Date: 18th October 2017 at 10:02pm
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Chelsea came up against Roma in the 3rd round of matches in this seasons Champions League group stages. Having won their first two encounters at home to Qarabag and impressively away at Atletico Madrid, a win against the Italians would seal the Blues qualification for the knockout stages.

That qualification possibility coming courtesy of Qarabag, who held Atletico Madrid to a 0-0 draw in Azerbaijan. Chelsea got themselves off to a flyer when David Luiz, playing in midfield, tried to play in Alvaro Morata, but the ball didn`t find the Spaniard. A poor clearance by the Roma defence though, and the ball found it`s way back to the fuzzy haired Brazilian, who deftly side footed the ball past the diving keeper, from the edge of the penalty area.

Roma dominated the ball for long periods of the half, only poor finishing and good goalkeeping from Thibaut Courtois kept Chelsea ahead. At times Chelsea looked off the pace and dysfunctional as a team. As ever though, they managed to muddle through. On the sidelines Antonio Conte was clearly up for the fight, a collision with Roma`s Maxime Gonalons, as the midfielder scrambled to prevent the ball going out, riled the him. With Carlo Ancelotti watching from the stands, Conte was under added pressure

Despite Roma`s dominance on the ball, Chelsea were always dangerous on the break, something that was ably demonstrated mid way through the half. Alvaro Morata, back from injury, broke and clipped the ball over to Eden Hazard, who fired Chelsea 2-0 ahead.

The lead didn`t last long though, as Roma kept pressing and forcing Chelsea back. Aleksander Kolarov fired the Italian side back into the game via a deflection off Andreas Christensen as he tried to block the shot. Chelsea made it to half time holding onto their slender lead.

There was no let up in the application of both teams as the game entered the second period. This game was not for the faint hearted, every attack looked as though it would result in a goal. For the neutral it was a game made in heaven. None of the anti-climax that the weekend`s Premier League encounter between Liverpool and Manchester United produced. This was pure blood and thunder. It wasn`t nasty though, there just one booking in the whole game, Tiemoue Bakayoko.

Roma kept the pressure on Chelsea, to see if they would crack. They did. Roma equalised through Edin Dzeko with a goal, that even for the most partizan Chelsea fan, has to be considered world class. A long ball was floated across to the left side of the penalty area, Dzeko watched it, before volleying the ball over Courtois, who had no chance. Just six minutes later, the ex-Manchester City striker headed his side in front, from a free kick, it was just a touch, but enough to see the ball past Courtois.

To Chelsea`s credit, they didn`t fold and a well directed header by Eden Hazard from Pedro`s cross brought Chelsea level. 3-3 was probably a justified result, as neither team deserved to lose.

Pedro`s assist was vindication for Antonio Conte who had taken David Luiz off early in the second half and brought the Spaniard on in his place. Luiz was not in the least bit happy with his manager and showed a degree on dissent when his number was up.

With the group stages halfway through Chelsea are looking comfortable in terms of qualification. Next up in the Champions League is the return fixture in Rome, in two weeks time. If it has half the action of this evening`s game, it`ll be a treat.

Next up in the league, is a home game against Watford, who must have been loving the runaround that Roma were giving their opponents ahead of the weekend fixture.

 

20 Replies to “Battle At The Bridge Ends In Stalemate”

  • Conte post match interview. Luiz (Calf) and Bakayoko (groin) are the latest injuries concerns. This easily explains why Luiz was subbed. Even with Luiz on, we were never comfortable. Yes Luiz gave us a bit more solidity in the middle of the park, but we lost something because Roma pressed relentlessly. For me, while Luiz in Midfield is an option, it is still not one to reply on consistently as a strategy ( even though it is by far better than playing Cesc in a midfield two with Bakayoko). Even though we won against spurs with this same formation, but that team with Luiz in the middle never had balance in my eyes, similar to today. Only difference being that we won against spurs. This cycle of injuries are unfortunate and will always take me back to this squad and its depth. If Luiz and Bakayoko cannot play against in form Watford on Saturday, I wonder what Conte can possibly come up with in terms of formation especially in midfield. This is tough. I wish him luck figuring it out before Roman’s axe swings lol.

