There’s now doubt Chelsea, with or without Jose Mourinho are a very talented side with Eden Hazard looking like the best of the bench when he’s free to use his creativity and skill, but it’s quite easy to shine when most of the tactical approach of your team is to deliberately hurt opponents at every opportunity and hope to get away with it.
Chelsea actually dominated the first half of the European Super Cup against Bayern Munich thanks to the arrogance of Pep Guardiola, but that didn’t. Fernando Torres brought some quality finishing early on, needing one touch to finish an Andre Schurrle cross and give Chelsea the early 1-0 lead.
Bayern took control of the match the moment Lahm moved back to the full back position and Javi Martinez went in his place to the midfield. Chelsea lost a player, Ramires, for a second yellow card that should have been an automatic red. Eden Hazard, despite the 10-player situation, gave Chelsea the led early in extra time before too much Bayern Munich pressure brought the penalty kicks upon us, which they won.
It might be easy to blame Romelu Lukakau for everything, including missing the final penalty kick. But he’s a kid, finding himself in this situation for the first time. He wasn’t brought on to the pitch in the 97th minute so he can score goals. Mourinho got lucky once with Hazard showing his brilliance with the second goal, and didn’t plan on taking any risks. Lukaku was on the pitch to foul and press, nothing more.
John Terry coming on to the pitch in the 113th minute for Eden Hazard might be the perfect example of the Mourinho approach, and actually show just why Terry shouldn’t be playing at all. Chelsea won their two finals over the last couple of seasons without him. Sending in another centre back to try and save the day instead of keeping Hazard on, who provides both the counter attack danger while doing an excellent job on the left flank in defending might have been a wiser choice.
But it’s frustrating to see Chelsea simply give up on playing football and resort to dirty tactics, dives and all other things from the same family just because their manager believes in this sort of anti-football when he sees a quality side in front of him. Mario Mandzukic will need a few days to heal from all the blue marks all around his body given to him by Cahill, Luiz and Ivanovic, ganging up on him at every opportunity. Time wasting was also a part of the repertoire. There’s talent on this team – Hazard, Schurrle, Oscar and an unused Mata on the bench as well. It’s too bad they seem to be on a team with a manager who’s happier to see his team physically dominate than actually playing better and win.
When the opportunity of controlling the match was presented to them, Chelsea couldn’t make the most of it. In the end, if it wasn’t for the amazing displays of Petr Cech, we wouldn’t even have gone to a penalty shootout. Chelsea are still waiting for a good match, an impressive one, this season. Eden Hazard is playing better and better with every match, but he doesn’t have the right kind of mindset from those around him, too eager to follow the lead of their controversial manager.