What We Learned: Benfica

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What a finish. What an absolute cracker of a match, especially at the end. Ivanovic with the 93rd minute winner. Incredible match. I can’t put it into words!

Scorers :

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Stats :

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What We Learned :

1. Ramires on the wing – useless

2. Fernando Torres – his turning point?

3. Ivanovic came up big

4. Mata struggled without Hazard

5. Lack of proper wingers made us narrow

1. Ramires on the wing – useless: 

Ramires was horrendous today. No other way to put it. Made a ridiculous amount of fouls while being caught offside on several occasions. Ramires might have been a gem last season on the wing, but as proved throughout this season, he’s not a winger.

Another less than convincing performance after Saturday’s foolish dismissal against Aston Villa. Didn’t offer Azpilicueta much protection and his touch let him down too often going forward. His pace was a constant threat to a high Benfica line though. (Goal.com)

To be honest though, I have no idea where Ramires actually belongs. He’s too skinny and inconsistent as a holding midfielder, is useless on the wing, not even space for him as an attacking midfielder, either. Where ever he plays, I just hope it’s not on the wing because that performance speaks for itself.

2. Fernando Torres – his turning point?:

Never thought anyone who say this, including myself, but this match and this season, as a whole, might just be what gets Torres going again. Another goal in yet another final and the first player to lift the World Cup, Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup and EURO Championship. A record breaking night for Torres, for sure.

Relatively anonymous until he pounced on a high ball from Cech, held off Luisao, rounded Artur and slid in the opener. Seemed to fancy it thereafter, but his decision-making and execution was still baffling at times. (Goal.com)

Torres seemed to be the only one that was trying and cared in the offensive half for a good portion of the match. Torres wanted that trophy and he wanted that goal. His performance was incredible, considering how boring and lacklustre we were for the majority of the match. This match might be the match that changes every thing for Torres, but it could also be just another match in which Torres has scored in. I think it’s his turning point.

3. Ivanovic came up big: 

Ivanovic dududu Ivanovic dududu Ivanovic dudududududu Chelsea’s number 2! Ivanovic has been quite horrendous since January, despite his incredible and prolific start to the season. However, today, he was one of our best, if not the best player.

There were occasional reminders of his technical limitations, but he defended stoutly in the face of what at times resembled a siege. Came up trumps with a priceless, towering header in injury time to win it. (Goal.com)

Brana had a strong performance. I was really impressed with how he handled himself against a versatile Benfica striker. He wasn’t caught out like he was vs. Basel nor was he positioned poorly as he was vs. Swansea. He kept a cool and composed head for a majority of the match and knew what was at stake. His header was absolutely brilliant. The ball (and Brana) held in the air for several seconds as everyone stood still and waited anxiously to see whether or not it was going in. The reaction when it did – priceless.

4. Mata struggled without Hazard:

Mata is a game-changer, don’t get me wrong, but today was definitely not his day and compared to his season, it was a sub-par performance.

I was very interested to see Mata play without Hazard, especially after their play-making relationship was just starting to blossom. It was definitely a sight that you didn’t want to see as Mata struggled and was missing that cutting edge of his. Whether or not he was having a bad day, I’m not sure, but Hazard’s absence played a huge role in his sub-par performance.

Not at his brilliant best. Seemed to struggle with the pitch and missed having Hazard to link up with, but still played the odd dangerous pass. Put in the corner for the winner. (Goal.com)

Juan Mata has, nonetheless, been our best player this season. He deserves to win Chelsea POTY, for sure. However, today, it wasn’t the Mata we’re used to. His passing wasn’t the best and he didn’t have anyone to link up with as Oscar proved incapable of emulating Hazard and Ramires was absolutely horrendous. Despite all that, he still managed to rack up his 31st assist of the season, which is a quite incredible statistic. Not a great performance and for some Chelsea fans, it’s a worrying sign that he was that poor, but I think there’s nothing to worry about. The lack of Hazard made it a lot harder for him to do what he usually does, so rest assured, it’s going to be alright.

5. Lack of proper wingers made us narrow:

This was something that was quite evident throughout the match. Hazard and Moses did not start (Hazard hurt, Moses wasn’t preferred) and instead it was Oscar and Ramires on the wings, which does not work at all. Ramires, as I said earlier, was just piss poor. Oscar couldn’t emulate Hazard and didn’t provide a good performance, which we had come to expect of him due to his great form as of late. Since they aren’t proper wingers, Oscar and Ramires began to drift inside too much or stick themselves in the corner and contribute nothing. They had their moments, but they never provided the true game play of a winger, which had it’s tolls on the defense and double pivot as they tried to correct Oscar and Ramires’ mistakes. This nearly proved suicidal for us as Benfica pressed forward and the “wingers” provided little to no assistance to the defensive cause. However, it doesn’t matter now that we’ve won and that it’s over with, but when we run into this problem next time… Moses and Marin would be better options on the wing.

