The Blues didn't exactly start this game in fine fashion, looking tentative and out of sync for the vast majority of the opening 30 minutes of play. Schalke may have gotten a little too comfortable though, and some very lazy play from the goalkeeper gifted Samuel Eto'o an opener.
After the goal, Chelsea seemed content to sit deep and absorb pressure, looking to hit the visitors on the break. They looked relatively comfortable in doing so, as Schalke didn't really create anything of note for the remainder of the first half.
The Blues looked better to start the second half, as Schalke seemed to be running out of steam. Petr Cech was called into action early due to some questionable defending on a throw, but within two minutes Willian found Samuel Eto'o to double the Chelsea lead.
It weas all Chelsea after that, with Demba Ba eventually replacing Eto'o and making the Chelsea lead three. That's how it ended, with Chelsea taking both games against the toughest opponent in the group.
The win gives us an important edge in the group aside from the three points, as the head-to-head tiebreaker between ourselves and the German side now belongs to Chelsea. Here are a few thoughts in the immediate aftermath of this one:
- Jose Mourinho backed up his angry talk after the match against Newcastle this past weekend, making several changes from the squad that played such lackluster football. I prefer this sort of reasoning to the rotating for the sake of rotating policy we saw last season, even if we looked shaky coming out of the gate tonight.
- There might be nothing worse that a reasonably intelligent fan could be forced to suffer through than halftime "analysis" from Eric Wynalda. I'd rather watch Ashley Young's dive on repeat for the entire break than be forced to hear the nonsense Wynalda consistently spews.
- Speaking of awful analysis, why is Tony Gale still commenting on this sport?
- The approach taken early on by Schalke today couldn't have been more different than the one we saw Saturday. Where Newcastle sat back with ten behind the ball, Schalke tried to attack the Blues with an unsustainable amount of pressure.
- With Basel salvaging a draw against Steaua, Chelsea now need just one point to assure they advance out of the group. Three points will assure they finish atop the heap in Group E, and a win against Basel would make the final game against Steaua a good chance to give some fringe players a run.
- Just West Brom to go before the final international break of 2013...let's have a statement game that leaves us on a high until the 23rd.