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Chelsea 3 City 0

As I wrote in my Observer preview; "It will be a tough ask to take anything from this game, but I'd like to think we can keep ourselves in with a shout for the most part".

For me that was the disappointing factor in that we were never in with a shout or looked like getting back into the game after falling behind to John Terry's goal little over ten minutes into the game, as generally we have been one of the few sides that have always ran Chelsea close in our games with them since Mourinho took over.

I don't think there were many of the City side who really came away with too many positives from the game. Yes, they battled hard and there was plenty of effort put it in but a lack of overall quality needed to get ourselves back into contention.

Nicky Weaver looked fairly solid in goals, but for a 'keeper of his size doesn't dominate the box as well as he should (something James was excellent at) and I thought he should have come for the free-kick which led to the first goal.

Micah Richards played well (probably MOM) and got forward at times - something Ben Thatcher failed to do. The central partnership of Dunne and Distin looked as shaky as I've seen it and the midfield were not convincing in their support of them.

Joey Barton saw plenty of the ball in midfield, but lacked the final touch or pass to generate sustained attacks, whilst both Reyna and Sinclair had no more than a handful of runs from midfield that threatened the opposition.

The attack was a disappointment for me as Corradi and Samaras were not cohesive, and I would have preferred to see Vassell's pace used away from home if we were trying to play more of a counter-attacking style, whilst Dickov's brief cameo illustrated to me why we shouldn't have brought him back to the club.

Although it was a Chelsea side that were missing a couple of key players, I thought they played well and showed that they remain a class apart from all other sides in the Premiership, let alone ourselves who have more modest ambitions.

It is easy to be critical though, and I don't want to convey a total air of doom and gloom as it certainly isn't the case as early season we are still missing some key players from the starting side and it will take time to bed in the new arrivals.

So, I don't think we should get too downhearted as no points and no goals away to Chelsea is not entirely unexpected, and it is more realistic that we take maximum points in games such as the Portsmouth one this Wednesday.

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