinned back with the home side spreading the ball out wide to the dangerous looking Jon Walters. The pressure was such that Demba Ba was forced to make two decent clearances.

Begovic then produced a decent save after Chelsea engineered a chance which resulted in Lampard striking a shot, from a Ba flick, from twelve yards out that the keeper kept out with his outstretched leg. Lampard then provided a great ball for Ba to strike but Begovic produced yet another good save to keep it at 0-0.

Now on top Chelsea were pushing to get that opening goal but as half time approached Cech was forced into a fine save from a rasping long range shot from Whelan. Just before the break though Chelsea were to take the lead when Azpilicueta delivered a telling cross that looked to be heading towards Mata only for Jon Walters to spectacularly beat his own keeper.

Second Half - Chelsea started the half well and a move involving Ba and Ashley Cole saw the full back force another good save out of Begovic, once again with an outstretched leg. Stoke were denied a penalty, correctly, when the female assistant, Sian Massey, advised the referee, Andre Marriner, that no offence had been committed by Azpilicueta, on Etherington, as the player was in fact offside.

Chelsea then doubled their lead courtesy of another own goal from Jon Waters when the Stoke player inadvertently saw the ball strike his head and fly into the net. Chelsea then stretched the lead to 3-0, in the 64th minute, when Lampard scored from the spot after Mata was fouled by Robert Huth in the area. The penalty saw Lampard become the second highest scorer in Chelsea`s history with 194 goals.

A ball to the far post, headed down by Bertrand saw Begovic produce another great save from Lampard. Ba was substituted by Torres before Eden Hazard made it 4-0 with a quite exquisite goal. The Belgian slipped past two challenges before unleashing a wonderful shot that beat Begovic from something like 35 yards out.

With the game safe Rafa introduced John Terry to give our captain some much needed game time replacing Juan Mata. Stoke won a late penalty when Terry got too close to Walters and fired well over the bar summing up his day.

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The Journalist

Writer: Merlin Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday January 12 2013

Time: 4:52PM

Your Comments

Uncle Merlin this has to be a record. this is fastest match report i have seen posted..Yikes the match just must really be fired up by the win!!
lol - magical powers at my finger-tips!
Game won. Quick article.
we played really well .second half i was impressed .. i must admit i didnt think benitez got his selection right , but seems i was totally wrong , i am happy i was wrong
Don capon
RAFA OUT.....I don't care if we win 10-0!
Blue in Colorado
torres has 16 percent vote for man of match , i am really confused
Don capon
One thing i can say about tubby is that he's extremely inconsistent, win two games, lose one' he really need to stick with a strong starting 11 and use the weak players as subs.
Torres on the bench, Cech between the sticks, Lamps in the team, Terry back on the bench. The men are back in play. ~ Let's hope Torres gets the message and does a Collocini
Congratulation Boys!!! Good win against very strong team. What a goal from Hazard beautiful....
can't pick between hazard or lamps for man of the match
I hate CR7
I still think beating Swansea 2-0 will be tough, but if we can keep Cech, Terry, Lamps, Mata & Ba fit we must surely finish 3rd.
Eden hazard.keep it up.i must say i was very very impressed by your contribution 2day.i feel woah in my heart.thanks rafa n the night/day
I was particularly thrilled by Hazard's all round play today,capped off with that scintilating strike...he is worth every penny of that 32mil spent on him. Lamps today made to be thinking twice about his contract situation...the board should really take im to the negotiating table. Cole too,simply a marvellous LB. I thought Rafa made that Ba sub quite early,unlike in that Swans game. That bloke can really be a joke sometimes.
Hazard's scored the goal from 35, 30 or 25 yards?
first of all...we need to stop the ryan experiment....he is waste there no point in playing him much match we need to make our managers realize that he wont work out there....and dont feck marin and oscar career....god they both are good talented players and let them play and get some time play or else they wont get time to gel with our them regulary...and in the end no matter what happen torres and rafa has to go way they should there in next season...
Oops!! *typos* 'negotiation' not 'negotiating' please...and also 'lamps made me to be thinking twice...'
