I think 3-0 flatters Chelsea a bit. Still, defensively we were poor and I hope we'll see some improvement on that soon, because on another day we could have snuck a draw here, or even won if we got an early goal (as I think our play merited the first 15).
Bentaleb and Kane was excellent today. Vertonghen and Lloris didn't exactly cover themselves in glory.
Here comes that favourite losing managers old chestnut. Take the positives.
Not one of my favourites I have to say. But sometimes you can, and indeed should. We didn't loose tonight because of poor selections, poor tactics or poor coaching. We lost tonight because we came up against one of the most ruthless managers and teams this league has seen. Mourinho is the ultimate ruthless winner, more than anything else he knows - and teaches - is how to win.
But on a night when even Mourinho admitted that his team could have been behind and 3-0 flattered them we can draw she positives IMO, some nights you just have to put your hands up and say we did our best, did some good things, we weren't out run, we weren't out fought, we weren't out played, we were just outclassed. Their individuals made less unforced mistakes, and were more ruthless with ours than we were with theirs.
Tactically this was a decent overall performance, unfortunately punctuated by a few individual errors, ruthlessly punished, and in a few first half minutes the game landscape changed drastically. Chelsea are the last team you want to be 2 goals down to. Mourinho has them drilled to within an inch of their lives on what to do in just such a circumstance. They wind their collective necks into their impregnable turtle shell, and from there on in, like a poker player sitting on the biggest pile of chips, take no risks, only playing the best hands dealt, feeding off weaknesses of those that have to gamble.
The first goal was piss poor work from Lennon. He gets spun too easily, but worse he can still track Hazard, he lets him run off him and then moves too late.
The second was one those occasional Lloris clusterfucks. A poor clear out, no idea who to, but Chelsea ruthlessly punished it, and after a very bright first 20 minutes we found ourselves very harshly 2-0 down and against this bunch, that means virtually game over. But our heads didn't go down.
The 62% possession figure of course flattering us as second half Chelsea had parked their luxury uber bus, but I've seen many, much worse performances after going behind at Chelsea than this one. We gave it our best shot, dominated the ball, tried to manoeuvre it round that impregnable fort of the Mourinho defensive turtle, but to no avail. Their were moments when a piece of finesse or luck might have changed the narrative, but the crucial moment of inspiration couldn't reward the long spell of perspiration and then came the very cruel final, fatal wound. Vertonghen should have done better.
I think it would have been cleverer to switch to a proper 433, but the swap of Lamela in for Soldado wasn't a bad compromise. Lamela worked hard, dropped in and saw lots of ball, generally doing some good things, but as ever, there were a couple of times he held on to the ball and lost it when a simple lay off would have worked better.
The defenders generally had a decent game. The midfielders were once again pretty well positionally disciplined and dynamic, and our work without the ball was good and approach play was often crisp. But not always, and while many of our players were guilty of the odd piece of carelessness, Mason really had quite a poor night with the ball and against a ruthless opponent like Chelsea, every misplaced pass takes on a more dangerous resonance.
Kane, if anything, was even better tonight than Sunday. Showed some really good touches in tight situations. Player of the night for me though was Bentaleb. 78/87 passes (90%), he just doesn't bottle it. He keeps showing, keeps playing, he has great technique, has a mental toughness, composure, this kid is a fucking gem. I said this a week or two ago in the U21 thread, but I'm going to repeat it. I think he's the best thing to come out of our academy since Ledley King.
For me, there were good things to take out of that game. Most of all that many of the good traits from Sunday were evident. The task changed completely with the second goal, but we still showed character, tried to play football, and didn't just bend over.
Individual stuff (with passing stats just for the hell of it):
Lloris - Bad night at the office unfortunately.
Chiriches - one stupid mistake in the corner, but otherwise a pretty good game.
Fazio - Very decent game I thought.
Vertonghen - a decent game generally, but was a bit weak for the third goal.
Davies - Pretty solid.
