European Champions Chelsea lost 2-1 away to Shakhtar Donetsk tonight. Here is a match report by Chelsea writer Fintan Bradley.
The Blues suffered their first loss in the Champions League since they were defeated 3-1 in Napoli last year. However, if this performance is all you had seen of Chelsea this year you would be truly shocked to hear that fact.
The London club deserved to lose and I was quite surprised when Chelsea actually scored. This ‘incident’ was the last goal of the game as Shakhtar Donetsk had taken a 2-0 lead inside the hour.
Despite Roberto Di Matteo’s men starting confidently, it was Donetsk who took the lead early on through Alex Teixeira. Shakhtar’s midfielder kept his cool after belated cries for handball against John Terry. He then beat Ashley Cole to the loose ball to slot it away underneath Cech.
The game stayed relatively quiet for the next 10 or so minutes until Chelsea target Willian cut inside before hitting a shot over the bar. Again, it took another 10 minutes for something to happen apart from Eden Hazard replacing Frank Lampard due to an injury.
Ramires played a square pass between Shakhtar’s two defenders towards Torres. However, Pyatov got a touch to it preventing the Spaniards first time shot. Torres then kept the attack alive, before his low cross was cleared.
A few minutes before half-time Chelsea’s Petr Cech was called into action. The Czech international produced a decent save after awful defending from the visitors.
When Shakhtar Donetsk scored their second goal in the 52nd minute, the Blues back line was again caught dawdling. This allowed Adriano to pounce on the loose ball and square to his compatriot Fernandinho.
The next half an hour saw the home side take full control of the match. They kept possession and managed to get a few efforts on goal. None of which truly tested Cech.
Then in the 88th minute, Chelsea finally knocked Donetsk out of their stride as they pulled back a goal. Substitute Daniel Sturridge was fouled, but Ivanovic took the advantage and crossed the ball in low for Oscar to side foot home.
Despite the lifeline it was too little too late for the Blues who produced their worst performance this season. Chelsea now lie 2nd in group E behind Shakhtar Donetsk, who leapfrogged the Premier League club after their 2-1 win tonight.
Chelsea can take a few lessons out of this game. They really need to shape up for their weekend clash with Manchester United. Here’s video highlights from Tuesday’s defeat.
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