Initial Reaction: Chelsea 2 - Manchester City 3

Why????

The pre-season is over, the next time Chelsea take the pitch it will actually count. There wasn't too much we were going to be able to take from this one to begin with, but after Branislav Ivanovic got sent off for a ridiculous challenge in the 41st minute, the valuable part of the contest was effectively over. With that in mind, here's a few of my initial thoughts after watching this one:

  • Fernando Torres is going to be very important defensively on set pieces this season, especially in games where Ivanovic does not play (or tries to kill someone).
  • Many of the Chelsea players seemed more focused on staying healthy than winning balls. John Terry, Frank Lampard, and Ramires all passed on several attempts to win balls and potentially launch the counter in the first 41 minutes that they'd normally have tried. Apparently that memo never made it to Bran.
  • Our "wings" like to cut inside and shoot or pass an awful lot. That's not a bad thing. It probably wouldn't hurt to see them take the ball to the touchline a little more often though, as Chelsea should still be very dangerous on corners with the aerial presences they have in defense.
  • The Torres goal was encouraging in that he was very quick to get the shot off. That's something that drove me nuts last year.
  • When Chelsea intercepted the ball, they were having a hard time keeping their first pass on the ground. That makes it a little tougher to transition to the counter, but the opportunities were definitely there. Hopefully this will improve as the season gets underway.
  • Another right back would be nice to have, no?
  • For everyone that loves to trash Chelsea for their track record with youngsters, I think Ryan Bertrand is going to make you look fairly silly this season. It can be difficult to be patient with so much potential in the U21 and U18 ranks, but letting these kids become polished on loan has it's benefits.
  • This moment in the first half was relatively funny. Humor at the stumble aside though, Ashley Cole overlapping on the left is going to be a nightmare for opposing defenses.
  • Hazarderp_medium

    The pre-season is now over. On to the real games. Please don't overreact in the comments section, as frankly the result of this one doesn't matter. If you think Di Matteo was taking the result any more seriously than Graham or I, just look closely at his halftime substitutions and tactical changes when down to 10 men and ahead a goal against a very good attacking team. Look at the Ryan Bertrand for Eden Hazard substitution when 2 goals down with 20 minutes to play. It should be a fun week ahead, and the games start to mean something again next weekend.

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