Mason - Good without the ball - which is important - not a good night with the ball. This has been a little bit of a theme and he needs to improve it. He gives the ball away a lot more than every single one of our other midfielders (and attacking midfielders, including Lamela) and it's not like he's being super creative or incisive and that's the excuse. Nights like tonight when you are under pressure you have to take more care and make the right decisions. Hope he keeps his place though, because I like the duality of him and Bentaleb, they make for a genuine double pivot. 32/43 74%
Bentaleb - Very good game. 78/87 90%
Lennon - First goal is down to him. One time we got him on the ball into the box he makes a poor decision, turns back andy the moment is pissed away. The rest of the game he was OK without the ball and inconsequential when we had it. Normal service resumed. 18/21 86%
Lamela - I very decent game in terms of working for the team, showing and seeing plenty of the ball. A couple of those decision moments but actually otherwise played well and nearly created something for Chadli. 48/52 92%
Eriksen - An OK game, not terrible, not brilliant. 41/49 84%
Kane - Bloody good game. Showed better composure with the ball at his feet than he does sometimes. Worked his nuts off. Was unlucky with the header but really should have passed the ball back on the second one where he went through on the left.
I honestly can't believe what I've just heard them say on MOTD....about how Spurs fans should be very worried. What the actual fuck are they on about.
Yes individual mistakes gifted Chelsea the points but sometimes you can't legislate for that, we still had some very good moments in the game and we were playing a superior team, in a fixture we've always struggled in, who will probably win the league at a canter,
We were good, and that sort of performance would blow away most teams in the league. You cannot gift teams like chelsea even a sniff at goal though, as it's their business to take their chances. They did that and the underlying frustration that we gave them soft goals is annoying. It isn't a disaster though. I think if this game came a month later we'd have got something. I'm encouraged enough to think we can beat them at the lane.
His start to the season reminded me of Demichelis at City last year. I think some forget what a donkey he was in his first few games but it's just a case of adapting and getting up to speed. I'm not sure Fazio has turned the corner yet but he does look more comfortable out there(particularly against Everton) and seems to have a better handle on what will result in a foul/red card, thank fuck
Same as everyone else, I thought Bentaleb was our best player. A good performance but not a great one, he'd have need one of those pot shots at the Chelsea fans to have gone in for that.
We started very well but lost all momentum after the first goal and didn't recover until half time. After that we came out strongly and Chelsea retreated into their shell. It's very difficult to score when Chelsea do that, they're set up perfectly for it and have kept better sides than ours at arms length by defending deep and in numbers whilst trying to hit us on the counter. Once Remy came on for Drogba their threat on the counter doubled as Drogba wasn't offering much and Remy thrives on space to run into.
Overall it was a bit of a nothing game for us, some positives, some negatives and a result most expected. What I think let us down was a combination of inexperienced players and more senior players lacking in confidence. Everytime we got a half chance players just seemed to be a bit too slow to make their minds up, we need more conviction in the final third.At least we've got the 2 toughest games of the season out of the way, if we can keep up the work ethic and pace to our play we should see our results improve against the weaker teams and that's got to be the challenge now as that's where we've really let ourselves down so far.
Lamela played very well tonight. Him, Bentaleb and Fazio were our best players out there. Kane was good but my god his finishing was awful. Dont care enought to give ratings. Shit performance by Eriksen, Lennon, Mason and Lloris though.
Poch is so tactically naive against top sides. Piss poor.
Im not proud of the team tonight. That performamce was FAR from good tonight. Awful. 7 shots, 2 on target. 63% possesion. Chelsea had like 9 shots or so with 8 on target woth far less possesion. We were shit.
I stopped listening to them ages ago, but it still pisses me off how many fans take their word as gospel. The new ones coming through (Jenas, Murphy, Neville to an extent) are much better imo. Needs some fresh faces.
Anyway, Bentaleb continues to impress me. Thought he was excellent tonight - I actually clapped when he did that touch running backwards, ran past Drogba and delivered the pass to Lennon. That was absolute class.
Special mention to Kane, no idea how he's not completely dead yet.
