The "Tactical Genius" , "The Special One" - Jose Mourinho's dreams of lifting the prestigious UEFA Champions League once again went up in flames after Atletico Madrid ran out 3-1 winners at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea, who failed to take home an away goal advantage, did go in front but the Los Rojiblancos pressed high up the pitch to earn a well deserved 3-1 win.
Once again,Chelsea had a fair amount of possession in their hands between the play but failed in delivering the goods . They relied excessively on the speed endowed in the likes of Willian,Hazard,Torres and the likes but simply,failed to carve out openings in the Atleti defence.
A season ago from today,Chelsea's reliance on speed was far less than their reliance on Juan Mata's creativity.
Combined with extra ordinary speed and immaculate creativity, Mata was,by far the best player for the Blues.He did everything the team wanted him to do,he dropped deep,held possession,threaded pinpoint passes into the final third and moreover,scored goals.
His transfer to Manchester United has sparked up new life in his once declining career and he has become a central point of the Man Utd attack.United don't rely on speed much but even then,Mata is doing everything for them.No doubt,the speed which is lacking the United wingers is costing them points but Mata is performing the job he was brought in to perform.
Mourinho,after selling off the Spaniard,did proclaim that "He'd make Oscar his new No.10".But nothing of this sort is happening. After Mata's departure,Oscar has scored a mere goal and has racked up just 2 assists.
Mohammed Salah's signing from FC Basel was also dubbed as "profitable" but he isn't the type of creative player Mourinho needs as of now. He is a speedy inverted winger who can be tipped to become the "Next Frank Ribery" and a catchy ability of his is the prowess to find spaces in infield.
Against Aston Villa,Chelsea enjoyed 61 percent of possession but two sending offs ensured that Fabian Delph gave Villa a 1-0 victory.
Against Crystal Palace,Mourinho's men in blue had 67 percent of possession but succumbed to a Palace counter attack and lost 1-0.
Against West Ham United, Chelsea were held 0-0 after dominating 71 percent of possession.
During their recent 2-1 loss to Sunderland,they had 68 percent of the ball possession but could never create clear openings in the resolute Black Cats defence.
Although,the deserved criticism of the strikers for the thorough lack of goals has costed them games but the privation of trickery and craft in the final third has been the true death knell for them.
Oscar,no doubt is a tremendous prospect but what he dearths is invention and craft,which is evident in Juan Mata.Whenever Chelsea faced stiff challenges of top clubs,they usually park the bus and strive hard to counter.
Although,they have done this exceedingly well against them but in Mata's presence they had an enormous outer edge of even making pin point passes from long way out and he compliments the passing play exceptionally.
And heading into the last two fixtures of the League season,Chelsea would very well know that even a minute slip up may prove costly.The composure,flair,craft,invention in their play is to crop up if they are to obtain all six points.
Already out of the Champions League and the FA Cup ,Mourinho can't afford to concede a goal,even by mistake.The possibilities still are endless but Chelsea can only lay their hands on the prized League trophy if Liverpool or City slip up.But with that seeming highly unlikely,it will all come down to the paucity of Juan Mata in their squad.
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