Other Points :

1. EUROPA LEAGUE CHAMPIONS!

2. Thanks, Rafa! (I actually mean that and you should too)

3. Lampard and Terry lift trophy together (lovely sight).

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions and/or comments, feel free to post them in the comment section below. You can also contact me via Twitter (username below) and I will do my absolute best to get back to you.

@ZlatanDF

43 Comments
  1. sheyi says

    Up bluuuueeees!!!!! ‎​A̶̲̥̅♏ Very speechless

  2. Anonymous says

    chelsea need speedsters for our wings

    1. Justin Cormick says

      Who should we bring in during the off-season? Maybe Cavani, Bony or Remy. Anyone have thoughts?

      1. King24 says

        Cavani. If not, then Bony.

  3. Anonymous says

    Ramires belongs on the double pivot positon.. like lampard in the early days.. When Mourinho comes Ramires will be an asset because he has pace and would be for counter attacking football.. Mourinho style..

  4. pertaub says

    ramires too skinny?are you listening to yourself?i don’t remember makelele as a monster but still mastered the holding midfielder position..ramires is very physical and has an average of 3.4 tackles per game but the only problem is that he has a tendency of racking cards..however on the flanks he is awful! btw moses had a thigh problem too and thus wasn’t 100%(not that he wasn’t preferred!) nando like drogba is a man for the big occasions..i don’t remember drogba scoring 30+ goals every seasons but he always scored when we needed him the most just like torres..torres has his strenghs and his weaknesses..chelsea just don’t have a proper style..i bet that if chelsea play an attacking style(pretty like arsenal or liverpool) torres will certainly floorish..i hope that jose brings in a particular style to chelsea

    1. Onyeoma Chibyk says

      Ramires has a tendency of racking cards because he always go for ball and if he doesn’t go for ball…Chelsea will conceive a lot of goals every season…

  5. pertaub says

    playing better football doesn’t win you games..ask barcelona fans they will tell you lol

  6. Anonymous says

    The reason Mata did not play well is because he is tired not becaue hazard was not there.. Mata was player of the year last year and last year there was no hazard.. so your 4th comment is rubbish.. You are not a true chelsea fan if you are, you would know that Mata has played almost in every game for Chelsea this season and that could take its toll on someone.. so i disagree with you on your 4th comment..

    1. pertaub says

      yeah mata is great and though it was not his day he managed 2 assists!

  7. Anonymous says

    Oscar is not a winger.. In brazil national team he plays in the hole behind the strikers.. like Mata and Moses was not fit.. 🙂

    1. pertaub says

      yeah..that was the problem with the buys of RDM..even marko marin is not a winger..he used to play the number 10 role at werder bremen..the same about hazard..he was number 10 at lile and he plays as number 10 in his national team..only true winger that we have is moses..

      1. Anonymous says

        Marko Marin only played the number ten after Mesut Özil left for Real, before that he played as a winger. That why he’s form dipt a wonder bremen

      2. Justin Cormick says

        I’m pretty sure I remember Hazard playing as a winger at Lile too.

      3. alexcfc8 says

        Lille played in a 4-2-1-2-1 it only seemed like Hazard played the No. 10 role as he was given the freedom to do his thing. Marin is actually a left winger he only played in the No. 10 because there where no other options to play there

    2. Aleksey says

      Your information is ralely great. I like this article. You have given rise to many points that I agree with and have enjoyed reviewing. You have a lot of ralely good information in this article.

  8. Victor says

    I so much love ur analysis,but i still think had a game pattern and held on to it in d absence of Hazard and the couch would have at least replace Remires with Moses in the second half. All in all we’re the champion,congrat! All chelsea fans. Thank God. Up Chelsea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Nnaemeka says

    Mata has also won the World Cup, Champions League, Europa League, FA cup & European Championship.

  10. Justin Cormick says

    David Luiz plays in a holding-midfield position but just roams the pitch, not doing much defending. I’m not sure if this is what Rafa wants from him, but as long as he is used effectively and someone else can cover for him defensively he can be a great asset to the team.

