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Sporting Lisbon 0 - Chelsea 1: Initial reaction and community rating form

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Julian Finney

Chelsea made this one a lot less comfortable than it really had to be, but in the end, the Blues now sit atop their Champions League after defeating Sporting Lisbon in Portugal. The victory, combined with Schalke's draw with Maribor, leaves Chelsea alone atop the group with four points in two fixtures.

The Blues should have won this one comfortably, but a combination of poor finishing and excellent goalkeeping left the result in doubt until the very end. Nemanja Matic's headed goal in the 34th minute proved the difference, and Chelsea's defense managed to keep a clean sheet for the second match running.

Thoughts:

  • I was pleased to see Filipe Luis given another start in a midweek match. He's looking comfortable with his new  defensive mates for the most part, and the rotation possible with all of Luis, Branislav Ivanovic, and Cesar Azpilicueta available should leave Jose Mourinho less worries about fatigue late in the season than he dealt with last season.
  • Rui Patricio is a pretty damn good goalkeeper.
  • That header from Nemanja Matic couldn't have been placed any better. He's starting to look like the sort of threat from set pieces that we all expected to get when he signed, which is just one more problem for opposing defenders to deal with when facing Chelsea.
  • Cesc Fabregas may be causing the squad some issues with his defending at the moment, but his set piece delivery alone might be good enough to justify keeping him in the squad.
  • I hate lasers, unless it's sharks with lasers. Sharks with lasers are awesome.
  • I loved the switch to put Mikel on for Oscar as Chelsea were working to kill off the game. While I still have serious doubts about Cesc Fabregas in a pivot against stronger opposition, his ability to move around the pitch as the situation warrants will be a serious boost to our hopes of winning silverware.
  • Hopefully we'll be a little more clinical this weekend. I want to win 6-0 again.