Chelsea, despite all the revolutions and changes Andre Villas-Boas has tried to install in the short time he’s in London, rely on what Didier Drogba can give them, and it wasn’t much. Despite Juan Mata’s early goal, Chelsea look like the rest of the English clubs in the 2011-2012 champions league campaign, as a Ezequiel Lavezzi double and Edinson Cavani goal gave the hot & cold home side a 3-1 win.
Both teams didn’t really use their midfield and preferred skipping straight to the men up front. Chelsea’s defense, like it has been all season, shattered first. Lavezzi’s equalizer was just the promo, but the Cavani goal just before half time seemed to end the hope for the London club, and a grand probability of not having any English clubs in the Champions League quarter finals for the first time since 1996. An Italian club, Juventus, won the trophy that year. Just saying.
Walter Mazzarri’s side may be inexperienced when it comes to this competition, but great ability can’t be kept for too long. The problem for Napoli is their instability, but the crowd, just like in the excellent win over Manchester City in the group stage, can bring the energy levels of the players to amazing heights, especially on Champions league night.
Chelsea’s midfield looked sad, weak and noneffective. Michael Essien and Frank Lampard came on in the second half, but couldn’t turn the tide, even against Napoli’s rather mediocre middle. There were a few bright spots to build on for the Blues, but it’s hard to take pride in them under the current conditions.
Andre Villas-Boas’ seat remains unstable as it was prior to the match, and the problem is that he doesn’t really have too many tricks left to pull out from his sleeve. His Chelsea is trying to get rid of the old and successful, but he hasn’t brought, or hasn’t gotten the funds to bring the right replacements.