  11. Justin Cormick says

    Hey man, good article. And good work Chelsea.

    I think Ramires can play as a winger, we have seen him there before and he has been alright. The problem is probably his form, he was bad against Aston Villa and not so good, at least in attack, against Benfica. But at least he cleaned up his act in defence and didn’t make rash tackles.

    Mata is capable of playing as a winger, perhaps him and Moses should have been deployed there. It is true he didn’t have his best game and probably he is tired from such a long season. However I also feel if we held more possession and he had more time with the ball he could have done something with it. Very hard to play as a number-ten without the ball.

    Not sure if Torres will every return to his Liverpool/Euro winning form, that was a long time ago and he is ageing. But he is playing better than I have seen for a long time. This is always good.

    I often thought, back when Torres and Drogba were fighting for one position that Torres could be deployed on the wing. He is quick with the ball and likes to dribble and take on defenders and he wasn’t scoring much from up front. Is Torres slowing down? Maybe it is too late to adapt him to the wing. Do you guys have any thoughts?

    Hazard is also capable as a winger. Marin can play wing but I think he is probably better as a number-ten but of course it has been a while since I’ve seen him play. Perhaps the off season will see some of our 10s traded for some wingers. Marin and Benayoun (another 10) could always depart.

  12. Anonymous says

    FUCKING DUMB CUNT!!!! KEEP UR USELESS COMMENTS ELSEWHERE!

  13. Vaibhav Kumble says

    U like the word horrendous a lot dont u?? Ramires was poor against AV.. he was strictly ok vs Ben. And Ivanovic has had a very good season.. except a few matches where he made mistakes.. not the whole game mind you. And Mata the same.. all other points are fine.. but u are way off with the explanations.

  14. Anonymous says

    You gotta give Ramires a break. He hasnt missed a game all season and he’s only played on the wing a couple of times this season. He wasn’t gonna be a gareth bale :P. he did out in some solid defence though, he kept Nico Gaitan in check pretty much the whole time. Oscar is only gonna get better and better. I’m excited to see how good he’ll be next season.

  15. Anonymous says

    Chelseafc for real!

  16. iddi jr says

    am ver happy. . . Thank u rafa 🙂

  17. Akinola says

    @pertaub i agree with your second comment,an about mata the guy can pla without hazard he did that last season,and don’t think we need to blame those players because looking @ the amount of games they have play this season is more than that of any team almost all of them migth be injured, and please lets stop using abuse words remenber we are CHELSEA and we still the champion of europe till nest week and we will always be champion so lets us KTBFFH.

  18. cool dude says

    seriously admin … the descripition you made on Ramiress is definatly not the best for a player like Ramiress . his fast,good on the counter attack,good onthe tackles ,remember after the Terry red card against barca last season inthe semifinal , he actualy deffended wel.Yesterday was not his day fine.but that doesnt mean to say hisHORRENDOUS .his not … if anything i know he has the best work rate in the team.

    Branslav was also good … no problem he rose to the occasion.

    indeed this has been the best perfomance by Torres in a long time.But his been on and off this hole season . we shud have a consistant player who is guranteed to give a realy go” at the opposition.

    Mata just like Ramiress was havina his not so good day.But with or without Mata we noe wat our little magician is capable of no wonder his poty fo a second consecative year.

    Apart from that i wasnt a big fan of Rafa … nor am i now but i give respect were its due . wel i think his done a great Job we have something in our display under his name …. and FOREVER CHELSEA signing out!!!

    1. Mason Cole says

      He hasn’t done a great job. He’s done an OK job. Our Europa League success has merely masked the other countless failures of a disappointing season. Although crashing out of the Champions League is obviously not down to Rafa, many other things are. For example, when he took over, we were about 4 points behind Man Utd, having been top for most of the season. Now we are 16 points away, and haven’t been top since. He has lost some ridiculous games, like West Ham away, QPR home, among others. He carried on where RDM left off in the Capital One Cup, but we offered nothing against Swansea in both legs! The FA Cup, although he took us to the semi-finals, we lost to Man City, after letting them dominate us for 70 minutes! Although also the Super Cup humiliation wasn’t his fault either, the Club World Cup was! No matter what it’s prestige, it’s still a trophy, and the players didn’t look motivated to win it! They offered nothing against Corinthians, then conceded an awful goal! Furthermore, if you look at our Europa League opponents, not one of them can be considered a world-class team. I went to every home game in the journey to this title, and they were all boring. It looked like the player weren’t motivated, and didn’t want to win, we just plodded along! So yes, we have silverware, 1 piece of it, but we have lost a further 7 pieces of it this season, with 4 of them being Rafa’s fault (Club World Cup, Premier League, FA Cup, Capital One Cup). It has been a dreadful season, with Benitez only doing an OK job, if that, the stats speak for themselves…Lots of work is required in the summer.

