You know what they say: 2-0, the most dangerous lead.
So really, we got them right where we want ‘em.
Incidentally, Chelsea were also down by two goals to Real Madrid after last year’s Champions League quarterfinal first leg. And that was the home leg that time! This time we’re coming back to the Bridge for the second leg, and away goals are no longer a concern anymore.
But this year’s two-goal deficit feels far more insurmountable than last year’s two-goal deficit, which already felt impossible (and proved to be so). This will take a much more herculean effort than what we (almost) managed in Madrid then to come back.
We’re a shadow of the Chelsea team from just 12 months ago, which already may have been in decline.
Other than the total absence of a goal threat, the unifying theme in what Frank Lampard has seen from this team in his first two games back as Caretaker Manager, is a massive lack of fight, of determination, of belief, of confidence, of focus, of all the intangibles that make a talented group of players into an effective team rather than just a collective group of wannabe all-stars.
That must be incredibly jarring for the card-carrying founding member of the Old Guard, especially as he’s really unlikely to change all that in just a few short weeks.
“With 11 men, we were in the game and we had some chances and I think we can do better. [We] can utilise our strengths better, [we] need to be more urgent. [...] I could see opportunity there tonight.
“[We] wanted to use the width of the pitch [and] we could have done that a bit better, it was a weapon for us to use today. Get the ball out of pressure, get it to the side. In terms of the system, the thinking was very clear to negate threats but to give us an in possession control of the game which we could have done more.
“[It] was a difficult night for us at the top end of the pitch. [We] have to have an extra urgency in our game and an idea of how we can be more forceful in that game at Stamford Bridge.”
We shot ourselves in the foot in last year’s quarterfinal first leg. We responded with a near-historic win in the second leg.
We’re going to have to do one better this year.
“I think it’s a big challenge, of course ... [but] the door is open, it’s up to us whether we want to kick it open further.”
‘[We] have to believe. I have to be the first one to believe. [...] If you don’t believe at the top level of sport... [We] want to prove things wrong, change the tone, change the story.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
Do you believe in miracles?