This year’s Super Cup was one of the most entertaining in living memory, with a tactically open match that could have gone either way ending in a nail-biting last-second equalizing goal for Bayern Munich and a dramatic miss on the last of the five penalties from Romelu Lukaku.
However, one of the most significant lessons we can take away from such a fascinating encounter is that, regardless of the end result, Jose Mourinho has managed to bring back some of the magic that might never have left the club but had rather gone into hibernation.
One of the trademarks of Mourinho’s last period spent at the West London club was a strong and reliable defence, combined with a swift and effective attack when in front of goal and those two qualities transpired in Friday’s loss to Bayern.
Indeed, the offensive play from the Europa League winners was efficient at the very least, with the necessary players breaking quickly and with quality after sustained periods of German dominance, culminating into two moments of brilliance from Fernando Torres and Oscar.
The defence, however, is where the analysis can really begin, as Chelsea showed the kind of strength they use to display in every match, with certain details missing.
The key players performed well for the Blues, with Cech, Cahill and Cole particularly standing out for their solidity at the back, the first making several outstanding saves from the a variety of red-shirted players, while the other two made a massive number of clearances in many different situations. Mourinho will be happy with what they showed.
On the other hand, there are manifestly still cracks, as they let their concentration down at the last moment, when it really mattered, something their coach will have warned them against a great many times.
A true Mourinho side, such as the one he sent out every week between 2004 and 2007, would surely not have conceded such as soft goal at such a crucial time in the match.
This is almost certainly down to lack of experience, even from Cahill, a point “The Happy One” was quick to reinforce in his post-match interview, saying it would take time to build a side he can rely on to win European trophies, even though it shouldn't take much more than a season to find get that magic flowing again.
Although Jose Mourinho only came back to Chelsea a few months ago, his spirit has already imprinted itself on the club again after slowly diminishing since his departure in 2008 and even if it takes a few more months to truly be part of the team’s DNA once again, the signs are certainly there for it to grow.
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