Chelsea FC – The Problems Beyond Juan Mata & Eden Hazard

The easy thing for Chelsea would be to simply blame the referee, and think to themselves that Juan Mata and Eden Hazard being brilliant would have been enough to beat Manchester United. But despite the official complaints for racism against Mark Clattenburg, Chelsea have their own problems.

There’s enough reasons to feel hard done by for Chelsea, and then comes the racism claims against the ref. One about saying “Spanish Twat” to one of the Chelsea’s players and another during his exchange of words with John Obi Mikel after the Javier Hernandez goal, which was obviously offside. And let’s not forget the rest of the mayhem, which sent the last 30 minutes of a fantastic match into utter chaos.

Branislav Ivanovic should have been sent off for tripping Ashley Young. It wasn’t the most intentional of fouls, but Ivanovic never complained or tried to argue. He clipped the United player from behind, only did it with a look of helplessness instead of maliciousness. A cynical foul covered well, just not well enough. On the other decisions…

Fernando Torres could have stayed on his feet, but he was fouled. Referees don’t always give fouls unless a player actually falls. Being human and many times not very good at their job, they seem to make decisions based on players’ reactions and not the actual offense (or a lack of one), which leads to big mistakes. This one shouldn’t have been a booking for diving. Players go down because sometimes, that’s the only way to get a foul when they’re actually fouled. That completely destroyed the match.

And the offside call. No goal line technology would have helped in his case. We need replays to help referees stop ruining matches for teams, sometimes whole seasons. Chelsea had every bit of reason to complain and leave Stamford Bridge with the overall feeling that they didn’t get treated fairly in what was a fantastic match for the first 60 minutes.

And on to real world problems: Defense. Not just the defenders themselves, but the way the team defends. If the first goal was just too quick to have any real conclusive effects, the way Chelsea couldn’t react or adjust for the first 20 minutes must have had Roberto Di Matteo frustrated. His centre backs move too wide apart on attacks, but no one in his midfield drops back to cover for them. It’s either defend or attack with both Mikel and Ramires, no middle ground. That always leaves Chelsea either looking under-manned in the middle of the pitch or shorthanded on defense, when the opposing team has enough quality to expose them.

Oscar was the weak link in the magic trio, who always offer one player who isn’t up to par with the other two in most matches. Eden Hazard was everything you’d expect from him if you’ve watches him at Lille, and Juan Mata is in the best form of his life. Confident and taking on responsibility when it comes to scoring or putting in the finishing touches. Too bad their striker, Fernando Torres, isn’t feeling the same.

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