Chelsea won comfortably for the first time in a long time, it was Rafa Benitez's first win as Chelsea manager.
Chelsea won easily, and it's been a while since we could say that. The team looked fairly comfortable in both attack and defense, which is certainly the first time we could say that in the Rafa Benitez era. It's a nice break from the norm, although we won't get too many chances to play sides as weak as Nordsjaelland anymore this season.
Unfortunately results didn't go our way in the Ukraine tonight, and because of that we'll be heading for the Europa League. Juventus and Shakhtar very much deserved to go through after their showings against Chelsea, unfortunately sometimes things like that happen. I suppose you can't win this thing every year, now we'll just have to focus on getting back into next season's competition. Enough on that though, here are some thoughts on today's game:
- There was some truly awful refereeing on display today. Two wrongly awarded penalties, at least three wrongly denied, and some very questionable advantage calls. Awful is the only way to describe it.
- Fernando Torres looked better to me, but he still didn't look like the guy we need to get to the top of the Premier League. He was moving a lot more than he has been, but he was still doing a very poor job of getting himself on the correct side of the defender marking him. That will work against a backup pair from a Danish side, but he's not going to get the touches that way against quality backs. That said, he did a great job of capitalizing when he did get to the ball, something that has been rare since he joined Chelsea.
- Everyone calling for David Luiz as a midfielder got to see it after PAULO FERREIRA came on for Juan Mata. It wasn't really anything we could form an opinion on in 17 minutes with a five goal lead, but it happened.
- I hope that David Luiz is the clear choice as the primary penalty taker after Eden Hazard's miss. I'm a big fan of just hitting the thing hard as opposed to getting tricky and trying to place it.
- Being in the Europa League should give Chelsea a bit more to think about as far as recalls go. There are now pretty clear opportunities for playing time to be had, and playing on Thursday nights won't be doing much to help our chances of finishing higher in the league. Let's rethink this Lukaku thing, shall we?
- It was nice to hear the Stamford Bridge crowd cheering the club again. I doubt Rafa will gain too much support after beating up on a minnow, but at least this should put the focus back on the pitch instead of the bench.
- Congratulations to Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus. Both thoroughly deserved to advance.