I think most fans expected a relatively dull affair today given the pragmatic nature of both managers, and after an early threat of a wide open match, the 1-1 draw turned out to be every bit as dull as most expected. Chelsea grabbed a vital away goal, and will now be in relatively good shape for the return leg in London. There's still work to be doen, however.
Galatasaray set up in a surprisingly open alignment, and Chelsea took full advantage early on. They were breaking with speed and numbers whenever they took the ball, and frankly, probably should have went to the break up more than 1-0.
The second half started with no Chelsea changes, though Galatasaray had to make a second move to shore up their defense. We continued to concede possession, still looking to hit on the counter attack. It was some generally uninspired work from the Blues though, and after a narrow escape from a set piece, Chelsea were made to pay from a perfectly delivered corner.
As has become the pattern of late, Chelsea had a hard time turning it back on after they had decided to close up shop. The game ended 1-1, meaning the Blues will have some work to do when they kick off the second leg in London.
- Fernando Torres is back!!!
- What an absolutely awful pitch that was. Sadly though, it's far better than the last time Galatasaray hosted a Champions League match.
- Fernando Muslera alone would have been worth the price of admission. I'm glad he didn't pick up a second yellow, as that means we get to watch him flounder around in goal for another 90 minutes.
- I'm not a big fan of how far we were having Petr Cech come out of goal to take free kicks. At one point in the second half, Cech was standing 50 yards away from goal looking to play the ball forward.
- Eden Hazard's defensive work continues to be noticeably better than it was a year ago. With Nemanja Matic unavailable for this season's Champions League campaign, that's going to be a big key to any success Chelsea are going to have.
- I'm not sure why clubs don't utilize the quick throws Roberto Mancini side employed this evening. They caused Chelsea all sorts of problems, and would probably be just as effective if used regularly.
- This referee didn't do Chelsea any favors today, as he was very free with his yellow cards. That could be problematic if we continue to advance in the competition.