Coming up to this game, I was hoping RDM wouldn’t take a negative approach as he did in our last league game. From that point of view, I’m truly pleased, as the Blues actually went out to play, and didn’t sit back waiting for the old lady. Before the game, I tweeted that I was happy to see Oscar given a go as #10, but also that I was hoping Lampard would actually perform. Well let’s talk some more about this 2 points.
On the first one, Oscar had a dream debut, with one of his 2 goals being a world class piece. The intelligence he displayed to get away from none else than the great Andrea Pirlo and beat the legendary Gigi Buffon on the turn, without ever looking at the goal, was out of this world. Ok, enough for the obvious.. what actually impressed me the most about Oscar was his ability to keep Pirlo quiet. While he was on the field, the Italian maestro’s impact was barely felt. Oscar didn’t neglect his defensive duties, and as he grew more into the game, dictated our play in midfield. Hope to see more of the same from him!
On the second point, I will actually put Mikel and Lampard in the same category. I put our defeat down to our inability to battle back in midfield. Juve barely attempted to attack on the wings, and took advantage of their numerical superiority in central midfield to overrun Lampard and Mikel, especially towards the end of the game. RDM should have realized the pair would be exhausted after tirelessly fighting the likes of Vidal, Marchisio and Giovinco, who all operated centrally all game long. The correct move by RDM should have been to take out Lampard for Romeu. Romeu would have given us fresh legs and solidity in front of the defense, and it was a tactical mistake not to identify this was needed.
Other than that, I also thought Torres was not poor, but just well handled by Juve’s defense. I also thought the Mata-Hazard combination was an absolute joy to watch, once the Spaniard came on. Mata has that ability to dictate our tempo in possession, which just makes me want to sit back and enjoy the show.
All in all, it was a great game from a footballing sense, and we put in a pretty good performance against a great opponent. I’m just disappointed we couldn’t come out of it with 3 points
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