Monday, April 23, 2018

Chelsea 2-0 FC Porto: Morale boosting win could be a turning point for Blues

Jose Mourinho celebrating /Image via

Jose Mourinho celebrating /Image via

Premier League champions have managed a huge 2-0 win over Porto in the final round of the UEFA Champions League group stage on Wednesday night which saw them clinch the knock out stage of the competition which they enter from the top spot in Group G.

Mourinho’s message of will, determination and resolve in the game against the Portuguese manager’s former club FC Porto.

The Blues were on top of their game, playing the entire match in full throttle, never allowing the guests to keep their guard down.

Having been defeated to Bournemouth last weekend, the Stamford Bridge outfit bounced back in remarkable fashion proclaiming loud and clear that they are in the Champions League to stay.

Group stage was the end of the line for FC Porto, who will continue their European path in the knock out stage of the UEFA Europa League.

A proper team effort was at display tonight from the home team, who will be more than happy with their performance. Chelsea’s play was once again joy to watch, the players did their best to make amends for the disastrous ongoing season aware that tonight’s match was really ‘make it or break it’ for London-based club.

The game started strong with the reintroduced Diego Costa, who was once again spearheading the attack following his two-game stint on the bench and that notorious bib incident in the London derby against Tottenham.

Chelsea forward was an imposing striking force against Porto. His fantastic off ball movement has been particularly impressive and it didn’t take him long to make a direct impression in the game and play a huge part in scoring an opener.

The Spanish striker was in great chance inside the six-yard box on 12 minutes, but his low shot to the middle of the goal was denied with a sublime save from Iker Casillas.

The ball however deflected off Ivan Marcano, changing its direction and into Casillas’ net for a highly unfortunate own goal.

Diego Costa was unfortunate on his part as well, as the 27-year-old forward did deserve to get on the scoresheet. Blues striker won a host of aerial duels tonigh and did great to keep the ball for his teammates in numerous occasions, with his fantastic off ball movement enabling Oscar, Willian and Hazard to exploit their pace and flair behind the stretched Porto backline.

Couple of more chances were seen in the first half, and it was Oscar who took the spotlight just before the half-hour mark. The Brazilian collected a pass on the edge of the box, unleashing a shot which was, unfortunately for the Chelsea man, blocked by Porto defender.

The visitors had a quiet interval at Stamford Bridge with only two shots directed towards Courtois’ goal.

Things changed after the break with the visiting team opening up a bit more attempting to break the towering Belgian, who was brimming with confidence and composure on his goal line.

Seven minutes into the second half, Chelsea hit a fantastic counter attack with Eden Hazard teeing up a fantastic ball to Willian whose precise and powerful shot from within the area went into the bottom right corner and past Iker Casillas, who should have made a better judgement with the shot.

With nothing to lose in the last half-hour, the visiting team started attacking mostly through Yacine Brahimi, who was the most outstanding performer tonight for Porto.

On 64 minutes Brahimi collected a pass inside the box and had a good chance of scoring, but his effort was blocked for a corner kick.

Pressure continued and the 25-year-old Algeria attacker could have easily gotten his name on the mark with a wonderful effort in the closing stages of the game, when his thumping shot went narrowly wide off the right post.

The home side was always in control of the proceedings.

Chelsea willingly let Porto take the initiative in the last 20 minutes waiting their chances from the counters and London-based club were unlucky to miss the chance to record a more comprehensive win.

In the end, completely deserved triumph for Jose Mourinho’s team.

The Portuguese thinker is back, the game against his former club might as well turn out to be a proper turning point for Chelsea.

Determined, resolute and with eyes on the prise Chelsea showed glimpses of their former selves, the spirit of the champions was felt at the Stamford Bridge.

CHELSEA: Courtois 7 – Ivanovic 7, Zouma 7.5, Terry 6.5, Azpilicueta 7 – Ramires 6.5, Matic 8 – Willian 8.5, Oscar 7.5 (Pedro), Hazard 8 (Mikel 6) – Costa 7.5 (Remy -).

Unused subs: Begovic, Cahill, Fabregas, Kenedy.

PORTO: Casillas 7 – Pereira M. 6, Marcano 5.5, Maicon 6.5, Martins Indi 6.5 – Herrera 6.5 (Tello 6), Pereira D. 7, Imbula Wanga 6 (Aboubakar 6.5) – Corona 7.5, Brahimi 7.5, Layun 7.

Unused subs: Bueno, Evandro, Helton, Varela.

REFEREE: Cuneyt Cakir

Other results this evening:

AS Roma 0-0 BATE

Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 Barcelona

Dinamo Zagreb 0-2 Bayern Munich

Dynamo Kiev 1-0 Maccabi Tel Aviv

Gent 2-1 Zenit Petersburg

Olympiakos Piraeus 0-3 Arsenal

Valencia 0-2 Lyon


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently and His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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