Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal

Chelsea had their first game of the season against one of the traditional top sides, and they came away with three very nice points. The Blues scored on a pair of set pieces on Saturday, with Torres getting on the end of the first and a Juan Mata delivery settling into the back of the net for the second. . . . (WAGNH: “Arsenal 1 – Chelsea 2: Initial reaction and community ratings”)

Chelsea came away with the away win in this London derby against Arsenal thanks to goals from Torres and Mata.

To summarize the magnitude of this win, I give you an excerpt from WAGNH:

Chelsea had managed to more or less cruise through the opening stages of their 2012/13 Premier League campaign, but they’d yet to achieve a signature result. Wins against Wigan, Reading, Newcastle and Stoke are all well and good, but it’d be difficult to proclaim that the Blues had reached their old level without beating more serious competition. Undefeated Arsenal at the Emirates was always going to be the first major milestone of the new season.

And the Blues came through with flying colours. Roberto di Matteo kept his front line more or less unchanged despite a relatively poor performance against Stoke City, and they answered with goals from both Fernando Torres and Juan Mata — goals against an Arsenal side which had only conceded twice in their opening five fixtures. At the other end of the pitch, sloppy defending gave the Gunners far too many chances, but Petr Cech came up huge to preserve what was eventually a 2-1 victory. (WAGNH: Chelsea come away from Emirates with impressive win”)

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My New Mustang from MustangCustomizer.com!

Well, it turns out that I won the Mustang that I originally built for the 2013 Mustang Customizer contest (www.mustangcustomizer.com)!

I just can’t believe it. It is unreal.

But there it is in my driveway!

Let me tell you about the car.

It is a fully loaded 2013 Mustang GT with the automatic 6-speed bearing a tip-tronics system. It has the Brembo brakes as well, which is great! It has the GT500 wing, Roush 20-inch rims, Falken rubber, and 3d Carbon front spoiler along with California Special side scoops. This thing is clean, and it’s mean!

I was fortunate enough to take Vaughn around the block in it, and it was super cool getting to meet him.

The whole thing was super cool, and I’ll share more details later, but for now, suffice it to say that I’m super stoked!

Inter Milan 2-2 Rubin

Home cooking does it’s job on us again. Or is it The Curse of the Plastic Pitch? Whatever it is, there are enough slack performances at home to make people talk as though there was a block or something. Me? I just don’t think that this is a a consistently good team yet. It’s not a knock on the coach or the players or the front office. It’s just where we are in the rebuilding process as far as I can see it. I personally am not panicking because everything that I see is still better than last season. I will say this until I make someone physically vomit – I will be happy with progress. As far as I can see, we are still a better team – not just in record and table standing – than we ever were with Gasperini and perhaps Ranieri, even considering that nice run we had in December.

As a matter of fact, I think that we were the better team in the first half and unlucky to have conceded a penalty. Don’t misunderstand, it was a penalty, no complaints. And Handanovic did an excellent job blocking the kick. But the follow through by the group lining the area who allowed the rebound goal… stink – o. I think that the team stunk up the joint as the second half wore on. Up to the final whistle, I thought we were lucky to draw watching the stink -a- roo the last 45 minutes of that game ended up being.

Looking back, that was a lot of stink. (Inter Milan Offside Blog)

Well done, Livaja and Nagatomo for finding the net to salvage a point.

Forza Inter!

Chelsea 1-0 Stoke

Chelsea FC Match Report

Chelsea beat Stoke at home 1-nil, but it was a battle, and it was very narrow. Cole scored his first goal in two years, I believe. Great for him, and great for the Blues, as Cech kept a clean sheet, awarding us the win with their combined contributions.

Hardly did we take to the wings. For the most part, we tried to Barcelona our way in through the middle. Unfortunately, Torres was one dimensional, making runs forwards or backwards, but hardly ever sideways or diagonal. If we play only one forward, we need a striker who is multi-dimensional and also goal hungry. He works hard, I know, but without proper blend, he’s just being unproductive, which keeps our offense largely ineffective.

I would say that we could try a 4-4-2, but I can understand reticence against leaving the midfield partially exposed. But we used to play a 4-3-3. Why couldn’t we play a 4-4-2? For that matter, couldn’t we do a 4-3-3? Let’s look.

4-4-2

Cech
Ivanovich – Cahill – John Terry – Cole
Mikel
Oscar – Mata – Hazard
Sturridge – Torres

4-3-3

Cech
Ivanovich – Cahill – John Terry – Cole
Oscar – Mata – Hazard
Sturridge – Torres – Moses

If we have 6 attacking players from the midfield on up, we won’t need Ivanovich to push up, leaving us exposed in the back, along with Cole. Hence, we won’t need a holding midfielder such as Mikel. We have so much offensive talent now, a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3 may be the only way to take full advantage of it.

In fact, if you consider today’s lineup, we found ourselves approaching our path to the goal too narrowly. Here was the lineup:

Cech
Ivanovich – Cahill – David Luiz – Cole
Ramires – Mikel
Mata – Oscar – Hazard
Torres

But, functionally, here’s how it really looked:

Cech
David Luiz – Cahill – Cole
Mikel
Ivanovich – Ramires – Mata – Oscar – Hazard
Torres

Or, alternatively,

Cech
Ivanovich – David Luiz – Cahill
Mikel
Ramires – Mata – Oscar – Hazard – Cole
Torres

Or, also,

Cech
Mikel – David Luiz – Cahill
Ivanovich – Ramires – Mata – Oscar – Hazard – Cole
Torres

Unfortunately, we played congested, trying to link up all of our midfielders centrally, resulting in one too many passes all too often. Someone needs to display a little selfishness, or the wing runs need to be there to add the width. I’m not saying to get into a crossing game of 50/50 balls, but we need to add width and add dimension. We were too congested in the midfield as the fullbacks pushed up and as Ramires pushed up. It’s the same thing as too many cooks in the kitchen–it doesn’t work. We need to accommodate the midfielders that we have and try and spark some life into the forward line, and I think that a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3 will help do just that, at least on paper. But I digress.

We won, isn’t that enough?

Sleddin’ Hill, by August Burns Red

OMG! LOL! ROFLTOFL!

Okay, let’s dispense with the senseless acronyms.

I am very pleased that August Burns Red are coming out with a full Christmas album. I have raved about their seasonal contributions before, but now it will be an actual album rather than a single.

To whet your appetite, feast on their version of Sleigh Ride, available on their site free of charge for streaming and on iTunes for purchase. Pre-order their album now or wait for it to release online and in stores on October 9, 2012!

Chelsea 2-2 Juventus

Well, sad we didn’t start our Champions League debut defending our title with a win and three points, but glad to see Oscar making an impact.

More Mikel flamer fuel with his losing the ball and failure to drop and defending resulting in the Old Lady’s equalizer.

Torres the pedestrian? Well, I didn’t really watch the game, so I can’t substantiate, but if he doesn’t leave a consistent impact soon, I bet we offload him in January.

Carefree. KTBFFH!

Real Madrid 3-2 Manchester City

Fox Soccer > Action Hero:

Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the 90th minute Tuesday asReal Madrid came back earn a 3-2 victory against Manchester City in a Champions League opener that turned into a wild shootout over the last 25 minutes.

Well done, Los Blancos!

I can’t believe it just happened: first we were down, then we came back immediately to equalize; then we were down again, and we came back immediately with another equalizer; and just before the end, CR7 comes up with a powerfully dipping strike, providing Real Madrid with the win to open their Champions League campaign. Drama, drama, drama!

¡Hala Madrid!