Chelsea 4-1 MSK Zilina: The Match Report (The London Derby)

Champions League Match Preview (The London Derby)

The State of the Bridge Address: At a Crossroads

UEFA Champions League

It is two days before our first match of the 2010/11 Champions League campaign against Zilina, and as always, it is filled with excitement. However, there have been questions that have begun to haunt us. When will we win the Champions League? With our key players entering the twilight of their careers, is this our last great opportunity.

This season already has seen Chelsea get of to the hottest start in Premier League history. As a result, confidence has been at an all-time high at the Bridge. But as we all know, the football season is a marathon, not the 100-yard dash; we still have to approach every team with caution and respect.

As far as the UCL goes, the group stage has our name written all over it. The two wins over MSK Zilina are a must, at least one win against Marseille, and a sweep of Spartak Moskva.  It is in the knockout rounds where we should step up and show the heart of champions.

Although this has been out eighth consecutive year in the Champions League, we only have three men in our staff who have actually won the coveted trophy. Bosingwa and Paulo Ferreira won it with FC Porto in 2004,  and our boss Carlo Ancelotti won it with AC Milan both as a player and as a coach.

The real reason why I wrote this article is to address an issue that has affected us dearly, and that is age. Lampard, Drogba, Anelka, Ferreira, Terry, Essien, Cech, and Malouda are players who either are 30-plus or awfully close. And with these players playing an important role in the club, we should also be cognizant that they might have just a few seasons of top-quality football left in them. Young stars such as Kakuta, Bruma, and Van Aanholt might be rising through the ranks, but in no way should we expect them to be World-Class anytime soon. What worries me is that we might have to resort to another spending spree in order to continue competing until our youth system is up to par.

Although this season is starting out as what could be the best in recent memory, if not ever, I believe that we should make a serious effort at winning the Champions League if this season is to acquire any legitimacy. If it is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, let us get on the right foot with a win over MSK Zilina.

-As always, feel free to correct me on any and all of my points.

–KTBFFH

Chelsea 3-1 West Ham United: The Match Report (The London Derby)

The London Derby Show on YouTube™

Blue is the Color: My First Season

Wigan v Chelsea

Another game another 6-0 thrashing. This one was a little more even. The first half would even be considered competitive. Wigan proved to be much more capable than West Bromwich, that being said they are obviously not an elite team.

I wonder if Chelsea is spoiling me. I haven’t followed the club long and have already seen 12 goals. This is the sort of thing that most teams take 4-6 games to accomplish. A friend of mine who is a Liverpool fan is ultra defensive now because his team had shown so few signs of brilliance. As of writing this, Liverpool has scored two goals over the entire season.

This game featured a great Malouda goal and two quick Kalou goals. I think that the man of the match truly was Anelka. He sealed the deal with the second and third goals. Drogba had an assist hat trick but he never really dominated the game. The long pass from Mikel was outstanding and the play of the match for me.

Chelsea v Stoke

If I felt spoiled by the Wigan game, the Stoke game highlighted the frustration of being a football fan in America.  The game was not on any of the channels I receive and have settled for highlights.  From the look of the highlights, Chelsea was able to handle Stoke, but not completely dominate.  Malouda has been on an absolute tare.  Four goals, scoring in ever game this season.  Drogba’s penalty was the icing on the cake. Can’t wait for the start of the champions league and my first match in Boston

Keep the Blue Flag Flyin High

Chelsea 2-0 Stoke City: The Match Report

Malouda scores the opener

Starting Lineups:
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech, Ferreira,Cole, Terry, Alex, Mikel, Essien, Lampard, Malouda, Anelka, Drogba
Stoke(4-4-2): Sorensen, Shawcross, Faye, Huth,Collins, Wilkinson, Delap, Etherington, Whitehead, Walters, Jones

Scoring:
Chelsea 2:  Lampard (miss pk ’11) Malouda (’32) Drogba (pen ’77)
Stoke 0: N/A

Substitutions:
Chelsea 3: Kalou for Lampard (72) Sturridge for Anelka (81) Essien for Ramires (85)
Stoke 3: Whelan for Wilkinson (51) Fuller for Jones (68) Pugh for Delap (86)

Referee Martin Atkinson
Crowd 40,931

In a match that lacked the clinical finishing of the two 6-0 wins that started the season, Chelsea still claimed the maximum three points against Stoke City with a score of 2-0.

Chelsea also remain the only club to have a 100% record in the Premier League, maintaining their position at the top of the table.

Chelsea seemed bent on starting another rout when Ashley Cole recieved a pass from Michael Essien and attempted a placed shot that went wide of the far post.

Stoke also had a chance of drawing first blood when Dean Whitehead’s shot from outside the box was parried by Cech after a nice one-two with Kenwyne Jones.

After a foul  on Didier Drogba by Ryan Shawcross in the box, Frank Lampard hit a lazy penalty that was easily saved by Stoke ‘keeper Thomas Sorensen. He also saved a well-hit free kick from Drogba which had every intention of hitting the back of the net.

Florent Malouda opened the scoring after a killer John Terry ball with a clinical right-footed finish against a defence that started four centre-halves, probably to prevent something akin to the 7-0 thrashing they recieved at the hands of the blues last season.

Ashley Cole almost doubled the Chelsea lead after his savage volley hit the crossbar with minutes left in the first half.

In the second half,the Chelsea domination continued. Sorensen was called again to save a header from Drogba after a floating pass from Anelka.

Much to Stoke’s credit, they did not throw in the towel. In fact, they provided the shot of the game when Glenn Whelan’s cracker from 25 yards out beat Cech but clattered off the crossbar.

But Chelsea sealed the points when Sorensen’s foul on Anelka in the box led to Drogba slotting home the spot-kick. Also, Chelsea new-boy Ramires made his debut with 5 minutes left in normal time. I, for one, want to see more of him as the season wears on.

Three Matches. Nine Points. Fourteen Goals. None Conceded. Confidence is high at the Bridge.

Man of the Match: Florent Malouda. Clinical finish to put Chelsea on top; he was also quite aware in  the field.

*KTBFFH

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