The difference is Ba. He was winning ball in the air.
We were pretty poor for the first half hour, but I'm glad they didn't get rattled and kept pushing. This squad has plenty of talent; it needs to show more character. I believe we saw that today.
Lampard man of the Match,Hazard close second.
Ryan played cause Rafa wanted to make sure Stoke don't get behind our left side and put crosses in and for me it worked, he his much more aggressive and energetic than Oscar but his final ball/confidence is not good as compared to Oscar. Defensively/Going forward: Ryan is not as good as Cole we all know that.
Hazard screamer!!!!!What a goal!!!!I love that fourth goal.....nice game though,thanks to walters.....
Hazard,imo,is the MOTM. He was involved all through the game and his goal from an open play speaks volume. Iva passed on the match villain of the day to Walter,poor lad...lolz! A clean sheet and an emphatic victory away to a side that has not lost on home soil for almost a year now,is a welcome development. If only Rafa can be consistent in making team impressive team selection like today's,bar Berty,we have what it takes to end the season in fantastic fashion.
Great result by the lads today just got to develop some consistency at home now away performances have been superb.2 goals at Swansea ain't impossible hazard fantastic goal and lampard was man of match for me outstanding.good to see jt and cech back aswell
Chelsea ken
LOL at Jon Walters on the MOTM poll !! LMAO!! XD
But Hazard was MOTM for me. What a performance.
wtf did tores do to get 3% voter as motm. For of motm is lamps followed by ramires
Blue India
U still didn't get the point shlok27? Look at the score table! lol
If we can win on wednesday against Soton,then we might very well be turning the season round from its head. One worrisome circumstance is our home form,do you guys think it has anything to do with the home crowd hostilities and boo-boys??
I am happy we won, we'll probably win the next game comprehensively too, but beyond that? Nobody knows, I hope tubby doesn't ruin it with his selections and oscar will be hopping mad by now, I have never heard of an in form brazil no.10 sitting on the bench and not featuring in a game when 2014 world cup is coming soon, marin should be getting 15 minutes on every match day win or lose, why dis torres have to play today when rafa says he has a bug, or did the bug miraculously made an exit after the swansea game? I guess not
I love that linesgirl. If not because of her, our great achievement tonight might be ruined by the referee, as always
Is jon walters our new striker to backup ba?? Am impressed by his
1st half you wanted him out. End of 2nd half you thanked him. That's the definition of Frank Lampard today. He'll keep on giving his best for our beloved Chelsea if given the chances
ramires in that DM is better than luiz we can all see d difference today, d two own goal make it easier for us, mata should also learn how to play with BA, good luck gezzers
Apart from Hazard's goal, we stopped playing good football when.. well, you know what I mean
Yes Tala4good, David Luiz should remain at the back. Enough with the debate of where his best position were
prettyguy i got the point....yaa im happy we won....but im tired of ryan experiment and the useless use of torres...why rafa bought him at 70 min when we were winning and he bought ba at 80 when we were loosing...its so bias that one player who is crap sheet a grabage to be thrown out is given such good tretment while the other who are far far better than are overlooked eg oscar marin .... i hope the bloddy asshole leave our club asap...he is a cancer to our club...the more i see him i feel like go and punch him...hope he get injured badly dont wanna see his face at chelsea again...
@Ohans Yes, definitely.
I am Number 7
if we are winning games such as away to stoke city deapite lack of real winger on left hand side (no, i wont critcise bertrand. because it was a tactic and result shows it worked upto some extent) in then we really need to understand that we are real powerhouse in terms of QUALITY. AND IT IS AS CLEAR NOW AS DAYLIGHT THAT REASON BEHIND OUR POOR HOME FORM IS THE HOSTILITY OF OUR FANS AT THE BRIDGE.. AND IT ALSO SHOWS CLEARLY THAT EVEN IF FANS BOO RAFA, THE TEAM CLEARLY FEEL THE PRESSURE AND UNSETTELED.
