What We Learned: Stoke City

wwl stoke

A great performance from Chelsea at the Britannia as we won 4-0 in a match that saw 2 own goals, 2 penalties and 3 points for Chelsea.

Scorers : 

wwl scorers - stoke

Stats : wwl stats - stoke

What We Learned 

1. Demba Ba has to start

2. Benitez isn’t fond of Oscar

3. John Terry’s return is a blessing

4. Torres still getting chances

5. Best performance this season

1. Demba Ba has to start :

The impact on the way the team played was instant. Recent matches have seen the whole team look sluggish and off colour, and with Torres spearheading the attack there has been very little movement. This changed with Ba on the pitch, as his movement and enthusiasm made everybody up their game. Ba showed good movement and challenged well in the air but he never got a clear sight of goal, but he did test Begovic a few times.

2. Benitez isn’t fond of Oscar 

With Victor Moses on African Cup of Nations duties with Nigeria, Oscar started in the Capital One Cup semifinal, where he displayed flashes of brilliance interspersed with some quieter periods. Many thought that he would keep his starting place against Stoke, but he was once again consigned to the bench. Ryan Bertrand was the player taking his place on this occasion. Bertrand played on the left of midfield in the Champions League Final, but he is supposed to be working on becoming Ashley Cole’s successor at left-back, with that in mind, it is even more baffling that Benitez would drop Oscar. It is a weird to see Benitez not start him and keep him on the bench, but only he will know.

3. John Terry’s return is blessing : 

Terry’s return is an important step towards Chelsea regaining control of their performances. During his absence, the negativity surrounding Fernando Torres created a cloud around the rest of the squad, and soon everybody spent the majority of the match looking at the floor. Time to wallow in your own self-pity is not a luxury the Chelsea captain will afford you. Terry plays with passion and heart, and commitment to the cause. He understands that the team are not trying their best for the owner, or the board, but for the fans who turn up every week to see them play. That has been missing at Chelsea recently, but with Terry back barking orders, the performances will certainly improve.

4. Torres still getting chances : 

Fernando Torres has just about played in every single Chelsea match under Benitez. The excuses being used as a bit weird, but Torres is still finding his way onto the pitch. His performances of late have been so shockingly poor that it almost seems as though he doesn’t want to play, and you would be forgiven for thinking that his relegation to the bench for the trip to Stoke was a sign that Benitez had seen what everyone else has known for months: Torres isn’t up to the job. He did nothing other than attempt a witty backheel attempt, but that didn’t work out well for him.

5. Best performance this season : 

An incredible match today as we beat Stoke 4-0 in their own backyard. Yes, we were a bit lucky on the own-goals, but if Walters didn’t score it would of been Mata and Lampard who would of been on the score-sheet. Cech wasn’t tested much throughout the game and as you saw in the stats posted above, we were the better side and we never really gave Stoke a chance to nudge back in the game. We gave away a cheap penalty at the end, but that wasn’t anything too serious as it was the 90+ minute and he missed anyway. This match goes higher than Arsenal (away) and Tottenham (away) because we dominated Stoke at the Britannia – something that almost NEVER happens. This was a true Champions performance.

  1. Godwin Nkem says

    i dont like the idea of playing bertrand as a winger,and i hate seeing oscar on the bench..KTBFFH

  2. Zane says

    Demba Ba tested Begovic only once with his weaker left foot after Lampard released him with an aerial through pass. That’s it. If Oscar plays,the team is narrow and Benitez knows that. Mata obviously is in better form than he is so he has to sit on the bench. Chelsea were winning so why can’t Torres get a chance? Besides,he is on huge wages so he has to use him and give him game time. That definitely wasn’t the performance of the season. If Walters hadn’t scored those own goals,it could have been a different game. It doesn’t mean Hazard and Lampard would have been on the score sheet. Is Mata even on the score sheet? Dude! Damn!

    1. Tushar says

      Yea man…wats the harm in bringing Torres in wen the team was winning…no1 cried wen Bertrand played left wing in rdm era…n yesterday BA was also ineffective…n certainly not the best performance…

    2. Sahil Sharma says

      I wont say ineffective,bt yeah he won some of dose aerial duels…and d big thing was his movement..his movement left right and centre allowed the likes of mata and hazard to do deir stuff..as defenders were left dealing with the movement of Ba..dere is more 2 a performance dan js acessing it on d fact dat hw many times he touched d ball or how many shoots he had..Ba did his job xceptionally welll by keeping d defenders busy allowin mata and hazard space..!

  3. drogba says

    benitez es un tecnico miedoso , porque no le dio minutos a nathan ake en vez de ferreira y a oscar lo trata bien feo el debe jugar atras del delantero , no en las bandas y a piazon tambien se lo cargo y a bertrand ponerlo de lateral no de extremo

  4. Slim says

    I don’t get it isn’t bertrand suppose 2 be succeeding ashly Cole don why is he now playing left wing dat place suppose 2 be 4 marin or Oscar i don’t like dis Rafael benitez formation ad is subs is bad ad wrong

  5. Shaquille Xavier Moseley says

    oscar didnt start becuz benitez knw stoke is a very physical side… and its wise not to play him against pepe XI

  6. Anonymous says

    we need ryan bertrand to deliver the crosses..stoke is really weak in high ball/cross…if oscar play..thats mean mata and hazard will be the winger…and both of them are not crosser..maybe marin is a good choice instead of bertrand…

  7. Vaibhav Kumble says

    Agree with most parts except d Torres one.. he has scored 12 goals this season so y will he not get a chance. You see his witty back heal that he missed but not d one before that opened up stoke big time. Cole’s cross was poor else that would have been no.5. M completely support playing Ba I/o Torres but wat you stated just isnt right.

