Other things to take away from the game include the fact that Hazard kept falling over a little too easily tonight for my tastes (not Robben easily, but too easily all the same), and didn't get any change out of the referee when he did (there was a stone-wall penalty he should've won in the first half). So I wonder if the referees are viewing him as a bit of diver, and are erring on the side of caution whenever he goes down?
Hazard played on the left for a lot of the game tonight, and played okay, but this is the second match on the spin where we didn't see any of his trademark brilliance. I very much like his work ethic and his willingness to track back and defend though. Something that is guaranteed to endear him to the Stamford Bridge faithful. Of course the flip side of his work ethic is that he was well shagged by about the 70 minute mark and needed to be (but wasn't ) substituted (I would've brought on Moses for Hazard at the 60 minute mark).
I thought we look really good moving forward tonight though, and - while we're still a work in progress - there were some delightful interchanges between out attack minded players. So like I said, we shouldn't get too down-hearted because of this match. Unless of course you want to think about Mikel, Lampard, Ivanovic and Cech were utter rubbish, and between them need to have a really good look at themselves. Mikel's sloppy (and I'm being kind) pass that cost us the second goal was criminal. Lampard, Ivanovic and Mikel kept giving the ball away all match. And Cech didn't look like he could save a shot from a five year old.
Everybody else played well though. Even Luiz looked (marginally) less error prone than usual (though why he's starting ahead of Cahill is a mystery to me). Cole was excellent at left back, too, and is looking like he's rediscovered his appetite for the game.
So in conclusion, it is in defensive midfield that we are looking short of quality. Lampard and Mikel just don't cut it as a partnership. I kept going on and on in pre-season that we needed a 'New Makalele', but did that twat RDM listen? Of course not. Well let's just hope that that decision doesn't come back to haunt us when we get to the pointy end of the season.
Brian M Logan