Stoke City v Chelsea

Rusty was how Chelsea’s campaign began against Stoke City at Brittania stadium. With at least four of its stars on the benches including Didier Drogba and Nicholas Anelka, Chelsea started the first half disjointed.

The commencement of the new season saw the team struggle with cohesion as Stoke came to them with intensity and at times seemed to have the edge in fluency in the midfield over their more favoured opponents. The first half produced some good play from both teams with Stoke having the upper hand.

In a match that was intense, the first yellow card was given to Stoke city defender Ryan Shawcross as he took out Torres’ feet. Referee Mark Halsey stamping his authority early producing the first yellow card against the defender.

It was a game that had all the marks of an opening round fixture. Back from the break and these two teams were fluid in their approach- Stoke trying hard to assert their dominance. But Chelsea’s defence was solid. Leading the way is the ever reliable and consistent John Terry.

In attack the chances for Chelsea were aplenty in the first half, with shots on target from Ramirez in the 31st minute and Frank Lampard’s free kick from just outside the penalty box directly in front of goal, not strong enough.

In the second half Chelsea dominated the play, but still the cohesion was non existent. The closest the blues came to a decent scoring opportunity was in the 50th and 71st minutes by Ramirez and Kalou respectively. Ramirez weaved his way around some pedestrian defence, only to have pulled the trigger and the shot going left of the post.

In the 71st minutes Nicholas Anelka produced a lovely effortless chip over the Stoke defence which was saved by Begovic’s finger tips, which bumped the ball onto the cross bar denying the Frenchman a goal.

Moments later though the best opportunity for Chelsea came when a lovely ball from Torres made its way into the six yard box to find the head of Kalou, who seemed to have all the time in the world to make it 1- o to the Blues, only to have the goal denied by Begovic.

Although the match was expected to have some remnants of rustiness, the opportunites for Chelsea to win the game were there. Something that Villa-Boas has to address in the short term if he is to make his mark on the club and, for the owner who may not be so forgiving if opportunities like that don’t produce the desired result.


About Basil Naimet

I mostly follow two sports: The NRL in Australia and the Premier League in England. I'm taking a fancy to the Coca Cola championships in England too. Education: BA (UNSW) currently undertaking a Master of Journalism and Communication (UNSW). Im a bit of a fitness man as well.( I like to exersize regularly)

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