Chelsea carried their poor domestic form into the UEFA Champions League last night as they lost 2-1 away from home to Porto thanks to some shambolic defending.
The big news ahead of the game was Jose Mourinho’s team selection where he decided against bringing captain John Terry back into the side and dropped Nemanja Matic and Eden Hazard to the bench. Loic Remy, Radamel Falcao, and Oscar didn’t even travel with the squad and stayed in England.
Porto took the lead six minutes before the end of the first half when Yacine Brahimi went past who else but Branislav Ivanovic before taking a shot that Asmir Begovic did brilliantly to deny. Sadly it came straight out to Andre Andre whose powerful strike found the back of the net. Begovic was unlucky and he almost got to the second one as well.
With the last kick of the first half Chelsea pulled level through yet another Willian free-kick, it’s his third in three games making him the first player in Chelsea history to score three free-kicks in three consecutive games (which sounds like a bit of a tongue twister).
The score didn’t remain level long as just seven minutes into the second half Chelsea’s defensive woe’s reared their ugly head once again. This time Maicon beat Ramires at the near post during a corner which allowed him to get his head to the ball and put it past Begovic.
Chelsea will point to the penalty they could have had in the dying minutes as costing them but in truth it was their defence that cost them this match.
Up front Chelsea played well, especially Diego Costa who had a brilliant effort denied by the post, although he did look a bit isolated at times.
Mourinho brought on Hazard, Matic, and Kenedy as the game went on in a desperate attempt to rescue a point and it almost worked.
Hazard made a brilliant run into the penalty area and had he chosen not to jump over the Porto defender who came sliding in and taken a shot that hit into the side netting could have won his side a penalty. Credit to Hazard for not going down but… Well a penalty is a penalty.
Likewise Kenedy had a great chance towards the end of the match but he couldn’t get his shot on target. Pedro too had a great chance one-on-one with Iker Casillas but he couldn’t beat the keeper.
So Chelsea were better going forward than they were against Newcastle and created more chances for themselves, they just failed to finish them off and were let down by some shocking bad defending. Again.
You have to wonder how much longer Ivanovic can keep his place in the starting line-up and just what the hell does Terry need to do to get back into the side?