Andre Villas-Boas needed a vote of confidence more than ever on Tuesday night after Chelsea lurched to another defeat that left them in real danger of crashing out of the Champions League. Having thrown away winning positions countless times both at home and abroad since Villas-Boas took charge, Chelsea did so again on Tuesday night to make it five matches without a win. Villas-Boas may also come under fire for not starting with Frank Lampard or Michael Essien in what is regarded one of the most hostile atmospheres in Europe.
Booked : Cahill (56′), Meireles (41′)
Man of the match: Ezequiel Lavezzi
Match rating: 7.5/10.
Possession: Napoli 50% Chelsea 50%
Attempts (on target): Napoli 15(9) Chelsea 12(6)
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo
Juan Mata had given Chelsea the lead with what they will be desperately hoping proves a vital away goal. Petr Cech produced real heroics in the 10th minute after Cavani looked certain to convert Lavezzi’s pass, the goalkeeper just getting his foot to the ball. More brilliance from Cech denied Christian Maggio from a tight angle but Napoli were looking far from secure at the back themselves and, from nothing, they gifted Chelsea the lead. Chelsea were in the ascendancy but they allowed Napoli to level seven minutes before half-time, Lavezzi given an age with which to curl a beautiful 25-yard shot beyond Cech. Gokhan Inler’s cross reached the far post and Cavani leant his shoulder into the ball to turn it home, the home fans letting off a firework in jubilation. Napoli were not sitting back and the latest David Luiz howler saw them double their lead in the 65th minute, the defender kicking a long ball straight against Cavani, who squared past the stranded Cech for Lavezzi to steer into an unguarded net. Branislav Ivanovic was unable to make the most of a goalline scramble and Napoli almost killed the match – and perhaps the tie – when substitute Ashley Cole, who had earlier come on for an injured Jose Bosingwa, cleared Maggio’s open-goal effort off the line.
My Thoughts On……
1) On Cahill’s defending
He continues his rubbish defending his silly errors and simple basics. The original nature of Gary is showing up as if he has no experience. “The goals came from long balls. If we were getting caught open it might be different, but it was bread-and-butter things that went wrong,” Gary said.
2) Mata absent for Bolton?
His collision with Salvatore Aronica shortly after scoring his club’s goal, is set to undergo tests to ascertain the extent of the injury. “We have to check it. Maybe it is broken”, said Mata.
3) On Cole’s and Lamp’s removal..
Here some sayings of AVB on Cole’s and Lamp’s removal-“We wanted two hard-working midfielders sitting in front of the defence. That’s not to say that Lamps could not do it, for sure he could, but that was the decision we took. “It was technical decisions. You can have your opinion but it was based on what was the best team in my thoughts. “I had a conversation with Ashley and Frank. Normally, through the players that they are and the players with the experience they have, they felt they could have helped the team. “That’s perfectly understandable. Of course, they were disappointed but they were decisions they have to accept and move on.”
According to me, AVB should have been sacked by now in order to achieve the Champions League Cup and have offered Benitez his position. Since his tactics and faith in midfield have helped to achieve cups in Liverpool, I think this his method would transform Chelsea and so also Torres form.
According to Abramovich, AVB is very young and is here for a long stay and if given time he can too transform Chelsea but not without the players. Players need to support and thank AVB for that we have reached 5th in EPL (till now) and that we didn’t humiliate ourselves like Arsenal in UCL as we have an away goal.
Firstly, Terry should come fast to cement our defense. Secondly, Mata should be present to play against Bolton otherwise we will slip away our position. Thirdly AVB should not be sacked. Lastly,the main issue was at right-back, the position Chelsea have struggled in for years. Ivanovic is meant to be the best defensive option there, as a converted centre-back – but whether because of managerial instructions or his own poor positioning, he may have cost Chelsea the tie.
- Match Reports: Napoli 3-1 Chelsea (clubcall.com)
- Napoli Vs. Chelsea, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Cavani And Lavezzi Lead Partenopei Past Chelsea, 3-1 (sbnation.com)
- Lavezzi’s brilliance beguiles Chelsea (independent.co.uk)
- CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Napoli do the damage over error-prone Chelsea (tribalfootball.com)
- Napoli v Chelsea as it happened (setanta.com)