Chelsea fans were not impressed in any way, shape or form when they saw their side ship four goals and lose to New York Red Bulls – and for good reason. In the second half, the Blues were woeful and Jose Mourinho made sure the players knew it.
Given they had PSG and Barcelona to come, Chelsea fans were slightly alarmed that their side could be taken apart so easily, and expected so much more against PSG – and despite conceding the first goal, their players obliged in the second half.
It may have only been a win via a penalty shootout – something that Jose Mourinho isn’t exactly lucky with when you look at his record as Blues boss, but it made a statement for a couple of reasons. With that in mind, here are four things we learnt from Chelsea’s win over PSG.
Radamel Falcao could be a masterstroke of a signing
When Chelsea were first linked with Falcao, people thought it must have been slow news day. Then they started to think that Jose Mourinho was doing Jorge Mendes a favour and taking his client for the season, on the promise of signing a better player later in the window.
Now, after watching the Colombian’s debut for the Blues, it seems increasingly like Mourinho actually signed the forward because he really does see something in him. His movement was impressive during the game, and while Falcao didn’t get the best service in the world, with Eden Hazard particularly quiet, he looked far happier than the player who cut a frustrated and often forlorn figure at United.
As if that wasn’t enough, Falcao then stepped up before anyone else in the shootout and scored his penalty. Yes, you’d probably expect that from a forward, but had Falcao missed, it could have been the end of his Chelsea career before it had even got started. Instead, the fans now love him and all the missing components at Manchester United could well fall into place in west London.
A Falcao who is 60% of the player he was at his prime is still a world class forward – and when you look at it like that, Jose Mourinho could well have made the signing of the transfer window.
So that’s why they sold Cech
Manchester City fans may have thought that Joe Hart was trying to be the new Manuel Neuer after his penalty shootout heroics, but Thibaut Courtois saw him, raised him and showed why Jose Mourinho was willing to allow Petr Cech to leave the club.
Courtois is the number one pure and simple, and not only did he produce a pretty decent performance through the second half of the game when he played (and it’s worth noting the previous game against New York Red Bulls declined quicker than a Liverpool fans’ opinion of Aidy Ward when Asmir Begovic took to the field), but he bossed the penalty shootout.
He saved two of the PSG attempts and then stepped up, taking his penalty so well that it won the match for Chelsea and nearly broke the back of the net while he was at it.
The better the opponent, the better Chelsea play
Chelsea seem to step up their game when one of two things happen. Either they go a goal down or they play a team who are one of the best in Europe. It’s not even like they have lapses in concentration against the poor sides, more that they literally do not want to get out of third gear, and at times it can cost them.
Against PSG, they were a goal down and were lucky to keep it at that until they came out for the second half, showing their quality in patches, but after a few changes and words from Mourinho, they were a different side. Oh, and it’s worth noting that their starting XI for this season will be exactly the same as last term. Jose trusts a select group of players and it doesn’t look like changing.
What is a Juan Cuadrado?
As if it wasn’t bad enough that the winger took the number eleven shirt ahead of the start of the season, Cuadrado seems to be getting worse with each passing game. You wouldn’t really blame Chelsea fans for feeling alarmed when Radamel Falcao stepped up to take the first penalty of the shootout against PSG, but he slotted it away with gusto.
Cuadrado also took one in the shootout and it was obviously saved, just making it that little bit clearer (as if it wasn’t in red block letters before) that the Colombian has no future at the club.
In fact, playing Cuadrado during pre-season is probably decreasing his transfer value, unlike Mr Mediocre Victor Moses, who will go for at least £8 million to a club who specialise in midtable mediocrity after his performances.