Ohans, The home crowd isn't that hostile. We beat Villa 8-0. The crowd only turned on Benitez on Wednesday after the second goal went in, which was in the last minute, and even then Chelsea still managed to put the ball in the net. The problem was Torres obviously, but both Mata & Ramires missed glorious chances and we gave away 2 ridiculous goals. It certainly doesn't help when you have no Cech, Terry, Lamps or Ba in the team. It's not the crowds fault.
and if this protest/hostility continues then our players will slow start feeling relieved playing on away days than at stamford bridge.. and given our away form mark my words.. WE WILL PLAY IN COC FINAL AT WEMBLEY
The booboys are really costin us points,right now am scared our next 2games is at the bridge..
The booboys are really costin us points,right now am scared our next 2games is at the bridge..
Ba is Lampard's new Drogba.
Rafa needs to make early changes when things are not working. That's his main fault.
Shlok27 just hasn't got a clue and is quite pathetic.I wonder does his name stand for Sad,hopeless,loser,only kid.
When Lamps was about to take the PK, I heard Commentators were saying "Jon Walters should take that pk for his hat trick" AHAHAH LOL I almost died on that chair LMFAO LOL... Good vision and passing by Super Frank, he's been superb this game, his passing almost dictated the game for us... Mata and Hazard were also superb...
Hilarious. GREAT analysis, FV. As always. Let me guess: and Drogba is Ba's new Lampard? Oh wait...
You re right, some extent though,Torres clearly doesnt cut it esp. when we are up against a side that sits back and a tough tackling defense. Ba makes a big difference in the team...but considering the obvious fact that Ba did not play most of the away wins,it boils down to the fact that our players are a bit comfortable and free from undue pressure when we are playing away.
Its not about the hostility at home,yes maybe the players are pressured but the main reason is the approach of the opposition team. Chelsea team and players look more comfortable playing on the counter attack,rather than holding possession and trying to break the opposition team. Teams that come to the bridge look to sit deep, and hand possession to us while they break on the counter. We tend to find it difficult when teams take such approach. That's basically the major reason for our shortcomings at home of late.
Besides we trashed Villa 8-0 at the same Bridge people deem hostile.
What's the chances that our short comings at home are actually due to the number of fans booing the manager or players during the match. Before ordering after the match go ahead, but during?? People should be ashamed. Spoken with lots of other fans, some of whom have visited the bridge recently and they think our fan base has become a complete joke. The boo boys blame everyone but themselves!
Great win, Finally saw the best of Hazard...been waiting for this for a long time. He finally put his talents into good use. Keep it up Boiii
Honestly fellow fans, the language some people use on here has no place in any reasoned debate. Merlin, for the sake of Vital's integrity, please start banning or at least suspending people. Wanting an individual out of our club is one thing, wishing them physical harm is something else. It is the language of the gutter, only used by people too twisted, lazy or thick to verbally state the reasons why they don't want any individual. This is a British based site, a country where we we have a culture of debating fiercely without resorting to threats of violence & where those who advocate it are denied the platform to continue doing so. KTBFFH.
Bizarre_Blue, you are talking garbage. The odd person may shout abuse - that happens everywhere - but the only booing which took place during the match on wednesday was when Torres went off, so as he had finished playing, Torres can't use booing as an excuse for an appalling performance. The atmosphere became really hostile towards Benitez only after the 2nd goal went in in injury time. Even then the fans didn't boo the players, and during the booing Chelsea actually had their best move of the match resulting in a perfectly good Ba goal being disallowed. So I'm not having it that the crowd are to blame. The vast majority of the time they are cheering the team on. Keeping Torres on for 81 minutes and Brana having a brain freeze were to blame.
The word is Torres is telling Spanish papers he wants to go back to Atletico. What about we give them Torres, Courtois and 20m. Good times are a coming!
They should have sold Torres, not Sturridge. These idiots we are having at management level...
Blue Day
Trashin villa 8-0 was all thanks to that early goal which did not give the booboys any option to do their job..why didnt we trash mancity,fulham,qpr and swansea??
