Chelsea’s Brazilian pairing of David Luiz and Ramires managed to eventually make the difference against Manchester City, each providing just that little extra touch of energy, combined with their raw talent and impressive calmness in front of goal.
A very important win, having looked for long periods before David Luiz thudded his header against the back of the net, seemed destined for the drab 0-0 score line which Roberto Mancini’s team had already held both Man Utd and Arsenal to earlier this season.
Neutral fans sitting at home to watch both Chelsea’s games this week, may have found both experiences thoroughly uninspiring, but for the fans who turned up twice to Stamford Bridge in a matter of days, the two crucial results were certainly well worth savouring, far more than the performances that brought them about.
As expected, Carlo Ancelotti’s team had comfortably brushed past Copenhagen without too much fuss, on their way to a Champions League quarter final against Manchester United. Though Ancelotti was refusing to get carried away, the draw certainly seems favourable, against a Man Utd side who’ve struggled far worse with injuries than Chelsea have in recent weeks, particularly in defence.
Playing home and away, Chelsea should have what it takes to squeeze past United, with the strength in defence and in particular their strength in the centre of midfield. Doing so would of course mean a likely semi final against holders Inter Milan, which despite the obvious quality of Samuel Eto’o and Wesley Sneijder, really means that if you can keep those two quiet then you by and large keep Inter quiet; certainly they don’t pose anything like the threat of Barcelona or Real Madrid.
Finally, back to Fernando Torres, who’s now gone over 6 and half hours without a goal. The improvements in the way Chelsea played once Torres had been substituted, certainly had me questioning whether his lack of supply had as much to do with his own poor positioning as it did to do with Lampard and Essien not showing much creativity early on.