Ajax 0 vs. 1 Chelsea Champions League Group Stage MD 3 Review

Big Win!

An 86th minute winner via Michy Batshuayi won 3 points for Chelsea after a game between two evenly matched teams. Lampard stuck to his guns with a 4-3-3 formation as Kepa started in goal with Alonso, Zouma, Tomori, and Azpilicueta in defence, Jorginho, Kovacic, and Mount made the midfield while Hudson-Odoi, Tammy, and Willian made up the front three. Ajax’s lineup was as predicted as Ten Hag went with a 4-2-3-1 formation. 

The game for the first half was largely even as both teams created chances in the opposition half but the final pass was lacking on both sides. The pitch also looked poor as the ball bounced awkwardly throughout and players slipped all over the place. The first half saw the teams cancel each other out with both teams seeking an opening in the 2nd half. The 2nd half saw an Chelsea start to impose themselves over the game as Lampard tweaked the formation to a 4-2-3-1 with Mount playing closer to Tammy. Chelsea had more of the ball and created more but still players lacked the final pass and so Chelsea could not manage a goal. Lampard then made the changes around the 65th minute mark with Pulisic, and Michy coming on for Willian, and Tammy. The changes had an instant impact once again as Michy started throwing himself around and keeping hold of the ball while Pulisic created the most chances of the game in his cameo as he impacted the left hand side. The goal came in the 86th minute as Pulisic dribbled past Dest and cut back for Michy who finished emphatically. Reece James was then brought on for Hudson-Odoi as Chelsea saw out the game and three points. 

Player-wise Kepa gets another clean sheet so thats the best he can do. Alonso played really well as he handled Ziyech, and Dest down the left. Tomori was really good once again and stood out in the defence although the occasional poor pass occurred in the first half. Zouma was good and silently played well while Azpilicueta was word class defensively but going forward was frustrating. Jorginho was great once again as he ran around and controlled the game while Kovacic had a standout game as he marauded the midfield alongside Jorginho. Kovacic particularly improved in the 2nd half as Mount moving forward gave the Croat more space to play. Mount was an engine behind the front three and while there was no goal or assist he did his job well. Hudson-Odoi had a quiet game but one can not expect an 18 year old to shine week in week out, the youngster had several chances but lacked that killer instinct in the final third. Willian was similar and had less of an influence than Hudson-Odoi but one hopes that his good form has not ended and he was just tired. Tammy had another goalless game but he worked hard for the team and one can see that he is improving in his overall play. Pulisic was up there with the man of the match contender as he came on and created the most chances by any player on the pitch and got an assist as well. Michy continues to keep Tammy on his toes with another goal and he loves winners. Reece James had little time do anything. 

A 2nd away win for Lampard in Europe as we move into 2nd level on points with Ajax in the group with 2 of our remaining 3 games at home. Next up is Burnley away in the Premier League. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!

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