Playing against Stoke City is not always ease and it proved once again yesterday. Stoke were extremely defensive, resilient, and hard to beat. Despite having more than £130 million worth of attacking talent up front, it needed the calmness of the defender Ashley Cole to give us all three points.
The 85th minute goal was the first by the defender after two years. It can’t be more significant because it keeps us top of the table after this weekend irrespective of Sunday’s results.
Here are some of the quotes from the Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo after the match:
“It was a very good performance, the whole team expressed themselves very well, after a Champions League game you can sometimes be physically and emotionally drained, there is always a little bit of concern, but we started very brightly.
“The second half started really well, we were creating chances and opening them up a bit more. I thought it was a question of time.
“It’s the first time we have tried it, it certainly needs more work and practice, to tactically integrate them into our system.
“The guys have played a lot of games already and we’ve got so many more to come, so using the squad is very important for us.”
It was quite clear that the front three of Eden Hazard, Mata, and Oscar were extremely fluid and capable of creating a lot of chances. However, it was also evident that they need time together on the pitch in order to flourish. They also need to learn to make better use of Fernando Torres’ abilities.
The Spaniard isn’t the one who can replicate Drogba. So, using him for one-two’s might not be the best idea. It clearly didn’t suit the 28-year-old against Stoke.