Chelsea Exceed Expectations Amid Barcelona Play Acting
Once the dust had settled on Chelsea`s Champions League with Barcelona, we ran a poll asking how we viewed Tuesday draw.
Whilst Barcelona get praised for their wholesome ability to keep the ball, Chelsea get slaughtered for conceding possession, sitting back and hitting them on the break. Which of those two styles of play is anti-football?
We`re led to believe, with Messi, Iniesta and Suarez, Barcelona are a joy. Really? Chelsea were unlucky to not have won the game. Willian was a couple of coats of paint off a hat-trick. Barcelona managed two shots on target, yet apparently, sit in the box seat. Last season PSG, in the round of 16, took a 4-0 lead to the Nou Camp, they left there having gone out of the competition 6-5 on aggregate.
The moral of that is, 'don`t make them angry`. If you can`t defend a 4-0 lead at the Nou Camp, you may as well not bother going. Chelsea know what they have to achieve in the return leg and are more than capable of delivering it. The 2-2 draw achieved there back in 2012 will be good enough.
Whilst the pundits heaped criticism on Antonio Conte`s side, the game could have been different had Ivan Rakitic received his marching orders in the first half when he should have done. That is something else the media have missed.
Likewise the embarrassing dive by, who else, Luis Suarez.
Samuel Umtiti found himself in the same ridiculous situation,
Anyway, I`m supposed to rounding up a poll. So the question we directly asked was, 'What did you think of Chelsea's performance against Barcelona?` There were three choices of answer. The one that came out on top was Willian..........sorry, I was dreaming……...it was It exceeded expectations. 50% of those who voted thought Chelsea had played above themselves. Indeed, after some pretty shaky results recently, that`s about right.
In contrast 30% of voters found the result disappointing. I guess under the circumstances highlighted above, that wasn`t far of the mark either.
All that left was the remaining 20% who felt the result was ultimately, Par for the course and I guess there`s a good argument there too.
At the end of the day, it`s football, it`s opinions, it`s cliches, it`s jumper for goalposts and rush-goalies, isn`t it?