Chelsea will be bitterly disappointed as the 3-1 defeat in Paris against PSG now makes it three defeats in the last five Chelsea fixtures for the west London club. It is however, more the manner of the loss – and in particular the poor defending on each of the French teams’ goals – that will annoy Jose Mourinho the most.
The early goal conceded to Lavezzi came from a weak defensive header by John terry that didn’t even clear his own penalty area as it dropped to the Argentine to strike home on the half-volley.
The second goal, from a wide left free kick swung in by the same player eventually found its way into the net via David Luiz as he tried to scoop the ball away.
That the free kick had been allowed to bounce, untouched, inside the Chelsea six-yard box would have been anathema to defensive coaches however, and had the manger’s hair not already turned grey, it would have done so at that moment.
Finally, the Pastore injury-time goal that may well have secured the tie for PSG was conceded after he danced past three defenders in no space at all before netting as Cech committed the cardinal goalkeeper sin of being beaten on his near post.
Afterwards, Gary Cahill described the goal as “sloppy.” Manager Jose Mourinho was a little more robust. “The third was not a goal, it’s a joke,” said the Portuguese. His anger and frustration was clear.
Chelsea’s run of form this season had been built on a miserly defence that boasted the best record in the Premier League, but in last night’s game, when subduing the ebullient Zlaten Ibrahimovic was achieved comfortably, failure to apply the basics of defending undid the Blues.
Two years ago, in the identical situation, Chelsea successfully turned around a 3-1 away defeat to a team containing both Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani. That however was Napoli, and this PSG squad is probably a notch or two up from that team.
If Mourinho is to perform the sort of trick completed by Roberto di Matteo on that night when Napoli came to the Bridge, it will need all of his estimable tactical nous. Oh yes, and some better basic defending!
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