Chelsea lost 2-1 to Shakhtar on Tuesday, making it 32 wins in the Ukrainian team's last 34 games. Anyone who thought that Shakhtar was a bit of a pushover got a very rude awakening, as they outplayed Chelsea in just about every phase of the game. Here's my first thoughts after watching the loss:
- Chelsea will take some criticism after this showing, but what really stood out for me was just how good Shakhtar looked. Sure, they aren't Barcelona or Real Madrid. When they play like they did on Tuesday though, they can beat either of those teams as well.
- We had absolutely no width for the vast majority of that game. With Hazard/Mata/Oscar up front that will always be an issue, but the fullbacks really need to come forward and support the attack from wide positions.
- We continue to look absolutely terrible defending set pieces and throw-ins. We allowed the opener on a throw, and probably should have conceded a pair from corners.
- Petr Cech was awesome. That could have been so much worse.
- That Oscar goal could turn out to be huge. We're a long way from looking at tiebreakers, but that one will be big if we get to that point.
- As much as losing is not a good thing, FC Nordsjaelland managed a draw with Juventus on Tuesday. That still leaves Chelsea in a very good position to advance from the group as long as they win one of their next two.