The most concerning aspects of Chelsea’s defeat to United:

Image for The most concerning aspects of Chelsea’s defeat to United:

Oh boy, where do I begin? United`s 3-1 victory over Chelsea was one of those rare games between two top teams, where attack rather than defence was of primary importance. Both sides created a litter of chances and conceivably the game could have ended 8-8. As it was United`s greater efficiency in front of goal punished Chelsea`s profligacy and allowed them to take the spoils.

When watching the game back Villas-Boas will feel that with a bit of luck his team could have got something from the game. However he will be delighted with the verve, inventiveness and attacking desire his team showed for most of the encounter. To have over 20 attempts on goal at Old Trafford is impressive to say the least. All of those accusations we threw at Chelsea (ponderous, one paced, stale, and that’s just Mikel) were thrown back in our faces. Chelsea played with a flair and guile in a manner perhaps not seen since pre Mouriniho. Mata and Mereilles can certainly pick a lock, that’s for sure.

This was a new look Chelsea, a Chelsea who play with a greater freedom and expansiveness. You can argue with strong evidence, that Villas-Boas decision to be so bold ultimately cost his team. But if Chelsea can attack like that for every game, then they will be strong contenders for every competition they enter.

You know the Pensioners did something right because Torres scored. The Spaniard looked sharp and dangerous throughout the game and most importantly he looked hungry. His goal was beautifully taken and reminiscent of his Liverpool pomp. Critics will focus on that woeful open goal miss, but that should not detract from his most encouraging display in a Chelsea shirt. Any fears that he has lost that sharpness and acceleration can now be allayed.

With the service he will now receive, those misses off today will become goals very soon. His criticism that Chelsea were too slow was ill advised  but it seems to have done that trick. If he does not use today`s game as a springboard to reignite his career then he never will.

What of Frank Lampard? After a lethargic first half performance he was rightly and bravely substituted. Chelsea subsequently improved further in the second half, evidence that Lamps Chelsea star is on the wane (his England star burnt out years ago). Villas-Boas should use the second half performance as a template for the rest of the season.

However there will still be concerns for the Pensioners and most of them in defence. Two of the United goals had an element of offside but the defending in both cases left a lot to be desired. Jamie Redknapp spoke of how he had never seen Ashley Cole taken to the cleaners like he was by Nani. He must have a short memory because Antonio Valencia did a similar demolition job the last time the sides met. Cole has been the world`s finest left back for a number of years, but there is growing concern that he is in decline. To be destroyed twice by different wingers (and given a hard time by others as well) will have the alarm bells ringing. Not that Bosingwa fared better, he was tormented mercilessly by Young.

Chelsea did not start with a recognised holding player and that too is a concern. Essien spends more time in the treatment room that on the pitch and Mikel slows the play down too much. The idea of Luiz playing there has been touted and it may be an option the Chelsea boss will seriously want to consider.

Not the result that Villas Boas wanted, but many encouraging signs not least the form of Torres. The Chelsea faithful will go home disappointed but satisfied their team has shown they have plenty to work with. are seeking new writers to join the team! If you’re passionate about football, drop us a line at “” to learn more.

Fancy winning VIP Tickets to the Merseyside derby? Well click here!

For an opportunity to win VIP Chelsea tickets, please click HERE!

Share this article


  • Jimmy says:

    Fantastic article. Spot on with everything.

    Torres looked dangerous again and if he had scored that chance, people would have said how he’s back to his best, instead they ridicule him further. Naive people. He’ll come good. If he can play that way against the best team in the country, I have no worries at all.

    Defence was too open though. Credit to AVB for going for it, but it was a dangerous gamble which ultimately didn’t pay off. I am excited by AVB though, and looking forward to the future. He seems to be putting faith in youth which has been missing for a long while. McEachran will be Lampards successor in the coming years while Ramires and Sturridge already look like first choice. He also leaves Kalou out which is brilliant.

    If it weren’t for two linesman errors and an unfortunate miss by Torres, Sundays result could have been totally different.

Comments are closed.