Ken4CFC, Well Man City are the Champions of England and 0-0 was actually a good result. But I will give you that one. The atmosphere at that game was very hostile from the beginning. The Fulham game much less so and the rest not at all.
One thing that is certain is starting Torres in any game is a bad move,moreso when we play at home where teams defend deeply,a bane in Torres' attacking abilities (if he got any nowadays). I think the last home game will,ofcos it should,serve as a lesson to Rafa not to start Torres ahead of Ba again. No matter how hostile the home support is,it cant be compared to that of the away supporters. Considering we had a good result away to Leeds, a renouned hostile ground,it means the poor home form has little to do with hostile home fans. That doesnt justify the SB fans actions though,nothing does,not anymore,so the booing has got to stop. You never know,it maybe having a negative impact on the players psychologically.
Say what you want Cobham, but do you honestly think the continuing chants of Rafa out and the booing of Torres (happened again today) are helping? We are not a fan base that is United behind the team like we once were. Increasingly people are turning on our players/staff/owner and the result is that this club is slowly being divided. I've said on many occassion and maintain my position that I hate Rafa for his negative treatment of us Chelsea fans in the past, but I would never boo him whilst he's in charge. Same goes for Torres. The guy is a waste of space 90% of the time right now, but booing him leaving the field?? People should be ashamed. The rest of the players hear that and it can break morale. Many of the players are friends with Torres and seeing his treatment will only make them feel like they too are at fault for not being able to help their team mate. This creates a lack of confidence and seeds of doubt. When up against the wall we need that morale, solidarity and confidence to pull us through!
Potential new spaniard in the team. Not sure how true this is but apparently we've offered celta Vigo 10m euros for Iago Aspas. I will try to find out more. Well played today lads, lets keep going and we will finish in the top 3 and win a cup of sorts. Oh and how Ba offers us so much more, brilliant signing.
@KenCFC The early goal also made the game pretty easy for us as well,as we destroyed Villa's plans of sitting deep and defending. Like i said earlier teams look to sit deep and defend when they come to the bridge,and this current Chelsea team play better on the counter attack. Opposition team let us have possession of the ball,and look to score goals on the counter. We find it harder to break teams down when they give us possession of the ball and sit deep. That has been the major reason for our short comings this season. I think with the acquisition of Ba,that might probably be a thing of the past as we now possess aerial presence in the box.
Pick of the day...Stoke city fans booing our lads in possession of the ball and chanting 'boring boring' Chelsea...Just when we string our best move of the game,and Lamps almost seals it with a goal. Lovely stuff.
@Bizzare. I'm not one to boo the team either,and i have no place whatsoever to criticize fans when they boo the board or Rafa. Like i have said countless times,emotions are involved here,and they feel hurt by decisions made by the board/owner. I have gone to games,and sitting beside me are tourist fans who are basically only interested in taking pictures,and i'm busy singing my lungs out. Its annoying to see but i don't teach them how to support the club they love. I for one have said i will never accept tubby,but doesn't mean ill throw blind criticism around. You trace it back to the decision made by the board which has ultimately created division within fans,after fans clamored they didn't want Rafa. So its understandable why they feel hurt and aggrieved.
So we should expect to be on the losing side when we play "park the bus" teams at SB??
Yea lovely stuff reminds me of the opposite,those days when we do sing "u know what we are,we are champions of europe" but now everything has gone sour
We should expect to have a hard game on our hands...I also remember clarifying on my last sentence that it might be a thing of the past with the acquisition of a player with aerial presence in Ba,as we can take a more direct approach.
We still sing that at every game Ken.
Our formation is shaped like an arrow (especially at the attacking half ) with our striker being the arrow head. As we all know ,when the arrow head isn't sharp, its hard for the Arrow/attack to hit bulls eye. That's exactly the difference between Torres and Ba. Ba gave that system a meaning and a chance make it or even create space for the whole team to get their chance but Torres destroys it. For people still expecting a miracle from Torres, your dream is a real as Donald Trump's Barber.. Good win guys.
