The almost completely rotated starting eleven, featuring youngsters such as Ethan Ampadu, Andreas Christensen, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi, were not as good as their first-choice counterparts. Although it is necessary to say that the pitch condition did not allow them to play Sarri-ball properly, our opponents had the best share of chances in the initial minutes as they exploited our defensive problems, especially on the right flank occupied by Davide Zappacosta.
With Chelsea struggling to find space to finish chances in the final third against Vidi’s good defensive effort, Willian arrived at the scene to open the scoreline. Almost 30 minutes into the match, the Brazilian drew the foul just on the edge of the box and converted from there with an accurate free kick, putting enough curve to take the ball away from the goalkeeper’s range.
Unfortunately, we were only able to hold the lead for less than two minutes. An attempt by Ethan Ampadu to clear a ball away from the penalty box in a corner play by the opposition ended up being shoved past Willy Caballero’s goal.
The Blues tried to add a second shortly after Ampadu’s incident. But Vidi held strong and 11 minutes after the second half started, they got their second goal of the night.
Vidi’s reaction to their second score was to sit back and endure Chelsea’s flurry of attacks on their defence. And after many attempts from the Blues, they were breached in one of the least likely of manners imaginable: a free kick superbly taken by centre forward Olivier Giroud.
The tying goal along with BATE Borisov’s 3-1 win over PAOK were effectively ending Vidi’s chances of seeing themselves making it through the group into the Europa League’s round of 32 with a second-place finish. Still they pushed for the win, but failed to get out of the clash with the three points they wanted.
- Traditional centre forwards are back! First with Álvaro Morata, who unfortunately ran out of the pitch injured; and then Olivier Giroud, filling in for the Spaniard in the first half.
- The other sub was Pedro for Willian (56’). No third substitution utilised today.
- A draw was probably a fair result here. Despite Chelsea’s domination in possession, they were unable to do much in the final third while Vidi did well to hold the visitors and pounce on the few opportunities they got throughout the match.
- Next up: Brighton away in a Premier League clash with hopes to trigger another winning streak in the competition, on the back of our 2-0 victory against City last weekend.
- Vote wisely.