  • Conte post match interview. Luiz (Calf) and Bakayoko (groin) are the latest injuries concerns. This easily explains why Luiz was subbed. Even with Luiz on, we were never comfortable. Yes Luiz gave us a bit more solidity in the middle of the park, but we lost something because Roma pressed relentlessly. For me, while Luiz in Midfield is an option, it is still not one to reply on consistently as a strategy ( even though it is by far better than playing Cesc in a midfield two with Bakayoko). Even though we won against spurs with this same formation, but that team with Luiz in the middle never had balance in my eyes, similar to today. Only difference being that we won against spurs. This cycle of injuries are unfortunate and will always take me back to this squad and its depth. If Luiz and Bakayoko cannot play against in form Watford on Saturday, I wonder what Conte can possibly come up with in terms of formation especially in midfield. This is tough. I wish him luck figuring it out before Roman’s axe swings lol.

  • Do the ..umm self appointed experts yet admit that Lukaku – the new Drogba would have been a better buy after recent performance. After all didn’t even Huddersfield Town , my home town team manage to beat Crystal Palace with a significant goal score?

  • We have 2 players for each position. What squad depth are you folks talking about again? Just unfortunate starters and subs are injured at the same time. We might as well start signing 3 players for each position then.

  • @Blu_Mel. If you are referring to our signing Morata against Lukaku, I think time will tell. Yes, Lukaku is good. And he is stronger. But Morata is not a bad striker. There are qualities he has that are really good. He has the right attitude and he fights for ball. He is going to score a lot of goals in a much complete team. So don?t let us get too excited yet.

  • I think we give Conte time, things will work out fine. We need to exercise patience, but he must make an effort to develop young players.

  • WTF is going on ?, now Baka and Luiz are injured ?, we are losing 1/2 players every match . Maybe its his intense training methods, something is going wrong this is crazy . Why did Moses play last Sat ?, he was carrying an injury from the Nigeria game as their manager would not take him off when he asked to come off . At this rate by the time we face Motormouth and United we will be left with Courtois , Fab and 9 kids . Injuries aside it seems it all went pear shaped when Luiz came off . I totally agree with Latunvic on the match thread that Fab is a liability . It prolly would have been better had Rudigar come on and AC moved into mid-field . Aside from injuries several players seem to be in a total slump this season . Conte has to start using some kids to fill the gaps . Really this is no time to be going on about Lukaku, he has gone to motormouth , end of story, id be more upset about KDB or Mata .

  • Stupid referee. When Dzeko scored their third goal, Christensen was clearly fouled. He fell to the ground and Dzeko got the clear header.

  • Willian needs to be rested for a while. He did not help the team. It is time to play Musonda regularly.

  • Obviously a draw was a good results. Roma were faster and more physical. They did not give much space and time for our players to play our usual game.

  • William shouldn’t be rested. He should be banned from the team. He doesn’t want to play for Chelsea anymore

  • Pretty disastrous performance and result. It has left us in a position where the last game against Atletico could be a winner goes through situation and at the moment you wouldn’t bet on Chelsea winning. It is absolutely incredible that history appears to be repeating itself once again. Who can feel remotely confident they will beat Watford? We made Roma look like one of the elite teams of Europe. We made Crystal Palace look like Man City. What the hell is going on?

  • the plot has been figured. we are now crap from start to finish. conte has resulted in digging his own grave. he’s bias on fielding cahill fabregas, willian will lead him and the team to bigger and worse problems

  • There has to be something going on at training that must be responsible for this injuries, this is not normal…

  • Last season he kept fabregas, willian on the bench and we won games. now he keeps faith in willian and fabregas. fabregas should be kept on the bench. matic was physical, fabregas just get run past like a ghost by any physical player. he’s a liability. except conte wants to lose more games.

  • I watched the game again and one of the things that did us in was height, the only tall players we have are Luiz, Tbo, Rudigar and Baka, the rest of our team are midgets . We were totally out muscled and bullied . Strootman had us in his pocket and Radja also . Two of their goals could have been saved if Tbo had moved a second earlier . Honestly i cannot see us getting a win in Rome, yesterday was a “must win game” , now we could be heading to the Europa League .

  • we won’t win in Rome if we play fabregas, willian, cahill. if we keep these guys out. then watch us play wonderfully I bet you.

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