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Chelsea 4 - Reading 2: Initial thoughts and community rating form

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Chelsea and Reading are now the first two teams with a pair of fixtures in the books, and after an absolutely fantastic fight back in the second half, Chelsea will spend the next several days alone atop the table. While there were a few bad spells for the home side in this one, Chelsea were the better team for the majority of this game. Here are my initial thoughts now that the game is over:

  • I was more than a bit surprised by the starting lineup. With Raul Meireles, Oriol Romeu, and Michael Essien available, I expected to see at least one of this past weekend's starting pivot players rested.
  • Reading's flat 4-4-2 looked absolutely terrible. When they began to drop one of the strikers deeper to take away our outlet to Mikel, they actually managed to see a little bit of the ball.
  • The second Reading goal was just inexcusable. That's a simple save that was horribly botched. Reading was kind enough to blunder one right back for us in the second half. Oh well, 4-2 is better than 3-1 for both clubs as far as tiebreakers might eventually be concerned.
  • Our finishing still needs an awful lot of work. Chelsea had seven great chances from open play in the first half and only found the back of the net on a penalty.
  • Juan Mata and Eden Hazard showed a few real flashes of brilliance with their interchange. They also showed moments where they didn't have a clue what the other was doing. Some more training time might just do wonders for that pairing.
  • I love when Dean Sturridge is doing analysis and Daniel Sturridge comes on. There's absolutely no attempt to hide his bias at all.
  • The linesmen from this game should all be fired. They missed a whole bunch of very clear offside calls, one of which led to the winner and two more that probably should have been goals.
  • It will certainly be interesting if goal differential comes into play at the end of the season. The freebie when Reading brought their keeper forward could have major ramifications for both sides in May.
  • Eden Hazard is awesome.