CHELSEA'S FIRST HALF PERFORMANCE against Middlesbrough was abysmal. Forget 'tactical plans' and 'strategies'! The team couldn't even do basic things, like, um... pass or try to look totally competent against a lesser side. As if to reward everyone who had sit through a--if I may put it ever so delicately--shit show of a football match, the Blues scored twice after the break, and the second one in particular was super awesome. While the post-match shenanigans have taken a bite out of the precious time we have on this wonderful planet, we will take a close look at that Victor Moses goal here on the blog because it is the least it deserves.
|Picture 1. Ake wins header|
It all started when Nathan Ake, making his full debut in midfield alongside Ramries, won a header in midfield. A long goal-kick taken by Jason Steele dropped into the center circle and the young Dutch man jumped the highest to head it forward. Chelsea had a solid defensive shape, you can almost make out a 4-2-3-1 form neatly. Ake's header would land in Fernando Torres' feet and the break was on... Well, not quite.
|Picture 2. Ake passes to Hazard|
As he has often done in Chelsea shirt--with incredible ease as well--, Torres managed to (a) mis-control the ball with his first touch, (b) over-hit it with his second and (c) lose possession entirely. The Chelsea counter was going to be prematurely stopped if not for that youngster Ake, who again stepped up and passed the loose ball over to Hazard on the left wing. The counter is back on!
This time Torres would do the right thing and move out of the way, to the left, opening a lane toward the center for Hazard to dribble into. Oscar advanced to the edge of the box while Moses marched on from the right flank.
|Picture 3. Hazard and Oscar prepares to tiki-taka|
From Boro's point of view, they had recovered well defensively. They had six players coming back to defend against Chelsea's four; Oscar and Moses, the two closest to the goal, were tightly marked. But the magic of tiki-taka would cast a powerful spell which can shatter their defensive structure.
|GIF 1. Moses scores|
Hazard tapped the ball to Oscar before dashing into the box; the Brazilian then outrageously hooked a perfect pass with the side of this right boot; Hazard sprinted through two defenders to get on the ball. Any player with a bit of selfishness in his gene would probably have tried to scored but that's not Hazard's style (see assist for Ivanovic vs Reading). The Belgium squared it to Moses who only needed to speed past his marker in order to score with the simplest of tap-ins. We would have of course talked more about this wonderful goal if you-know-who hadn't treated a post-game press conference like a therapy session. Thanks a lot!
We know what we are...
We know what we are...