Spot on @Bizzare..... Nothing on earth can make booing your own team or player sensible, even for 1 second, it's still stupid.... I'm just glad we won today, let the boo boys keep waxing stronger in their naivety...
Eden MotM. He is pure class and speed out there, Second goes to the AR with the ponytail. didn't miss a single call. I'd still like to see more of Oscar and Marin, I'd hate to lose either one as we did Borini and Stoch. Lamps at HM seems to be working just fine..I'd prefer it over Mikel or Luiz. Dicey first 30 minutes, but a well played match after the jitters went away.
Sure we do nely but not with same tempo and passion like we do in days gone bye..the energy has been channeled into booing
Forgive ma curiousity,i only read the former part of your comment and felt the urgency to reply as i was a tad busy then...its good we have an option,so my fingers are crossed but that does not justify the boos during matches
We played with a lot of character today and the games continue to present more evidence that retaining lamps and cole, albeit on a lower salary is still crucial. I can understand the constraints in terms of FFP, but having them for 30-40 games per season for the next 2 seasons as squad players or even starters is not too much to ask for considering the leadership qualities, character and culture they bring to them. We've proven we can't win titles without Drogba this season. We could spend a season or 2 until Demba, Lukaku and/or another striker allows u to reach those heights again. We are yet to replace Cole and Lampard with the current talents available in the squad. Doesn't it make sense to at least offer rolling contracts until Ryan Bertrand/a new left back can at least replace Cole and we prove we can replace Lampard in midfield?
Who said that women don't know the offside rule ???? Anyone ???
Thank God fort that lady linesman,andre marriner could have screwed us just as the refs has done all season..that call was really the turning point
Bizarre_Blue, the only flaw in your argument about the booing of Torres affecting the other players is they had their best spell in the game AFTER Torres was booed off. Why? Because the poor performances have nothing to do with the crowd it is (mainly) because of Torres. Although obviously Brana didn't help the cause!
Just watched Lukaku's performance today. Can't believe this is the same guy that looked pretty average for us last season. He is so far ahead of Torres now it's embarrassing.
KAKUfrank, Ashley Cole "character & culture" Doesn't Ashley shoot people in his spare time!! LOL! Of course you are right they should stay, only Chelsea could let 2 players leave for nothing that half of the top teams in Europe want to sign. Crazy Days at the Bridge!
Okay Torres 14 %? More then Lampard and Hazard who ware stunning today?
Cobham the improvement of the players in the 10 mins after Torres was removed could just as easily be attributed to them trying to up their performance to appease the crowd who were booing. When the result went against us this would have had a very negative effect on the team morale. It doesn't take a psychology expert to know that if a team hears booing from its fans then it will upset the harmony and ultimately lead to bad things. You might disagree with me and think that constantly booing Rafa is better for the long term, but I tell you for certain that shirt term this behaviour is destroying our club and making us even more of a laughing stock. Rafa is here until Summer as much as I don't like it. Torres is here until someone takes him off our hands on the Cheap. Booing the team/torres/rafa/roman is not going to change that, and it will only serve to destabilise the team further. My concern is that there are too many vocal fans who would rather cut off their nose to spite their face when it comes to Rafa and Torres.
Bizarre_Blue, There is not constant booing of Benitez. That's just media spin. Constant booing doesn't happen. It only happened in injury time after the 2nd goal not throughout the game. The team improved because Demba Ba is a quality centre forward, Torres is a basket case.
The funniest part is, most of people here praising hazard were the ones slating him earlier. Nxt game he plays ***** and he will get slated as usual.
We beat stoke at their own game. We are technically superior. Luiz and Iva were beasts, and they won most of the headers.
I am Number 7
I'm glad to see us beating Stoke by 4 goals to nil. However I couldn't agree to see Jon Walters name as part of the MOTM. All of us would be jumping should Swansea supporters named Iva as the MOTM against us in the midweek... We hope Walters to bounce back against other team like Man U or City in the coming weeks...
After watching the Walters OG's again, it's quite clear that had he not been in the vicinity, both would have resulted in goals regardless. In Iva's case, he was directly responsible for the goals scored against us. Not to slate either, but it's a weird game and strange things happen. I'd take either player on my side, any time.
