Like his entire team, this isn’t a match that Fernando Torres would like to remember. Yes, he poached a goal in the opening minutes of the game, but didn’t do much else for the rest of it. Just like Oscar before the end of the half. For the second time in two weeks, Chelsea were outclassed by a better side, only this time had enough of a head start to win.
Shakhtar are finally getting the recognition they deserve after being thrown together in a mini-group of death along with Chelsea and Juventus, demonstrating their Brazilian horde and one of the slickest and well-coordinated passing games in Europe. Chelsea aren’t the side that Roberto Di Matteo led to the UCL title last season. Style is important, but it doesn’t always come out, especially against sides that are equals or better on almost every aspect.
That midfield, that midfield. Chelsea’s passing game is so sluggish when their trying to build slowly through John Obi Mikel or Ramires. Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard aren’t involved enough when the ball is coming up the pitch, which makes it very hard for Chelsea to create chances through organized play against well-drilled teams like Shakhtar, who looked like they were simply waiting to be adgitated to bring out their full arsenal each time.
They equalized three minutes after Fernando Torres scored, and 7 minutes after Oscar scored. Both times through Willian, who is one of Chelsea’s transfer targets, along with Tottenham and possibly other teams. The problem that all that fantastic passing didn’t really amount to plenty of shots at Petr Cech’s goal, unlike the first encounter in Ukraine. The final minutes were the players in orange taking the game away from the middle and towards the byline, settling for a draw instead of killing the game off. The invited Chelsea to score the winner.
There’s nothing about Victor Moses’ goal that demonstrated Chelsea’s quality of play, because there wasn’t much in a very important win for them, leaving their fate in their own legs, with a decisive trip to Turin left. If they don’t lose there, the qualification seems assured, as they won’t lose points against the ultra-weak Danish champions.
What Moses’ goal did show is Chelsea’s depth at pretty much every position but striker. Even if they do have one of the more talented winger-attacking midfield trio in the world, there are good options on the bench, providing a different kind of football when needed. Victor Moses, Daniel Sturridge and Marko Marin, still waiting for a chance after beginning the season injured. A privilege few teams have.
One of the trio has to become a bit less attacking during stretches of the match. Probably Oscar, who suits the play maker coming from behind a biter better than Hazard and Mata, who are quicker and are more suited for playing on the wing than the young Brazilian. Mikel is not good enough on the attacking side of things to push a team forward without help, and Ramires isn’t the man to help him. Chelsea’s troubles this season, as surprising as it may sound, can’t be all be blamed on referees and the FA.