      1. eniola says

        lool!!! #TeamRAFAOUT ??????!!! c’mon, give the guy a break! yeah the season might have bin dreadful, we lost awful numbers of trophy? Rafa’s fault?? i wont put it as that. the dude took over in the weirdest of circumstance; the pressure was at its peak; the taunts? ddnt stop. now we can go on and on criticizing him for losing 5 or 4 trophy’s as u put it or thank him for putting our club’s name in football history?? the deed has bin done! he got one game left, we either cheer him; at least ONCE in appreciation; a standing ovation will do *rme* or chant the rafa out again and show how ungrateful we can be as a club. Chelsea’s image to the world isnt a good one, cheering RAFA as he takes charge of his last game for Chelsea might be a start to turn around our bad image.

        Work is required by summer i agree, but the season is still on. lets all give our final cheer, our CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE cheer, to crown a ‘disastrous turn semi-successful’ season *LOL* and for once lets not blame anyone. Rafa, roman, the players! lets all unite this final game cause together, we all have bin through a LOT!! KTBFFH! EUROPE IS BLUE!

    2. Anonymous says

      GOOD!!!!seriously admin … the descripition you made on Ramiress is definatly not the best for a player like Ramirez

  19. cool dude says

    seriously admin … the descripition you made on Ramiress is definatly not the best for a player like Ramiress . his fast,good on the counter attack,good onthe tackles ,remember after the Terry red card against barca last season inthe semifinal , he actualy deffended wel.Yesterday was not his day fine.but that doesnt mean to say hisHORRENDOUS .his not … if anything i know he has the best work rate in the team.

    Branslav was also good … no problem he rose to the occasion.

    indeed this has been the best perfomance by Torres in a long time.But his been on and off this hole season . we shud have a consistant player who is guranteed to give a realy go” at the opposition.

    Mata just like Ramiress was havina his not so good day.But with or without Mata we noe wat our little magician is capable of no wonder his poty fo a second consecative year.

    Apart from that i wasnt a big fan of Rafa … nor am i now but i give respect were its due . wel i think his done a great Job we have something in our display under his name …. and FOREVER CHELSEA signing out!!!.

    1. Adam Fred says

      good reply

  20. Matt says

    Thank you Rafa! Great job. Serious and professional. Bravo.

  21. Onyeoma Chibyk says

    Ramires has a tendency of racking cards because he always go for ball and if he doesn’t go for ball…Chelsea will conceive a lot of goals every season…

  22. dragunar says

    Bane Ivanovic Serbin pride and Chelsea tank ! 🙂

  23. alexcfc8 says

    Good Article mate, just one or two nit picks. Ramires was actually a winger/box to box centre midfield when we bought him, to me it was an off game and he was playing his old team same with Luiz they didn’t seem as if they wanted to play against their old club in a final.

    Mata has played the most games for us this season so I was not surprised he was tired and jaded, yes Hazard helps him as he creates the space by his movement off the ball for Mata to move into, but the way Benfica was set up was too have Matic sit on Mata when Chelsea had the ball.

    I agree with the Torres and Brana comments and the width.

    In my view the 68 game season has started to take its toll on us really. It was also a rare bad game for Azpilicueta

  24. Anonymous says

    1. Ramirez on the wing – useless…YOU ARE WRONG..

  25. Adam Fred says

    ” I have no idea where Ramires actually belongs”. Are you kidding me????

  26. i think Ramirez is perfect for right wing but yesterday was not his day n remember he has played many matches this season, but he should rest recharge his battries till july b’se he wont play for brazil this summer( overlooked by Scolari) n u will see n realize what kind of player he is when Mourinho comes

  27. Jayleno says

    Ramirez made the last corner so he wasn’t useless

  28. Onyeka Emokam says

    I disagree on wht u said abt Ramires,he is not a winger,we tried it in the RDM time nd it didn’t workout,pls Ramires best position is in the central midfild or box to box ok!

  29. Themmy says

    mata is a talented player, even without hazard, he could still do well. And we miss hazard too

  30. Sailor says

    This is a neat sumayrm. Thanks for sharing!

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