@thebreeze....if you got the clue pick it up then fold it and put it in your *** hope you get my clue now...;-)
shlok27 it just me or has it been a very long time since you have left a comment here. I hope you and yours have been well. Nice to see your post.
@Jayb, i don't think that any dude in his right mind will slate Hazard in most of the games he has played for us so far. He is not yet that finished article,but we all see in him a player getting better and better at a tender age of 21,just turned 22 monday. So one can easily see he is class and definitely will rank amongst the world best in the nearest future. Agreed,he has yet to leave up to the hype and expectations,but he impresses me alot and i can now easily see him becoming that player i believe he can be. Lets those that complain about im go on,it makes it more worthwhile.
Our team is just 3 very good players from world beating team. All we need now is a bold coach and 3 good players Striker(no need for a world class one on his peak like falcao(100M expenses). very good one like lendowski of BD who will be a world class in another season). Brute and mobile defensive midfielder and CM who will dictate the tempo of the team. Finally the next appointment of the coach is what going to decide CFC's future for another 5 yrs atleast. Any good coach will do great with the palyers we have. All he need is the freedom and pressure free environment for the first 2 years( only requirement should be top 4).With less pressure the coach can iron out the pblms in the team like inproving the defensive game of mata hazard oscar etc. once we master the art of improving the defense of our offensive players with out compromising their offensive ability then I can honestly say that chelsea will be a force to reckoned with after next season if our board and RA stop their FIFA manager ambitions.
Just woken up,feel so good and fresh after yesterday results. super sunday 2day and my wish is to see a draw for both games.
That dumba$$ of a referee was out to give them a come back or atleast a consolation,but thank goodness,it wasnt to be. Seriously,English refs are bunch of muppets...extremely incompetent lots that always brings the game to disrepute and always gets away with it. Keeping a watchful eyes on Webb at old trafford this afternoon,i dont rule out yet another shocker officiating esp. if result starts going south for ManUre.
I don't like peeps who preach holier than thou sermons, if I go to the bridge with my money, I have the right to boo a player that single handedly ruin my happiness game after game and I'll extend it to the knobhead that keep playing him regardless of the his bad performance resulting to costing the team costly points, in every situation we find ourselves this season, mostly the bad ones, it has the signature of torres signed all over it, yet the fat man is still picking him even if its affecting our performance just to show roman that he is a fixer, he can't fix torres, if he is trying to do that at all cost we won't make top 4 and the fans will continue booing, its natural, as nely said, emotions are involved
The best think he can do for torres is using him as one of the subs for 15 minutes cameos, or start him as a second striker, not pick him ahead of BA in any situation, if ba didn't start yesterday's game, we might have lost the game or draw it
Oops! The best thing he can do for torres*
Desmondadonis It appears Rafa is going for one of those his cheap gambles!!
@Ohans: I was mentioned Iago Aspas of Celta Vigo for Chelsea in another thread, it looks like Rafa/Daily Mirror visited VC website? lol.
@CobhamBlue: Every other striker is ahead of Torres, lol. Lukaku is still not that good at holding the ball up and winning the headers, he needs to improve this part of his game and if he doesn't then his game is one dimensional just like Torres (playing the ball behind). I will do my best to watch Stoke v/s West Brom i.e. if Lukaku starts. Demba Ba did more than enough against Stoke's defence (i.e. he muscled them out/competed well aerially) than Lukaku or Torres could have done. NOW I KNOW NOBODY CAN HOLD THE BALL UP LIKE DROGBA NOT EVEN CARROLL/FALCAO/CAVANI.
@Ohans: I *first* mentioned
@B2k, do you know the player very well? If yes,what do you think he can offer Cfc at a time like this?? Thankzzz
truth is rafa refused to apologize for previous comments abt fans and some supporters are out to make him know even if he does win they will still show their displeasure at him. these supporters need to understand that benitez in this situation has an edge and they have to accept it but once the end of season comes or we fall into a slump(GOD forbid) then the fans might have an edge over him. hence fans shld wait for their opportunity to come but for now they shld pls support the team with all they've got
Aspas is the best player in a poor side. I believe he's going to be called into the Spanish team soon, so he can't be that bad can he. Very good option to come of the bench and can finish well too. As I said before I'm not 100% certain of the credibility of the article/rumour, who knows we may not sign anyone else.
