Jump to content

Chelsea progress after stern Shrewsbury examination


Recommended Posts

A late cameo appearance form substitute Willian inspired Chelsea over the finish line against a spirited Shrewsbury Town at Greenhous Meadow.

After an incredibly frustrating first half, the Blues managed to take the lead after Didier Drogba slotted home his third goal in as many games, but their hosts - 72 places below José Mourinho's men in the Football League - rallied and duly equalised through substitute Andy Mangan.

Their joy was to be short-lived as Mourinho responded with two changes of his own; one of whom - Willian - provided the game's defining moment as his devilish delivery from the left wing was headed into his own net by the unfortunate Jermaine Grandison.

Shrewsbury were left crestfallen at the end of the game after a performance full of vim and vigour that left the Premier League leaders hugely frustrated.

Such was the quality of the Shrews' showing that, even in spite of the multitudinous changes Mourinho made from Sunday's disappointing 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, Chelsea were unable to dictate the play the way they have against far more illustrious opponents this season already.

It is a cruel irony that Grandison, so efficient in his marshalling of the hosts' defence, should score the decisive goal - albeit at the wrong end - but Shrewsbury manager Micky Mellon will be wholly proud of the way his side were able to push the Premier League's title favourites right to the wire.

There seems to be plenty of life left in the old Drog yet, though, as Didier Drogba again impressed.

Opening the scoring with a precise finish, it was his presence that forced Grandison to take such drastic action late on, and the big Ivorian looks decidedly fitter and sharper after an unexpected run of three goalscoring appearances in the space of a week.

It was his key contribution, added to by the verve and dynamism supplied late on by Willian, that ultimately won Chelsea this game.

But what should have been a relatively routine victory for Chelsea was, in truth, anything but that. Mourinho would have hoped this game would have been the perfect platform for his fledging starlets and fringe players to press their claim for first-team action.

Whilst the young triumvirate of Nathan Aké, Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen all impressed without doing anything particularly spectacular, both Andre Schurrle and Mohamed Salah - kept out of the Blues' recent matchday squads through a lack of both from and fitness - only underlined why they are so far down the Stamford Bridge pecking order at present.

Salah was emphatically poor in the final third, despite all his industry. His night was summed up in the first half when he attempted a shot from all of 20 yards - the ball instead almost hitting Mourinho in his technical area.

Though the Egyptian did provide the through ball from which Drogba so effortlessly thrashed home, he appears a dim reflection of the young man who starred for frequently for Basel in European competitions.

It speaks volumes that Willian was able to contribute more inside 60 seconds than either Schurrle or Salah could in the entire game. Whilst Schurrle was able to produce one excellent save out of Jayson Leutwiler, the German is unrecognisable from the superstar who helped propel his nation to their World Cup triumph in Brazil.

John Obi Mikel, too, failed to impose himself against League Two opposition - his performance serving only to further emphasise his dwindling stock since the arrival of Nemanja Matic, who, as a late substitute, appeared a class apart from the Nigerian midfielder, oozing both class and composure in that central midfield hub.

In a game played in tricky conditions on a pitch that most Premier League superstars would compare to the Somme, Shrewsbury were able to apply concerted periods of pressure on a Chelsea side clearly missing the organisation of rested skipper John Terry.

Terry's usual defensive partner Gary Cahill, another who has had a sub-par start to the season, looked shaky once again without the Blues captain at his side, though Petr Cech was his usual brilliant self; making one excellent save early on to keep the score 0-0.

The Blues progress - narrowly. In front of a record crowd of more than 10,000 inside Greenhous Meadow, Shrewsbury put in a magnificent shift and those Chelsea players who participated this evening will come out of it knowing they were given a real game, with the result belying the gulf in resources between the two sides.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 1
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • 0 members are here!

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

talk chelse forums

We get it, advertisements are annoying!
Talk Chelsea relies on revenue to pay for hosting and upgrades. While we try to keep adverts as unobtrusive as possible, we need to run ad's to make sure we can stay online because over the years costs have become very high.

Could you please allow adverts on this website and help us by switching your ad blocker off.

Thank You