  8. robben16 says

    i think stoke is good in high ball. that’s why they got 2 goal from walters hehehe. but i can’t understand why they put bertrand as a winger. i know that oscar and marin are not good in physical but they got pace. stoke players are not really fast. so, it give advantage to chelsea. hazard proof that. another things, why not give torres another change for this match. i saw ba not really have many change in this match. so, why not. torres good in through ball. why not chelsea player use that tactics.his physical is not like ba but he can dodge it. that his advantage. next game i would like to see torres, marin and oscar in starting lineup.

  9. Anonymous says

    Oscar does not suit the winger position .He is quick agile yes but at the same time selfish and arrogant on the pitch .. :/ We should play him if we are playing two strikers .

  10. Joseph says

    Demba ba was great today he could of had 3 assists if begovic wasn’t so good Torres came on and once again did not touch the ball. I would of liked to see marin start but i understand why rafa played bertrand. Ironic as it is the team most of time struggles defensivly down the righ hand side where cole plays which is why he played bertrand to offer more protection. I think Mata needs a rest he looks tired. Hazard was brilliant he was running at pace, passing brilliantly the flicks were out and then wollop an absolute screamer
    Lampard was amazing as he always is

    I feel because taison has left Abramovich should turn his attention to isco he would be perfect to rotate in the 3 with mata, Hazard, Moses and Marin i feel that oscar is more influential in that lampard positon and could easilly be rotated. Isco is absolute class at only 20 years old he will become the next iniesta

  11. Avash Byanjankar says

    I liked the game yesterday but i disagree with you on the Fernando Torres situation. If Torres doesn’t play, it’s a huge loss to the club because even in Chelsea he’s started to show some signs of the forward he was during his Liverpool days, and being a footballer myself, i know that people have off days every once in a while so i’d say, give Torres more chances!

  12. makinwa says

    it is established now that benitez hates the gut of oscar why keep a young talented dude on the benvh 4 90 mins. and ferreira, and bertrand on the field and we are winning…. i bet he wants to frustrate this young lad

  13. idowu emmanuel says

    The important things dat secured us d win were 1) Demba ba’s positioning n timing were superb n really created space n chance for lampard n mata. His constant presence was a menace psychologically unlike if it was torres. Aerial balls were kinly contested. 2) hazard was ontop of his game. His movements in dis game were precise n he didn’t play to d gallery dis time. He was able to aim to drive towards d post and look all purposeful in dis game. Same bite I saw in the game against swansea from hazard. 3) luiz did not make his costly mistakes dis time around. I feel dat mid field role has given him more confidence n ability on d ball n to have more control wen handling d ball. 4) cech’s return was essential bcos it was obvious we wuld hav conceded assuming it was turnbull bcos of his timing n always rushing out leaving space behind d post. 5) lampard was ontop of his game as well. Seems his come off d injury dat sidlined him for most of dis season. He’s gain more energy to probe forward n dats bcos he had more cover in d midfield n stoke were poor in d midfield as their men were all out to tackle wrongly. This were majorly factors dat helped dat performance bcos a lot of things n players gel dis time around unlike in most other matches n thank God benitez was not sarcastic wit his selection. Swansea game wuld hav been like dis but bcos ba was benched, cech was not in goal n iva’s rare mistakes. I think if d coach do d rite selection, we will go all d way except on odd days. Great 2nd half performance!

  14. Kobbyhans says

    For me i think Ba played well.

  15. Eben says

    Yu guys shld understnd that getting chances against stoke is neva easy.. They’v bn unbeaten for a long tym at home… Begovic has had a number of clean sheets and he put up anoda brilliant performance yesterday…
    I fink betrand’s inclusion was bcos of d physicality of stoke city…. He let him play d game out bcos we were on d front foot… He decided to play ferreira bcos he wanted Oscar fresh for d next game and also fulfilling his rotation policy, atleast giving ferreira tym on d pitch.. Next tym i tink Nathan Ake shld get d chance wen we are leading comfortably wit a good margin… Had it bn we were chasing d game, i dnt tink betrand wld hv lasted d second half, am sure Marin wld hav come in… For the fact that we won, no one can discredit Rafa’s decisions… Evrybody cnt tink alike at d same time, especially wen tins are going on fine.. I prefer torres always comin in as a sub until he picks himself up… I agree wit d person dat says Mata needs a rest..

  16. xtian says

    Demba ba was excellent. I think he deserve to have taken the penalty after feeding Lampard with 2 easy balls. He is hardly marked out in set pieces which increased the panic in the box. Held up the ball well and ensured we had proper ambition going forward. Rarely gave away the ball or tried to do too much.

  17. Zane says

    Guys. Do you think our strikers are getting enough balls from the midfielders apart from random and aimless crosses into the box? I think with the amount of possession we have in games,our strikers are not getting enough service. Whether it’s Ba or Torres.

    1. Vaibhav Kumble says

      We tend to not make the most obv pass. Thats a through ball to the striker. That was a prob when Torres was playing and now Ba. Ive always stated that lamps should play CAM. It makes a hell lot of difference.

  18. robben16 says

    For that reason, Chelsea should buy striker that can create goal with his own effort and has high individual skill like Neymar, Suarez and Messi.

  19. Zane says

    Yes. A striker with flair,fast feet and pace. Torres had that in his Liverpool days but he got much brawner because of the long ball Chelsea style before this season. This is the exact reason why Barca don’t play with a true striker. All the players has to have the same style and movement.

  20. fprex scam says

    Fuck you all Forex bustards

  21. immortality says

    Chelsea played really well that day, i love to watch HAZARD and MATA together on the pitch.

  22. Luis says


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