Blue1989! Can't believe you guys are letting this player go. The guy is not only a great player he's no doubt gonna be a top manager.
Arsenales F.C
I think other clubs (Swansea, Liverpool, Arsenal, ManU...) are interested in him and this will RAISE his price Tag. If we want to sing him we should do this deal quick. @Ohans: I have not watched him that much but I can say Iago Aspas can't hold the ball up, will not win any physical battles, will not win any headers but he has serious PACE, I will say it again SERIOUS/ALARMING PACE!!, we can use him on the wing, he commits defenders and goes pass them like they are never there. I would go as far as saying he is as quick if not more quicker than Cristiano Ronaldo/Angel Di Maria. He is more quick than Torres ever was. Iago Aspas will suit counter attacking style.>>>>>I would like us to sign a player who can hold the ball up, win headers and can score in big games,not shy of battles or getting hurt, a bit like Drogba but I know there is no other player like him at this moment in time.
We need a winger asap, we can't keep playing Bertrand at LW, it's embarrassing and counter productive especially in games where we need a goal first to " settle nerves"
@Mq: Bertrand played to make sure Stoke don't put that many crosses from the left side or go behind Cole, tactical decision made by Rafa just like RDM did at Munich.
That said, glad to see us back in winning ways especially away form home, now I'm more confident in facing Swansea with that 2 goal deficit
@Mq: I like your optimism. We will have a chance against Swansea if BA & MATA are fit, we need to start the game like STRAW DOGS, like it is last game of our life, only then we will be able to close them down, we need to play with desire and hunger which we don't show WHEN THE TEAMS don't give us space to play or turn, to be honest it will be difficult to score more than 3 goals at Swansea as they have Michu who can EASILY score half chances.
I guess so B2K but if we had a " Hazard" playing at LW, we'd have enough threat to counter such because they'd have to mark more than we'd have to. I saw plenty plus chances at LW that Bertrand was wasting to run forward and deliver a good cross or attempt a shot at goal. We need a " Hazard" at LW just like at RW and we'll have more threat going forward
Azpi is our RB for life, this guy just makes it look so easy when he marks or runs forward to deliver quality crosses. He, imo, is our buy of the season thus far (until Ba scores double figures for us)...We need a sub for Azpi though
We'll need to guard against the counter attack vs Swansea and we'll be fine B2K their goals were form defensive errors more than anything, any striker (maybe bar TorrMented1 LoL) would've scored those chances. Swansea didn't really trouble us that day, and I can say if we play with the composure we did yesterday we'll win that game and go through
Its not all about the price tag on a player to show their quality, its about what they can do on the pitch, our under 10m signings have been impressive so far, so I won't mind aspas
@Mq: 1) You are right about Bertrand he is not confident in the final 3rd, he prefers to pass the ball to Hazard/Mata so that they can take responsibility of good/poor cross, a bit like Torres who likes to pass to other people than shoot himself, 2) Azpi: I agree he is our best right back, players have gone around him and were able to put crosses in our box BUT for me he is still better than IVA who can't recover quickly and stop crosses like Azpi. 3) I will not watch Chelsea games when Torres will start as it is really embarrassing an it hurts as well. We are Chelsea and we have the most **** striker in the whole world. I can see how it affects the rest of the team. I will watch Swansea games as you have are so positive. @Desmon... We should look for good bargain players as they play without fear, we just need to hire better scouts in Spain, Germany & South America.
Azpi?? Really? Yes crossing and going forward he offers a lot more than we had but he has to improve his defensive game. Not good enough at the moment.
