Posts Tagged ‘Roberto Di Matteo’

The Brazilian Duo!

Oscar testifying the reason of having that no.11 jersey.

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The season starts in less than 10 days time; let’s take a look at reigning European champions-Chelsea’s challenges and preparation for the 2012/2013 season. Chelsea had been one of the busiest clubs around this summer carrying out some major signings/changes in the squad. Last season comprised of breaking strikers and parting managers resulting in a 6th place finish in the premier league to a defensive winning performance in the Champions league backing Roberto Di Matteo’s evolution mantra.

Keeping up with high hopes of Chelsea fans this season it’s been a high spending transfer window so far. As last season’s big guns like Didier Drogba, Jose Bosingwa, and Salomon Kalou have all left the club, Di Matteo’s chances of succeeding have certainly been boosted by Abramovich’s clear backing in the signings of Marin, Hazard and Oscar. Don’t be surprised if at least two further signings this window is made to strengthen the areas such as right back. So far Chelsea has focused only on adding to the attack. The main focuses of the club this summer seems to be finding younger, more versatile players.

Signings to watch: Eden hazard Ligue 1 Player of the Year signed for Chelsea after a long drawn out game of £32million. He’s one of the elite young talents in Europe, and it’s certainly possible that he will adapt quickly. It is highly expected that he would immediately play a pivotal role and will be a constant player in the first team.

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Next up we have Oscar,an attacking midfielder formerly of Brazilian club, Internacional, he finished last season with 13 goals and assists, proving that he can finish as well as create. With his recent star performance in Olympics 2012 he has certainly shown his football maturity, technique, pace, passing ability, movement and bravery.

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Marko Marin is a player who is only 23 years old with considerable playing age ahead of him and he is hungry to prove himself. A ‘smart’ signing for Chelsea at 6.5m pound price. He promises to excite the supporters with many moments of genuine magic thanks to his skill set.

Assets from past : Apart from the new signings assets like Frank Lampard a penalty kick specialist, could suffer from serious rotation due to his age but not to be written off. The club’s greatest athlete and Player of the Year last season, Ramires is naturally a dynamic central midfielder offering Chelsea a unique tactical option. Mata is expected to be significantly more creative than last year’s backing a more of assisting role.

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Fernando Torres will be Chelsea’s focal point. His late season resurgence and Golden Boot winning showing at Euro 2012 has certainly returned the much needed confidence. Carrying forward the legacy of Drogba will be the ultimate test of Torres, who has not reached his incredible, prolific and big-game (scoring openers) exploits since his twenty-two goals in thirty-two matches for Liverpool in 2009/2010. If he continues his performance from the Euros into the premier league, he could have that awesome 20+ goal season he is in dire need of.

The ‘new look’ Chelsea is looking very promising and new signings will prove to assist Chelsea in their quest for sustainability. They have replaced their more physical players with small players with good passing and agile ability; possibly we could see a new Chelsea mentality playing tika taka football this season. Previewing where Chelsea will finish in the Premier League is a real paradox, with Chelsea have yet to gel in the pre-season – they lost to the MLS All-Stars as well as to AC Milan. Chelsea certainly seems to prove a tough test for the top teams this year with new faces filling up the vacant position fronting well organised, dynamic and resilient picture.Image

Likely XI: Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Mikel, Lampard, Ramires, Mata, Hazard; Torres

Highly unexpected that RDM will stick with this line up much often, look out for frequent rotations as he showed in the previous season.

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Speaking on ITV, Drogba (the eventual match winner) said it was ‘written a long time ago’ that the Club would beat Bayern Munich to become the first London club to win the Champions League. Call them lucky, opportunistic or whatever you want but let’s face it; it’s hard not to imagine that Chelsea were destined to win the Champions League Saturday night at Allianz arena Munich. The day 19th may 2012 belong to underdogs who colored Munich blue .

Chelsea have made history by becoming the Kings of Europe after a captivating match against Bayern Munich which ended with the Blues winning a penalty shootout 4-3 after the game had ended 1-1. A team that many had thought drained two months ago is now the European champions. Chelsea did it behind the heroics of keeper Petr Cech and Didier Drogba, they did it with an interim coach- Roberto Di Matteo, and they did it without four major players (suspended). They held their turf and nerves against The Bavarians, who came hotfooting from every possible angle.

Bayern Munich largely held the upper hand throughout yet were unable to capitalize until Thomas Müller headed in with seven minutes remaining which beat Cech by some abrupt bounce, and it looked like the trophy was heading to Munich for a fifth time but Chelsea’s strength of character rose to the prow once again when Didier Drogba who had other ideas, the Ivorian leveling in the 88th minute with a powerful header from Mata’s corner. Bayern had a fantastic opportunity to restore their lead early in extra-time when they were awarded a penalty, but Petr Cech saved it from his former Chelsea teammate Arjen Robben who looked nothing less than dejected.

After a few clashes in the remaining period of overtime, it was time for certain heartbreak shootout.

Bayern Munich again spurted ahead 3-1, but Chelsea again restored parity 3-3. The teams were ready with their final kicks. Bastian Schweinsteiger fluffed, finding the post and it fell to Drogba to seal Chelsea’s fate, which he did in style giving Chelsea the title they failed to win in a similar shootout to Manchester United in 2008 in Moscow. He’s been the man of big moments for Chelsea these last couple of months. He’s started every decisive match. He’s always been there for Chelsea. Drogba has conquered all at Stamford Bridge – the premier league titles, the Carling cup, the FA cup and now the Champions League. He has nothing to prove to anyone anymore, a Chelsea legend forever.

For Bayern the defeat was particularly bitter as not only have they failed to win the Bundesliga, but they also badly lost the German Cup final to Dortmund. Moreover it also ended FC Bayern Munich’s hopes of becoming the first team to win the competition in their own stadium.

In a nutshell: wasteful Bayern were edged out by an effective and spirited Chelsea side. Munich launched thirty-five shots at them, not counting the penalty kick tiebreaker. They earned twenty corner kicks. Chelsea had one corner, and they scored off of it. Chelsea had done the improbable, if not the impossible. They were simply good.