Chelsea started their defense of the FA Cup against Southampton at the Saint Mary’s stadium. A tough start for Chelsea was turned around with 5 unanswered goals including a debut double for new signing Demba Ba who started only days after signing for the European Champions.
What We Learned :
- Demba Ba is what Chelsea were missing.
- Rafa Benitez has made Chelsea drastically better.
- Juan Mata is Chelsea’s best player.
- Terry’s absence under Benitez not felt.
1. Demba Ba is what Chelsea were missing : He didn’t look settled in Chelsea’s team early on as he struggled to get hold of the ball. Showed striker’s instinct to poach the equaliser though. Hold-up play improved after the break and he managed to get a second goal thanks to some good movement. Denied a hat-trick by fine Boruc save and then by Lampard taking the late penalty. A great debut for him and shows a lot of promising signs of things to come with him as striker. With him in attack, Luiz and Cahill can now boom long balls forward and expect him to contest the ball – something we couldn’t do with Fernando Torres.
2. Rafa Benitez has made Chelsea drastically better : Better in attack, better in defense and better with the lead. Rafael Benitez has had his tough times as Chelsea’s interim manager, but he’s made positive changes that Roberto Di Matteo didn’t make. Benitez has added more flair and creativity to the attack while making sure the defense is firm and tight. A bit caught out by Southampton early on, but we caught our tone and got it going. Didn’t allow them many chances after taking the lead and kept our attack prolific in front of goal as we scored 5 once again under Benitez.
3. Juan Mata is Chelsea’s best player : Once again, Juan Mata was the heart and soul of our attack as he had 2 assists and a few fine shots. It was a fantastic display. Even though Ba got the last touch on Chelsea’s equalizer, it was mainly his good work that created it. Crossed brilliantly for Ivanovic for the third and was at the heart of most the Blues did and deserved to score a goal. His dribbling, passing and crossing was what created most of our chances as we turned the match in our favor and then finished it off.
4. Terry’s absence under Benitez not felt : Without Terry, we struggled until Di Matteo. There was no stability and nothing was going right for us in defense. Under Benitez, we’ve played really well and played similar to how we do with JT in the squad. His defensive tactics have payed off as we don’t conceded as much as we did under Di Matteo and without Terry. Something, we felt would put our season in jeopardy hasn’t done much damage as it could of. Thankfully for us, Rafa has a good defensive sense and has made sure that even without Terry, we will play similar to with him.
Other Points :
- Torres or Ba?
- Luiz-Ramires the best double pivot combination?
- Lampard – 193 goals.