Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Arghhh PSG...disaster no...but what a kick in the gut

So Chelsea did what we all knew they were capable of, but were hoping they wouldn't. After being down 3-1 they had to keep a clean sheet and score two goals. Mission accomplished. And they did so through the most improbable player - Ba. From the outset it was clear that Chelsea were laser focused on getting the necessary goals. PSG seemed to be happy to sit
back and defend. Not unexpected coming from a team sitting with a two goal lead, playing in a hostile environment of Stamford Bridge. It is easy to go back and change history. I do not think that Blanc made any errors in his line up, other than, I might have started Cabaye over Verratti from the beginning. Verratti was being mugged in the game in Paris and this only continued this time around. Maybe Blanc should have started Cabaye. For a few reasons:

  • His experience with Newcastle and having played in the EPL could have settled down the midfield. I realize that Blanc wanted to stick with the formation that brought him here.
  • Add some steel to the midfield. Chelsea seemed to have their way in the midfield. Especially with big bird - David Luiz. Luiz ran around like a chicken with his hair on fire.
  • Brought a bit more of a deep shooting threat to the midfield. Chelsea was pressing hard but doing that created some spaces for shooting from distance. Something Cabaye brings to the table.
Alas, I am not sure if that move would have made much of a difference. End of the day Chelsea earned the victory because they controlled the game and how it was played. PSG did not do enough to get their offensive players, such as Cavani, involved.

A tough loss for PSG, no doubt. But back to back 1/4 finals are something to build on. However PSG need to learn from this and go further if they want to be considered a real European power.

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