Quite frankly, it was another dismal performance from Chelsea and the scoreline probably flattered Jose Mourinho’s men who looked shambolic at times.
True to form, however, Mourinho was forthright in claiming that his side actually played well, with two isolated mistakes costing his team defeat.
Come on Jose… Whether it’s a front to the media or not, there’s only a certain amount of times that the 'Special One' can excuse his players for their awful performances.
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It wasn’t one of Mourinho’s greatest nights either…
The Portuguese decided to enter Chelsea’s toughest Champions League group game without Nemanja Matic and Eden Hazard who, despite their lack of form, remain Chelsea’s two best players.
Their absence was hugely recognisable in the first-half. Both Matic and Hazard are brilliant at taking control of a match and without them Chelsea struggled to get a grip in the game. Neither Willian nor Pedro were able to carry the ball effectively and John Obi Mikel’s two yard passes added nothing to a very frantic Chelsea attack.
It’s Porto, not Walsall
Mourinho hailed Ramires and Mikel as ‘amazing’ in their Capital One Cup tie against Walsall and opted to deploy the central midfielders against Porto. However, the step up in quality proved far too significant for the pair who were completely dominated in the midfield battle.
Ramires was staggeringly wasteful - as he tends to be - with numerous passes fired astray and several first touches bouncing out of the Brazilians reach. Mikel on the other hand desperately struggled to impact the game with sideways and backwards passes dominating the Nigerian’s repertoire.
Pedro also impressed coming off the bench against Walsall, however, it was another ineffectual performance from the ex-Barca winger last night.
The Spaniard is struggling to adapt to Chelsea’s style of play. At Barcelona, Pedro was used to playing extremely high up the pitch, frequently making darting runs in behind opposition defences, where the likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta would supply him balls of pin-point accuracy.
However, the 28-year-old’s defensive responsibilities at Chelsea mean he is playing deeper and receiving the ball into feet far more frequently. Unfortunately, this seems to be exposing the winger who, surprisingly, doesn’t have either the pace or strength to run past defenders.
Therefore, I’m struggling to see what Pedro offers? Surely Oscar would’ve been a more effective option?
A case of deja vu
Now, onto the mystery that’s Chelsea’s defence. It was another all at sea showing from the back four, who were made to look amateurish at times.
Mourinho opted for Kurt Zouma and Gary Cahill again at centre-back - a partnership we may not see again for a while. The pair looked very uncomfortable against Porto and appear to be lacking the leadership and communication needed to be a successful duo.
The leadership skills of John Terry should prevail over the pace of Zouma for Chelsea’s upcoming games, seeing as there’s been no significant defensive improvement for the Blues.
As for Branislav Ivanovic, his time must be up. The Serbian has been poor for so long and it really isn’t good enough. Porto’s Brahimi was walking past the right-back for much of the second half and yet again most of the opposition's chances came from Chelsea’s right-hand side.
The 31-year-old was similarly woeful in attack, with his fellow teammates visibly frustrated by his dreadful attempted crosses that were either blocked or cleared at the near post. Ivanovic then went on to miss a real sitter to put Chelsea level, heading wide from a corner.
Shame on you, Premier League!
Ultimately it proved to be another embarrassing night for the English teams in the Champions League, with Arsenal unthinkably losing to Olympiakos at The Emirates.
In regards to Chelsea, urgent improvement is needed. Let’s be honest, the blues haven’t played consistently well for a solid nine months and it’s time Mourinho puts his foot down and started making some ruthless changes if their situation doesn’t improve.
What do you think Jose Mourinho must do to improve Chelsea's fortunes? Have your say in the comments section below!
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