Chelsea finally got our Europa League campaign on full throttle with a deserving 3-1 win over Belarusian side, BATE Borisov at Stamford Bridge.
Here are 3 things we learnt from the game:
LOFTUS-CHEEK STEALS THE SPOT LIGHT:
For the majority of Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea reign, one staunch criticism of the club has been our inability to produce our own superstars from our richly-assembled academy. This in effect has also led to the criticisms of our loan system that many feel is more business-related than sports-related. But against BATE Borisov, one of our own emerged to silence the club’s critics – step forward Loftus-Cheek. The physically-imposing midfielder stole the headlines with a super-performance that will forever be in the hearts of the Chelsea Faithful. His hat-trick was a beauty to watch as he showed his growing potential that will see become one of the finest midfielders in the world. His scoring feat against the Belarusians wrote his name in the history book as the first player after Didier Drogba in about 12 years to score a hat-trick for the club in a European competition. What a beautiful night it was for the young player, and obviously his all-round brilliant performance thrilled the fans and they showed their support as they chanted: “he’s one of our own”.
CHELSEA FINALLY DELIVERS CONVINCING PERFORMANCE:
One major theme of Chelsea’s Europa League matches prior to this game was our inability to raise our game and unmercifully beat our opponents. Profligacy and complacency have both been our major issues this term, but against the Belarusians the team just did as the doctor prescribed. A fine team performance capped with well-taken goals ensured we have a commanding lead in the group. While our opponents might not be heavyweights in European football, eliminating the possibility of shock results is very vital and the team has so far done well to avoid such fate. With maximum points secured, Sarri and Chelsea can continue to have fun.
DEFENSIVE SWITCH-OFFS A BIG CONCERN:
The damage of conceding the odd goal was so glaring against Manchester United in our last league game and that gave Jose Mourinho’s side the impetus to almost snatch a win. Against the Belarusians, the case was the same. After going 3-0 up, Chelsea switched off and they scored. Defensive switch-offs are going to cost us dear if it is not dealt with – as we’ve seen in many games this season when the team is in ascendancy, there is usually the tendency for the players to feel complacent. This is an issue Sarri and his coaching staff must look to eliminate from the team’s attitude to games.
Let’s keep the blue flag flying high. Cheers!