Date: 13th September 2017 at 8:38am
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Having sat in the West Stand at Stamford Bridge last night, it was opportunity to take a look at some of Chelsea`s new boys. The Blues starting XI against Champions League new boys Qarabag, saw a host of changes from Saturday`s game against Leicester City. With Chelsea playing hosts to Arsenal on Sunday lunchtime, Antonio Conte, rested Alvaro Morata, David Luiz, and Victor Moses.

Thibaut Courtois in goal, didn`t have a great deal to do, other than keep himself warm as he watched the game from a distance. He did his job when he had to. In defence Andreas Christensen slotted in between the returning Gary Cahill and the ever-present Cesar Azpilicueta. The three of them performed well, and the signs look good for the season. Antonio Conte can mix and match his five defenders having, clearly, drilled them to the same standard. More of the Conte work,work,work ethic paying dividends. Azpilicueta`s headed goal was a bonus as he looked to compete with Alvaro Morata, who he ran to, after scoring. The Spanish striker was warming up on the touchline.

Marcos Alonso and debutant Davide Zappacosta took up the wing-back roles. The Italian showed Victor Moses, he may have competition for that right-sided slot with a good performance. He made a big impact with the supporters when he picked up the ball in his own half, ran along the touchline and caught the keeper out with his cross / shot. The ground rang to the crowd singing ‘he scores when he wants, he scores when he wants, Zappacosta, he scores when he wants.` It was a great moment to witness, even if, as he`s admitted, it was a fluke.

N`golo Kante is a running machine, small of stature but big on legs, he put in his normal man about the pitch performance. Alongside him was Cesc Fabregas who had a quiet game by his standards, maybe he was saving himself for Arsenal.

The front three had strange games between them. Pedro got the game off to a great start with his curling shot from outside the penalty area, nicely worked by man-of-the-match Willian. Speaking of who, the Brazilian had a great game in terms of work rate, step over`s and generally trickery, he just lacks an end product. He has a tendency to ‘out-techers` himself. He needs to get a shot away or make that telling pass a tad sooner.

Last but not least the man up top, Michy Batshuayi. I want to say good things, but he had a poor game. He scored two goals towards the end, so credit is due, but his first touch let him down time and again. You couldn`t say he wasn`t trying though, things just weren`t coming off for him. Maybe it`s down to bad luck.

I think Conte and the Chelsea board need to be lining up someone to support Morata in the January transfer window. If we are to progress to later stages of this competition, I`m afraid the Batsman is not going to be good enough.

Tiemoue Bakayoko, who came on as a substitute scored his first Chelsea goal and Antonio Rudiger who replaced Azpilicueta, had an assist (I think) for a Medvedev own goal. First substitution of the night though, was Eden Hazard who came on with 32 minutes remaining. On a wet night, he didn`t look too impressed to be on but showed glimpses of what we know he can do. He shared a moment with the Matthew Harding faithful when he ran the ball out before being able to get a cross in.

It was a good 6-0 win against an opposition who ran and tried, but ultimately couldn`t. Fair play as well, to their very small number of supporters who made the long journey to watch their team get stuffed. Hopefully they had a good night out in London to make amends.


12 Replies to “Chelsea v Qarabag, View From The Stands”

  • I liked this piece from the mirror “Conte is a huge asset for Chelsea
    In many ways the talented Italian is a victim of his own success. Guardiola and Mourinho get top players to gel. Conte actually improves players.
    He coaches them into fulfilling their potential. Last season he defied the doubters to turn a Chelsea team seemingly at the end of it?s shelf-life into title challengers.”
    Another remind that we have a top top top coach, just hoping Roman will keep the axe at bay and allow the Don to build us a dynasty!!!

  • Some nice performances and good to see some rotation in the team, have to agree with the Bats & Willian opinion – Bats is simply not good enough although I want him to prove me wrong, as for Willian lots of energy & tricks but end product is disappointing.

  • Bats dont cut it out for me,he isnt the kinda player i would have hoped for.He second guesses
    and that lets him down.His touches are wayward to say the least.I hope he improves.William is a workaholic but less end results.most times i scream “pass williams pass!!”.If he gets injured its his doing because a simple pass would just have solved it.Dont know whats wrong with him but i home he gets on with those simple crosses,pass and shots on goal on time.Good match to warm the nerves and hope for a great game against arsenal.It will be an utter shame if we get a draw its time we get a good deserving revenge.

  • Nice easy workout for the lads and some lovely goals scored too. Now to tougher assignments ahead.

  • why not let musonda get some time last night? Can’t imagine a more perfect scenario for him. Otherwise a perfect night. Bats is a strange case. I think he’s trying to hard. He’s clearly not the target, back to goal striker conte want a for this system. The idea seems to be for the striker to be a point of reference for the team, always in a similar place, receive the ball back to goal, lay it off for the wing backs and forwards allowing them to get forward. Certainly not what he’s best suited for. However, he tried and he scored. Needs better decision making on when to shoot or pass. Needs better passing. Let’s hope morata stays fit. Christensen looks ready to buck the trend and be a regular. Zappacosta a fine edition at 23 million. Need to get drink water fit. Maybe then musonda would have seen time if Kante hadn’t been required to start. I understand getting azpilicueta and Kante a rest ahead of Sunday. I can also understand getting hazard a run in. Just really want to see musonda get a chance. Be nice yo have two youth products breakthrough this year. Also I did see Kyle Scott got a number and promotion to first team. Doubt he will see much, if any time, but will surely improve training with the senior team room a regular basis. Now we just need to smash arsenal Sunday. Come on Chelsea!

  • Other than maybe the League Cup against lowly opposition I can’t see Musonda getting a game unless there is an injury crisis. Hopefully Conte keeps playing strong teams and does not hand out appearance for the sake of it. When Rashford came through at Man Utd nobody was calling for him to be given an opportunity. Man Utd had an injury crisis, he came into the team out of nowhere and scored 4 goals in 3 days. That’s taking your chance. None of this RLC jogging around the pitch nonsense.

  • We have a very tough group, goal difference could be crucial in moving on, as much as i would like to have seen Musonda, i think Conte did the right thing . We play two teams with stingy defenses next, Quarabag is our best shot at padding the goals .

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