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Chelsea 6 City 0

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I don't know what it must have been like to have been at the game, but it made for uncomfortable listening, and even worse later on MoTD.

A terrible City performance coupled with it finally clicking for Chelsea resulted in a heavy defeat, which at best will be a wake up call, or a reality check to re-focus minds and efforts, and at worst the signal for a slide down the Premier League table.

As bad as everything was about the performance, I don't feel there is any great need to panic and I'm certain that Sven will be instructing the players to banish this from the memory and the positive is is that we have an important Carling Cup tie at Bolton this Wednesday to get this defeat out of our system.

It was evident that we were totally overwhelmed in midfield. It was always going to be difficult against Chelsea as the pace and power they possess in midfield is unrivalled in the league but we were simply overwhelmed and it could well have been more than six. We looked lightweight in midfield and gave the ball away or made the wrong decision too many times against a side who are far too good to do that against.

Our defence was continually exposed and each of their goals (as well as they were taken) were contributed to by some inept defensive positional play (Garrido and Richards in particular) and we just looked outnumbered on far too many occasions.

Alan Hansen - whilst crediting us for 'having a go' (should we have shut up shop from the start?), raised the suggestion that one or two key players (namely Elano) have not been the same player away from home. You can agree to a certain extent but I think that approach is too simplistic. At home, teams will not come at us which gives more licence for the likes of Elano and Petrov that they do not have away from home - especially against the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea where by nature you will be restricted in an attacking sense.

Perhaps there is an argument though for adopting a more pragmatic approach away from home and this could well be one area of reinforcement that Sven targets in January.

A puzzling decision for me yesterday was again leaving Bianchi stewing on the bench - not only in Mpenza's absence where Samaras was preferred but also with introduction late in the game of Vassell. Bianchi's early season performances were encouraging so his continual absence is perplexing - even moreso given the slightly cryptic explanations Eriksson gives for his omission. There was a story this week which suggested a swap deal with Palermo for Marc Bresciano and forward Amauri - and if Sven feels (for whatever reason) Bianchi does not fit in at the club he at least needs to get back maximum value for him rather than leave him on the sidelines for the whole season.

I would hope that Sven resists the temptation to make wholesale changes for the Bolton game and gives the team at least a chance to redeem matters. It will be a tough encounter though as despite their poor form this season, Gary Megson has promised a 'back to basics' approach which should see plenty of muscle being deployed.

It will be a big test.

Reaction:

"For sure this is a wake-up call for all of us. I am
very disappointed. When you lose 6-0 and I don't think I have ever lost by that,
it is very disappointing. Maybe there has been too much talk about us playing
good football and I will not blame anyone, absolutely not. But if you don't
defend well in football then things will happen that have happened today."If you
give Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, Joe Cole all the time and space we gave them
today, they will kill you and they killed us."We made Chelsea better than they
are today. By two or three passes they are along with our goalkeeper - that is
not defending."I am not talking about the four defenders, I am talking in
general. If you defend in football today, you have to defend with 11. We did
exactly the opposite."


-Sven-Goran Erkisson.

Reports:

Drogba stars as Chelsea hit Eriksson for six of the best - The Independent.

Rampant Chelsea condemn Manchester City - The Telegraph.

Sven hit for six by new-look Chelsea - The Guardian.

Blues punish sorry City - Blue Champions.