Ess.DaBison: I know about his defensive game/crossing but I would still prefer him ahead of IVA. The last game Nani played against us I was shouting at Nani take Azpi on, take him on, he tried but failed if it was IVA playing Nani would have skinned him. This is just one example. Azpi is crossing is not great but is better than IVA. He can recover from mistakes quickly whereas IVA takes time to recover and get back in the position. Azpi is quicker than IVA. IVA is better in the air than Azpi and can play as CB.
Nice one B2K,lets wait and see how that one pans out.
Would you prefer Iva @ RB then ESS??
Echoed my sentiments B2K...
Ess...dabison,i really dont know what else you expect from Azpi,for me he has been decent in all ramification. But thats life,you cant please every1.
@Mq ...yh probably. For a defender priority first should be defence!
Yeah azpi has been terrific so far for me. i mean i can't fault him on anything plus he has this determination abt him that i love. though hazard still remain my player of the season. this dude is jst immense. so is oscar i jst hope benny would find a place for him in the team cos d boi is only wasting away on the bench
Ohans I expect him to be more solid defensively, which he hasn't been. The only game I've seen him be sound defensively so far was in his debut against wolves. Other than that he has been poor defensively in the CL, and in CWC against QPR against Swansea. I've got nothing against him and I do want him to be a top RB but he still has a lot to improve!
Also a great performance from Hazard... finally see what the boy can do. Up until now its been all these fancy tricks for the sake of it for no god damn reason. But he actually utilised his talent yesterday and put it into good use by actually troubling the defenders. Gotta give credit to Rafa for that....hopefully it continues.
I don't disagree much with u ess bcos we are mostly on the same page, but seriously u got azpi all wrong, azpi is a player in the mould of cole, but not up to him yet, he can surpass cole as a defender with his skill set (though I knw they aint laying in the same position) but I am talking about their skill set, combining well with defense and attack, if u notice that cole get outwitted most of the time, but what makes people apreciata cole is his timely recovery, he recovers quickly even when dribbled azpi has held his own on numerous occasions and I wonder why we are having this discussion, because I know if I ask u who u prefer between azpi and bosingwa, I know what ur answer would be, I agree that hazard have improved but I believe he can still do better for a player we payed 32million pounds for, he should be scoring more and assisting more, but hey its his first season in the EPL and he have been decent, he'll improve in leaps and bounds come next season!!!!
OMG!!! Sorry about the typo, I meant appreciate*
@GabeU, thank you for the concern. Unfortunately, work has ket me away from not only VC but being able t watch the matches. I don't feel it's right to comment unless I'm actually able to watch and digest what happened on the pitch. This match was interesting in that Hazard showed some brilliance. Ba didn't have much of an opportunity to show how he's a significant upgrade over the much maligned Torres, bt several seem to think he is (perhaps because he's simply someone different?). Hopefully work will realize that there are more important things in life than making money... :)
I'm yet to see a player beat Azpi for pace or trickery 1 on 1, yet I can count the number of times Iva was " owned". Azpi is also better going forward, he's made more chances crossing than Iva did crossing
Iva is a good defender but not RB imo
Man of the match was Walters!
A brace and was on the verge of a hatrick? That was good play from him and made the work more easier
Jesus Corona, anyone??
Hazard had a great game against Swansea also but the bad result overshadowed his performance.
there is still so much left to play for...the el...we have never won it and it will be special to be the first team to do the el ucl double. we need just a two goal route of that pesky welsh club and we are back at wembly...we are 5 wins away from our fa cup defence and we could do real well in the league...I implore all those at the bridge to keep in mind that we are all in this together...and one weakness can compromise the whole...we already have a weak board...let us not supplement that with a weakened support as history will not remember the ills of the board...but the ills of cfc as a whole. am not against the booing of buck...loved it actually...but once the whistle blows we should 100% back the team...we are all they have as the board are idiots...roman is interested only in furthering his love affair with who is left to lift the so let us be the best fans we can be like on that fabled night against the Neapolitans last year...we need to become that twelfth man...every bridge game now must be like that....
Gian,well said but you need to take it easy on the board,they arent idiots,we all make mistakes they do too and their decisions have brought us more joy than sorrow
True @Ken4

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