Torn to tatters at Naples a few weeks ago, who would have thought Chelsea could stand their ground and show the character they demonstrated against Bacelona on Wednesday night. I don’t want to draw into the argument whether André Villas Boas could have ignited such a performance from slumped Chelsea team but for just this moment Roberto Di Mateo merits the Chelsea job on permanent basis. He might not be the glamorous of coaches but ask Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho and you would notice that organizing your defence to see Barcelona through ninety minutes without them scoring a goal is no easy task.
Forget about the second leg in seven days, Chelsea, the only English side left in UEFA’s elite club competition were calm, organized, discipline, never lost concentration and above all portrayed a class in their defending that has so much been missed in years against the Spanish Champions and deserve their praise for now irrespective of the outcome at the Nou Camp.
They stuck to their game with Didier Drogba using the strength that most defenders would not relish upfront. John Terry showed what a true leader is made up of and his partner at the heart of defence, Gary Cahill also made it known that he was no push over. Another Petre Cech bad day and it could have been over before Chelsea could count their blessing but the Blues’ number one in goal put up a performance every manager would desire from a goalkeeper.
From the electric pace of Ramires through the genius passes from Frank Lampard, the potency of Ivanovic and the ‘mega mind’ of Roberto Di Mateo, all football fans around the globe will agree with me that even though Barcelona were terrific in their attacking football as always, Chelsea Football Club deserve a standing ovation even if their celebration might last for just seven days.
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