It took me one whole day to motivate myself to write a match review. Blues' visit to Transylvania was not one that would stay in the minds of Chelsea fans for long. But, the Romanians had reasons to celebrate as they took a point from Chelsea playing their first champions league match on home soil. They were motivated, their work rate was awesome and they chased every ball while their opponents looked indifferent, rusty and didn't show the attitude needed to win.
To be frank, I didn't have high expectations from this match. Somehow I had a feeling that this would be a boring match though I did think we would somehow win it. It was a day on which all the players resembled Anelka, in sulkiness. The passing was very bad and we lost ball too often to make any inroads into the heavily guarded Cluj penalty box. Cluj could have won the match if they had a bit more quality upfront.
Scolari started the match on a positive note. He fielded the strongest team he could, which meant he wanted the three points so that there would be no unnecessary pressure later. There was only one change from the expected line-up - Bridge replaced Ashley Cole who was down with a minor injury. Drogba strated upfront with Kalou on the right and Malouda on the left.
Chelsea dominated possession but Cluj got their chances on counters. The Chelsea attack didn't look sharp at all with Drogba struggling to get back to form. On top of that, Kalou showed how inconsistent he could be and to say he performed badly would be an overstatement. Mikel, Lampard and Ballack did well in the midfield but didn't get the support from the forwards. Ballack was too careless in his passing and lost possession on a number of occasions. He even got a card for himself when a Cluj player did a 'Ronaldo' and the referee bought it.
I'm not writing about the refereeing errors because it would take too much space. In short, refereeing was pathetic. Anelka replaced Kalou after 45 mins and did what he does best - missing chances. Anelka is not a player who would score special goals to bail the team out of trouble. He will score goals now and then, which any decent striker would given the quality of midfield that is feeding him. And that's exactly what worries me after Drogba was carried off due to a knee injury.
Rumors say that Didier could be out for 3 months and that's a big blow for us. If you remember, it was a knee injury that kept Drogba out for a month before the African Cup in January, and since then he is not the same Drogba. With Deco, Essien, Carvalho and Joe Cole already in medical ward, Drogba's injury would be a major concern for Scolari. I don't understand why injuries keep recurring to Chelsea players. Is something wrong with the system?
Elsewhere, Barcelona, Real, United, Arsenal and Liverpool won their respective matches. Jose's Inter succumbed to a draw and pressure is mounting on Jose especially after the defeat in Milan derby last weekend. Looking at our result once again, I feel a point from Transylvania is not that bad. We still top the group and should be able to go through comfortably. Injuries must be the main concern for Big Phil as Martin O'Neil's Villains visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday.