The positives and negatives from Chelsea's European win

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It is no longer news that Chelsea have a had a terrible start defending their Premier League title.

This unexpected lull was as a result of some key players' dip in form. Branislav Ivanovic, Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic, and Diego Costa were amongst the main players not performing to the high standards set last year and as a result, the team have suffered.

Mourinho kept faith with these players, hoping they would hit top form sooner rather than later, but when it became obvious that they were heading for the latter, he promised to try a different dynamic against Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Champions League resulting in a big win for the Blues.


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But what did Jose Mourinho learn from that match heading to into Saturday's vital match with Arsenal?


1. Oscar is back and the right man in the middle.

Towards the end of last season, Jose Mourinho sited that Oscar has never had a full pre-season in his Chelsea career and that could be the reason for his unstable form, but with a full pre-season expected him to have an evolution similar to the one Hazard had last season.

Oscar started and scored in Chelsea’s first Premier League game of the season against Swansea but got injured in training and had been absent ever since.

His return against Tel Aviv showed a little of what Chelsea have been missing upfront. His ability to close down spaces, slick movements on and off the ball and his intelligence for bringing others into play. He isn't 100% fit yet, but the hunger and desire was evident as he kept possession well and kept his cool to score the second goal of the game.

2. The youngsters impress

Many have been calling for the inclusion of Baba Rahman to the starting line up and shifting Cesar Azpilicueta to the right back position. Well, they got their wish and the boy didn't disappoint.

Making meaningful runs down the flank, freeing up space for Hazard and recovering possession well. A very good debut.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was another standout performer, carrying the ball forward and shielding the back four well. Bertrand Traore was a late sub, yet he still created a chance to score but his shot went inches wide of the post. Really impressive performance from the youngsters.

3. First clean sheet

Tel Aviv may not possess the attacking qualities of Barcelona, Real Madrid or strong Premier League teams yet they are no push overs as evidenced from their qualifying campaign wherein they edged out Basel FC.

The truth is that they rarely troubled the defence and even their talisman Zahavi had no shot from inside the box. Azpilicueta was sharp and reliable as always, Zouma and Cahill were composed and disciplined and coped well with the high defense line.

4. Costa and Fabregas connection back on

Fabregas was lively throughout, Costa too after he came on. Their partnership last season helped Chelsea win so many matches. We haven't seen much of that this season until now. Fabregas was involved in Costa's first Champions League goal for Chelsea and their relationship can only get better from now.

5. Confidence restored

This win will do a lot of good to the confidence of the players, staff and Mourinho himself who was smiling during his post match conference.

At first, I feared for Hazard after he missed the penalty but towards the end of the game, a little bit of the Hazard we know crept up as he began to run at defenders once more and one of his runs led to the fourth goal.

The feeling will be much better in the training ground now as the team prepares for Arsenal's visit on Saturday.


The only negative from this match is the injury to Willian. Having started brightly and deservedly scoring the first goal he got injured and was replaced by Costa. Mourinho has confirmed he will not feature on Saturday.

However with plenty positives from this game, Jose Mourinho and his men are on course to turn their season around.

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