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PSG 1-1 Chelsea: Post-match reaction

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A rather feisty affair for what was supposed to be a "friendly."  Diego Costa set the tone inside the first minute and it only ratcheted up from there.  Once the referee's whistle is blown, it's hard to ignore recent history and emotions.

That said, in the end, is still just about gaining match fitness — in which respect we clearly were behind PSG — and match sharpness — in which respect we also lagged behind PSG.  Chelsea did start brightly, and the first 10 minutes were actually quite excellent.  Ivanovic should've even scored after Moses created a great chance with a bullish run.  But PSG took control from there, scoring from a midfield turnover (Mikel, this time, though he and Cesc had a private competition to see who can lose the ball more often) and the rest of the defense just stopped and stared as Zlatan slammed the rebound off the post home.  We hung on for just the narrow halftime deficit.

It took until about the 60th minute for Chelsea to wake up again, thanks in part to Serge Aurier's assault on Diego Costa's Achilles.  We should've been level a few minutes later, but Cesc dallied on the ball with the goal at his mercy and the defender got back to block.  Fabregas made up for his error quickly enough, providing a sumptuous lob over the defense for Victor Moses to run onto and finish first-time.  Mourinho threw on a bevy of attackers and we pressed for a winner.  But it did not come, and then instead of settling for a draw, we had a penalty kick shootout.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

(We WON!)

FIRST HALF

  • Asmir Begovic — totally redeemed himself; several excellent saves, though distribution could use a bit of work.  Then again, when was the last time we had a goalkeeper with stellar distribution?  De Goey?
  • Cesar Azpilicueta — certainly had his hands full with Lucas Moura
  • John Terry — still gearing up
  • Gary Cahill — won a challenge against Ibrahimovic, then went on an adventure of indeterminate purpose
  • Branislav Ivanovic — not the best
  • Mikel, Fabregas — will get better
  • Nemanja Matic — I have a feeling Matic isn't a huge fan of preseason.  He was subpar last year and outside of the first 10-15 minutes, he wasn't much better today either.  Will get better.
  • Eden Hazard — quiet
  • Diego Costa — also quiet outside of the Aurier confrontation and drawing a rather excellent save from Kevin Trapp after Hazard's pass set him free inside the area.  A shot on target though, and that's an improvement from last game.
  • Victor Moses — so far, the undisputed star of preseason.  Bullish in attack, diligent in tracking back.  Promise for the season.

SECOND HALF

Ramires, Kurt Zouma, and Thibaut Courtois were the only half-time changes, Mikel, Cahill, and Begovic making way.

  • Thibaut Courtois — no problems
  • Kurt Zouma — no problems
  • Ramires — conservative Ramires is the rarest form of Ramires, but he was fine outside of trying through balls.

The rest of the boys performed mostly as they did in the first half.  Costa's mind games paid off when Aurier was booked for a blatant hack-down.  Fabregas dallied on the ball to waste our best chance, then set up Moses for the game-tying goal.

More changes were made as Mourinho pressed the all-out-attack option, Falcao for Costa, Willian for an absolutely knackered Fabregas, Remy for Moses, and Oscar for Matic.  This left Ramires as our only non-attacking midfielder and the game truly opened up.  Falcao and Remy combined right away to create a decent chance.  Cuadrado made an appearance for Hazard and looked lively (and passed up a chance to shoot when clear in on goal, for some reason).  Meanwhile, Falcao was a man on a mission.

As time ticked away, our pressure petered out and the match ended, predictably, in a 1-1 draw.  But, unlike on Wednesday, the second half wasn't the worst thing ever, and that's good preseason progress.