Chelsea 1 - PSG 1: Initial Thoughts

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 22: Fans line up to enter Yankee Stadium prior to the match between Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea FC at Yankee Stadium on July 22, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images)

Chelsea got themselves down early when Javier Pastore decided to show why we were interested in him last summer, but Lucas Piazon managed to be in the right place at the right time to even this one up late. I've got a few thoughts to share from this one, so here they are:

  • We looked to come out in a 4-4-1-1 much like the one used in Munich last spring. De Bruyne and Kakuta were sitting very, very deep.
  • Romelu Lukaku is getting into good spaces to receive the ball. He's not anticipating the pass though, something that's not unusual for 19 year old center forwards. I like the way he was positioning himself while PSG were trying to play it out of the back. His first touch needs a lot of work, but his decision making looked like it was pretty good.
  • Gael Kakuta and Kevin de Bruyne were working very hard to get back on defense. It was probably a moot point though, because Sam Hutchinson and Paulo Ferriera offered basically nothing at that end of the pitch tonight. Ferriera especially did an absolutely awful job holding his position in the bank of 4. It looked as if our fullbacks had never been on the same pitch as our wings in the first half.
  • Maybe it's a preseason oddity, but Mikel got forward an awful lot tonight.
  • The 4-4-1-1 that we used would be absolutely perfect for Fernando Torres. It doesn't, however, suit a traditional target man unless we have a little faster pair of wings. Lukaku would have had a field day in the last 20 minutes when Ramires and Marin were in there (Malouda as well).
  • Nathaniel Chalobah had himself a very nice cameo. He was far, far better defensively than Sam Hutchinson tonight.
  • Marko Marin didn't look awful defensively. He seemed to be trying, and that's a start. Even if he doesn't improve in that area at all, he'll be a fantastic offensive impact substitute.

Not the prettiest game ever by any stretch, but for a team that ran out an attacking foursome averaging 20 years of age tonight that's about what you'd expect. I'd imagine we'll see a little less Ferriera and Hutchinson on Tuesday, and that will probably be a good thing. Graham will have the full match report up tomorrow.

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