See Chelsea’s official match report.
As of right now, Chelsea is atop of the BPL table. There is much to be said after the third game against Norwich, in which the Blues won 3-1.
Here was the starting lineup:
Bosingwa – Ivanovich – Terry – Cole
Ramires – Mikel – Lampard – Malouda
Drogba – Torres
With Lukaku, Sturridge, Torres, and Mata, we can stick with a 4-3-3. Lukaku frankly appears to be a younger, quicker Drogba. Sturridge seems to be a tricky and peppier Anelka from what I have seen. Torres, I hope, will find his form soon as he seems to have the energy. With Mata and Ramires on the wings, we have a lot of potential. Perhaps we could have the Christmas tree up top? Unfortunately, it has been 8 months and Torres has not yet found his form. Whether he will remains to be seen. Should we form our front line with him at point, or should we run a 4-3-3 in which the front line is ever changing, weaving, and threading? I would go with the latter option until he finds his form, if he ever does. Mikel seems to be well-situated in the midfield. With a 4-3-3, I would have to suggest for Lampard and Malouda to take a seat. But not only those two.
Drogba, as much as I love him, has still not recovered his form post malaria. I think he would make a good sub at this point. In the games where he has been subbed on, he had the energy to change the pace of the game. In the games where he has started, it has not boded well for him and the Blues.
Anelka is good, but Sturridge is better in my opinion. Anelka is a proven striker, but it just isn’t clicking right now. Again, I would sub him on as necessary. He is definitely someone we want to keep around, but we need to change things up and get a situated system.
I want to point out Bosingwa. He has been thrilling. Last week, he brought about the winning goal. Today, he was menacing, scoring one goal himself and causing all sorts of problems both defensively and offensively. I am pleasantly surprised. Last season was not good for him, and I don’t remember him prior to that, though long term Blues fans do. I really like Bosingwa on the back right. I also like Ivanovich and Terry. They work well together. Cole is clearly the best choice for the left back. Our back line is steady. The midfield and forward lineup is not, but based on my previous comments, I would utilize the following formation:
Bosingwa – Ivanovich – Terry – Cole
Ramires – Mikel – Mata
Kulaku – Sturridge – Torres
I would like for David Luiz to be in the lineup. However, he is going to have to sub on. Ivanovich and Terry have become a good central unit. As Ivanovich and Terry age, David Luiz could very well take one of their spots. If Ivanovich or Terry become injured, I have no doubt David Luiz would be useful. Until then, I would stick with Ivanovich and Terry.
Overall, today’s game was a bit frustrating. Drogba got knocked out and taken to the hospital. Hilario made some great saves but also allowed a goal that was clearly his fault. At times our passing was sloppy and our performance lethargic. It wasn’t until Anelka, Mata, and Lukaku came on that we really took solid control of the game. We had more attempts on goal, corners, and free kicks after that point than the rest of the game. Those subs made a huge difference. We need to continue on with this pace. We cannot afford to be lax. We need to be crisp and hungry. Sure, we are atop of the table, but when ManU wins tomorrow, and we can all be confident that they will, they will regain primacy.
- Anelka: 1
- Bosingwa: 1
- Lampard: 1
- Malouda: 1
- Mata: 1
- Goals for: 5
- Goals against: 2