The rest were meh, I really don't think we played badly at all, and it's clear Poch's methods are slowly beginning to come across.
Overall we deserved to lose just not that heavily. They are probably the 4th best team in the world right now so a loss was expected just a shame we gave away such a stupid second goal so quickly.
Lloris - Bad day for our best player. First goal should've done better, second goal was woeful, 3rd he got done by the eyes. But, well, he's Lloris - 4
Chiriches - It's a little difficult to be too critical as was up against one of best players on the planet. He had iffy moments that weren't Hazard related. I miss Walker so much - 5
Fazio - Thought he had a solid game. After a shaky opening to time here I've quite liked what I've seen the last week. He has to start every game with Vertonghen. Our best defender tonight. - 7
Vertonghen - Poor game after having such an excellent game against Everton. Outmuscled on numerous occasions thoughout the match. He's been so up and down last year or so. Hopefully a stable partnership with Fazio can bring consistency as no doubting his talent - 4.5
Davies - Had a pretty solid game. He's our first choice left back now in my opinion and hope he keeps his place. We really have to keep a stable back four and allow it to grow. - 6.5
Mason - Probably his worst game since coming into the side albeit against one of the best midfields in Europe. In hindsight maybe it wasn't the right game for him. Gave the ball away far too often and the middle looked quite soft. Still he should be starting against Palace. Rightly subbed. - 4.5
Bentaleb - Our best player in my opinion. Just turned 20 and held his own against their midfielders. Passed the ball well and mature performance. Room for improvement but he could be an absolute star for us - 7.5
Lennon - Majorly at fault for 1st goal. Don't think he performed what was required of him today. Although he's been playing well prior to today I still think he's the type of player Poch wants in that role just not the player. - 5
Eriksen - Invisible at times and mostly disappointing. He's our most talented player, these are the games you need him to step up into and again he didn't. Until he does that he'll be the flat-track bully type. Was really disappointed with him today purely because of what he can do. - 5
Lamela - Don't think he was as bad as a lot have suggested. Think a major problem in judgement is because of price tag as apposed to if was academy player. He frustrates but at least he shows. I'm not sure though he's earning a starting berth currently. One major issue at the minute for me is, yes he presses but he can't tackle, at all, it makes it a little redundant. Think Poch should take him out of firing line a few weeks - 6
Kane - Had a pretty good game. Our most threatening player. Full of running and effort, and getting better before our eyes. He's not ready yet to be a number 9 though, for now until end of season think we should just use him as second striker or one of a three. - 7
Paulinho - The right sub to make. Looked quite fresh and helped us look more solid in centre. Barely gave ball away and worked pretty hard. Think he's had a positive few weeks and wouldn't surprise me to see Poch start him in a PL game soon. - 6
Chadli - Again the right sub to make. Added a body in final third although we struggled to create. Right now he's a far better option, and a more deserving one than Lamela - 6
Soldado - NET. Personally I think it was madness not starting him. After all this time and he finally scores, even if he didn't score tonight just to maintain his confidence that he earned his spot. Same happened last year and it backfired, hope won't be similar. Think it was really odd decision.
As do i ....except the Lamela bit, i think for the money we paid what he offers atm is nowhere near good enough in terms of what he does WITH the ball.
I watched all the game and was quite proud of our performance, there is a definate change since sunday.
You went on a mad bender of posting some seriously naive and boneheaded crap last night pal, including this.
I'm seriously not surprised that you're the sort of fan who looks at a 3-0 scoreline and thinks 'well we got fucking battered, we played well shit' when on the balance of play, we gave it our all and tried our best, no team would have got through Chelsea's defence last night. They're a class above everyone else in this league, but had individual errors not cost us from players who did play poorly i.e chiriches and lloris, then we would have been bang in the game, so to say we played shit would be well wide of the mark. Even Mourinho praised us afterwards.
Also, your bias towards Townsend and Adebayor is laughable. If you genuinely think they would have improved us last night, after their recent form and general attitude, then give up on football, it really isn't for you.