First Impressions On Chelsea Boss Rafael Benítez
After Roberto Di Matteo's harsh sacking, former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez was appointed just a few hours later. After losing such a fan favorite, it was expected that Chelsea would appoint the most uncontroversial boss possible. While at Liverpool, Benitez called Chelsea a team with "plastic history" and "plastic fans". Here is an overview of his first game in charge and key points for the future.
Rafa was greeting with boos and signs saying "Rafa Out". He was called Sh*t among other, not printable things. The result of the game isn't going to boost his popularity with the fans.
The Lineup And Formation
Rafa picked a formation and lineup that was similar to those under Di Matteo, with the only changes appearing in the back line. Cahill was on the bench and did not play, while A. Cole played in spot of Bertrand.
Key Points In The 1st Half
16th Minute - In honor of of sacked manager RDM, everyone in the stadium (expect the Roman) stood up and clapped for the full minute of RDM's number.
1st Half Overview - There was really no passing space in the midfield for either team, so the teams swapped long balls and attacks, but lacked shots on goal. Man City looked to be stronger in the 25-30th, but was unable to find the back of the net. Chelsea was very strong for the last 5 minutes, passing the ball effectively and making good runs. Both defenses were strong, and Chelsea not allowing a goal in the 1st half gave them a moral boost for the 2nd.
1st Half Winner: Manchester City - Man City had more shots on goal and better runs for the majority of the 1st half.
Key Points In The 2nd Half
68th Minute - Dzeko was swapped out for Tevez, which was clearly a move to win the game. Tevez never really had a good shot on goal and using Nasri or Garcia would be a better move.
70th Minute - Moses came in for Hazard, in Chelsea's move to win the game. When Moses even got the ball he did nothing with it, and Marin who has been strong in practice would have suited the game better.
2nd Half Overview - Both teams played slightly better, but neither deserved to win. Man City came out a little to fierce, and for it received 3 yellows (although one was for diving). Subs were poorly used, with both teams not even using all three subs when changes could be used.
2nd Half Winner: Chelsea (Barely) - Chelsea was a team with low morale, and City had a chance to be 1st in the league, so City not getting all three points or even a goal was poor. Chelsea's defense was strong in the 2nd half, but City's offense was about was effective as Rafa was popular.
For The Future...
- Improve ball control - You can use the rain as an excuse, but even by rainy standards, Chelsea's ball controlling abilities were poor. They were giving easy takeaways to City, and only managed to really shore it up in the last 15 minutes.
- Use Subs - Chelsea didn't use all of their subs, something that could have changed the direction of the game. Cahill, Bertrand and Marin were all on the bench, and could have made an impact. Even though they are defenders, Cahill and Bertrand could have improved Chelsea's attack, as Cahill has been sharp on corners and Bertrand is very good at distributing the ball.