|Date||Time||League||Season||Time Zone||Full Time|
|November 24, 2020||6:55 pm||Uefa Champions League||2020/21 Season||Tuesday||90'|
Chelsea defeated Rennes 1 – 2 in France yesterday night to qualify for the Champions League knockouts just after matchday 4.
Chelsea started strong in the first half, creating an early chance after just 5 mins from a superb Hudson Odoi’s cross but Werner failed to convert from about two yards.
Chelsea finally broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute when Mason Mount pressing paid off as the young midfielder won the ball in midfield and quick find running Hudson Odoi on the far side with a brilliant pass. Hudson did will to control the ball with a exquisite first and second touch and executed a cool finish to make it 1-0.
Chelsea also came close through Mason Mount at the further stages of the first half but the they were denied by an unbelievable save from the Rennes goalkeeper.
Rennes began to gain more confident in the game when Chilwel became sloppy, they were gifted an opportunity after a bad pass from Chilwel but they failed to get it together. However they continue to press Chelsea during that closing stages of the first half and forced Chelsea’s keeper Edouard Mendy into making a save.
After the restart, Rennes started at the front foot and Chelsea were now a little bit under pressure. Mendy was forced into making some couple of more saves as Chelsea’s midfield failed to control the game.
Lampard responded by bringing in Kante for Kovacic, Ziyech for Hudson Odoi, Giroud for Tammy and some other changes but it didn’t make much difference as Rennes continued to press and got a deserved goal through a corner kick.
It looked like it was gonna end in stalemate untill Rennes messed up again in midfield and gave the ball carelessly to Ziyech who drove in immediately and played Werner through on goal. The German again failed to convert from close range but was lucky Giroud was there to fight for the rebound and scored to give Chelsea all three points in what was the last minute of the game.
Positives from the game
1. Qualification and winning streak: This might not be our best performance in recent games but at the end, all three points was ours. This shows that the players are willing to fight till the end.
Also the fact that we have qualified already, will bring a relief to the squad in upcoming games.
It’s was also good that we kept the winning streak going making it 6 consecutive wins as we would need all the morale to challenge Premier League leaders Tottenham on Sunday.
2. The Defense: We might have succum to the pressure and conceded a goal later on in the game but there’s only so much pressure a defence can absorb. For a longer period of the game when Chelsea’s midfield failed to control the game, Chelsea’s defence stood strong to keep Chelsea in the game.
This is a far cry from when we usually concede goals inside just few minutes of pressure. The defense and goalkeeper are showing game after game that we can count on them now.
3. Mason & Odoi: The pair were brilliant yesterday especially in the first half.
Hudson Odoi showed character and his tracking back was phenomenal. A part of his game which Lampard has challenged him to improve on and he has responded accordingly.
His goal in the first half means it’s two for him in four Champions League matches. If he continues this way, then we could see more of him in future games.
Mount in the other hand was exquisite and just being Mason Mount. His assist to Odoi just showed how important he is for us and why every coach loves him. His continued pressing his out of this world and he is improving daily. We really are lucky to have both him and Kai Havertz in the squad.
Negatives from the match
1. The defensive midfield: It’s getting obvious that when Kante isn’t playing the defensive midfield role, the whole teams gets nervous and unstable.
Even if Kante is in the game but not playing that role we face the same problem.
Jorginho isn’t able to find the right balance for everyone as Kante does when playing the position and this becomes a bit of a problem because Kante would need rest and might sustain injury so Lampard needs to find a way to balance the team when Kante is not around even if it means switching to three defenders
2. Timo Werner: It’s probably a run of bad luck but still it needs to be pointed out because bad luck or not, this kind of scenerios have a lot of effect on a players confidence.
Wener has been awful recently in front of goal. Missing a couple of chance in his last two games. Kind of chances in which there should be no excuse but to bury for a striker of his calibre.
We hope he will be able to bounce back quickly form those snag because the fixtures are getting tough.
Chelsea win over Rennes means they are still topping their Champions League group with goal difference leveled in points with Sevilla who won against Krasnodar last night also.
Chelsea will now face Sevilla at Spain in their next Champions League match as both clubs battle for first place.
In the Premier League, Chelsea have a big match and derby coming up this Sunday against League leaders Tottenham. Spurs are in red hot form so is our Chelsea side so we are expecting nothing but a thrilling encounter.
What are your thoughts about the match against Rennes, Giroud’s winner, Werner’s misses Hudson Odoi, etc?
Let’s see what you have to say in the comment section below.