Chelsea started their Champions League campaign on a positive note with a much needed 4-0 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv. Jose Mourinho made a plenty of changes for this match, resting players like Matic, Terry, Ivanovic- perhaps the weekend match against Arsenal must be playing in his mind. Baba Rahman made his home debut, Loftus-Cheek getting a nod in the center with Fabregas, and Oscar returned back from injury.
Chelsea took lead in the 15th minute with Willian’s free kick, though they could have taken the early lead with Hazard’s penalty which flew over the crossbar. And right at the end of the 1st half, the Blues doubled their lead through Oscar’s penalty.
Chelsea started 2nd half in much better fashion, increasing their lead by Costa’s volley off the Fabregas pass, the typical combination which is missing right from the start of this season. In the 78th minute, Fabregas scored the 4th goal with a simple tap-in. A confidence booster for Chelsea, not at their absolute best, but managed to do the job.
Here are the Player Ratings:-
Only 2nd clean sheet of the season for Chelsea, Begovic didn’t have a save to make, for the whole match he was more of a spectator.
Cesar Azpilicueta -8
Replacing Ivanovic on the right hand side, Caesar like always did a very good job defensively, and while going forward he was handy too.
Zouma looked good throughout the game, was strong and up for the challenge.
Gary Cahill- 7.5
Cahill lead the side in the absence of Terry and Ivanovic and did a decent job. He was solid in defense, had a half-chance to score through the corner. Though he made a few minor mistakes, overall, he had a good outing.
Baba Rahman- 7.5
Rehman had a decent debut, looked sharp defensively and showed what he brings to the team while going forward. He made some good runs with the balls, although the crossing wasn’t so good but he showed glimpses of how much effective he can be when given a chance.
Loftus-Cheek – 7.5
The young man had the chance to impress Jose and he didn’t disappoint. Though he picked up a yellow card very early in the match, he managed to stay composed and did a decent holding job in the absence of Matic. Though he gave away possession occasionally, but he was instrumental while going forward.
Fabregas-8 (ES MoM)
His best game of the season so far, Fabregas played in the center and distributed the ball well, kept the tempo and linked up well. His pass for Costa showed signs of him returning back to form. Also Remy’s shot saved by keeper fell to him and a simple tap-in got him a goal.
Oscar returning from injury was full of energy and looked sharp. He was direct, always looking for link up play, played with intensity. His returns seemed to have helped Chelsea hold the possession better and added to the creativity of their play and scored a penalty.
Willian gave Chelsea the lead but was substituted because of injury which didn’t look serious, perhaps a hamstring.
Hazard had a tough day, nothing went his way. Missed the 1st penalty, didn’t have the confidence to take the 2nd one. Tried to create chances by running pass people, but couldn’t come up with anything to show. Clearly Struggling and his confidence isn’t helping.
Rare start for Remy, had a few great opportunities to score but didn’t take any of it. He looked sharp, put crosses in and made some good runs but overall lacked the creativity
Costa came on early for Willian, and scored a brilliant volley. He created pace for Oscar, Remy and Hazard to exploit, and had a good overall game, gave a tough time to Maccabi defenders.
Ramires came on for Oscar, and quickly got the opportunity to score with the loose ball falling at his feet but he dragged his shot wide, apart from this he didn’t have much to do.
Bertrand Traore- 6.5
Traore came on for Loftus-Cheek, played for a few minutes in center showing some quality going forward. But he too had not much to do.