Chelsea Clips Canaries
Blues’ 3 – 1 victory over Norwich City was no cakewalk
Well, it was another nail-biter on Saturday. Typically, Chelsea seemed in control for most of the game, yet the outcome was in serious doubt until Ramires’ late second half roadrunner tear into open territory, chasing down a delectable Anelka pass, which led to Ramires’ takedown in the box, which led to Lampard’s reliable PK conversion, which led to this run-on sentence. Lampard’s goal was topped off eight minutes later with an exciting pounce and confident goal by Chelsea newbie Juan Mata.
I was surprised to see Mata and Romelu Lukaku debut so quickly after joining the team. Based on AVB comments earlier last week I thought he was going to give them a few weeks to settle in. Apparently they’re already settled. There seemed to be a real buzz among Chelsea fans as they entered the game (Mata first, then Lukaku sixteen minutes later). And the new pair, no doubt eager to please, made immediate impact. They were energetic, aggressive, and total troublemakers for the tiring Norwich defense. Mata & Lukaku were instant hits, providing the right boost at just the right time.
I wonder if Lukaku would’ve seen game time if Drogba hadn’t been literally knocked out of the game by the Norwich keeper. The blow to Drogba’s head and his subsequent crash to the pitch were sickening in slo-mo. Here’s hoping he recovers very soon. The fact that Drogba had to leave the game and Lukaku entered at forward fifteen minutes later was made all the more surreal by the fact that Lukaku indeed reminds one of Drogba in stature and playing style. It’s hard to believe Lukaku is only eighteen. He is a bear of a player who looked very strong on the ball.
Likewise, I couldn’t help comparing Mata to Torres, if for no other reason than they are both Spanish World Cup winners. I also couldn’t help feeling a bit for Torres who, though he seems to be improving over last year, still hasn’t scored this season. Then Mata races in and scores in his first twenty minutes in a Chelsea jersey. That was the script written for Torres. Perhaps having Mata in the team will relieve some of the performance pressure on Torres and help the goals start to flow.
Mata and Lukaku provided a very exciting glimpse of Chelsea’s future. Combined with all the regular fan faves, Chelsea is faced with an embarrassment of player riches. I don’t envy AVB’s having to decide whom to play among so many high-caliber stars. With Jose Bosingwa on a hot streak for example, it’s almost easy to forget David Luiz who was my favorite new Blue last season. And of course there’s Essien as well, who will hopefully be ready to go by Christmas. There’s nothing but potential at the Bridge these days. Let’s just hope no one picks up any major knocks over the international break this week!
What did you think of Mata and Lukaku? Should they be immediate Chelsea starters?