"Is it a Ba goal or no?" That was the question my commentators debated on in today’s Champions League game. In our last match of the group stage, we played Steaua Bucuresti & won 1-0. The score makes the game seem like it was really close, but it was really all Chelsea. Here’s what happened:
Mourinho decided to rest some players. This game wasn’t one to really worry about because we had already advanced into the Round of 16. Schwarzer got his first CL start in his career. Better late than never! Our Geezer was finally back, along with Ash! It was good to see those guys playing again.
Things started off pretty strongly. The Brazilians, Oscar & David Luiz, both had opportunities within the first three minutes of the game to get on the scoreboard. We also started with quite a few corner kicks, one of which gave us the only goal of the game. 10th minute, Willian takes the corner and sends the ball in. Oscar gets a great header on the ball, which leads it closer towards the goal. Ba gets a touch on the ball & pushes it in! Yay for Ba scoring again! My commentators went back & forth on the goal, whether it belong to Ba or if it was an own goal. As we ended up finding out, it was Ba’s, but I was going to say that it was his anyway; I would like to think that we gave ourselves the win & didn’t get it from the opposite team. As the first half continued, things calmed down a bit, but not in a negative way. We still had plenty of attack, it just wasn’t happening all at once. The best chance to score again happened in the 36th minute. Lamps had a nice strike from distance, but it just went over the top of the crossbar. Any lower and it would’ve definitely gone in. Going into halftime, I was content with the game. Good amount of possession on our side.
Although we didn’t get any goals during the second half, it didn’t stop it from being solid. We had enough possession of the ball that it didn’t give Schwarzer a whole lot of work to do. He had a couple of good saves, but otherwise his day was quiet. Some chances could’ve happened during this half (if they were executed perfectly). The first came in the 52nd minute. Hazard had a nice setup to Ba, but Ba put too much pressure on the ball that it went upwards instead of inwards. When Schurrle was subbed in for Oscar, he almost had a dual-team moment in the 70th minute with Hazard. Lastly, Ba almost got a brace in the 87th minute, but it was called offsides.
Not only did we win the game, but we finished at the top of the group! The Europa redux worked out well for us. Seeing the other teams who made it to the Round of 16 shows that yet again this competition will be a challenge. Everyone is good in their own ways. But, this challenge is not one we have to face just yet. SSS(S) week is finally over and now we face Crystal Palace. It’s a home game, so we need to play well so we can keep Mourinho’s streak alive. I think we can do it. As always, KTBFFH! :)