Boring, boring Chelsea are back, and treated the fans in Ukraine to an uneventful 0-0 draw, which sees the Blues remain third in their Champions League group. A draw certainly wasn't the sort of result that Chelsea fans would have wanted, but with the two most difficult fixtures of the group stage now played, and Chelsea within three points of the top of the group, it leaves Jose Mourinho's side in a good position to eventually top the group.
For most of the match, Chelsea looked far more like last season's Premier League champions than this season's mid-table side. It was an excellent first half, which unfortunately went into the break scoreless after Cesc Fabregas was denied a clear penalty, and Eden hazard struck the post.
The second half started brightly, with Willian taking a free kick from just outside of the box, but being denied by the Dynamo crossbar. Kiev built themselves into the match as the second half wore on, however, and looked the more likely to score during the final 30 minutes of the contest, even though they didn't manage to do so.
Unfortunately, FC Porto won fairly comfortably, giving them seven points from their first three matches, including a big win over Chelsea in Portugal. There's still every reason to believe that Chelsea will finish atop their Champions League group, but they may need to win all three of their remaining matches in order to do so.
Here are a few thoughts following the match:
- I'm getting awfully tired of writing about obvious penalties not being given. Fabregas certainly has some history of going down in the box without contact, but I'm not sure how that obvious incident in the first half went without a call.
- Hazard looked far better this evening, after being left out of the lineup against Aston Villa over the weekend. He's still not back to last season's form, but any improvement is worth noting at this point.
- Willian's free kicks are just sensational. Chelsea's players attacking them need to get their timing down, however.
- Kurt Zouma did a nice job filling in at right back, and Chelsea looked strong against a pair of talented wingers. Hopefully this doesn't mean Baba Rahman moves back to the doghouse, but it's nice to see the Blues look good in defense for a change.
- This match was probably Nemanja Matic's best performance of the season. He looked solid and composed, as did his pivot partner, Ramires.
- All in all, this was a better showing. Hopefully, this is the start of a good run of form.