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Boy from Brazil emerges as new Blues hero

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Phil McNulty | 09:20 UK time, Thursday, 20 September 2012

The final dramatic chapter of Didier Drogba's Chelsea story made him an act that was almost impossible to follow.

But a boy from Brazil called Oscar has stepped into his shoes to write the next compelling scenes.

Drogba's last kick for Chelsea was the penalty that won the Champions League against Bayern Munich in their own Allianz Arena in May. When he stripped off his blue number 11 shirt in celebration, it was for good.

It is a sign of Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo's confidence in his 21-year-old summer signing from Internacional that he handed Oscar both Drogba's shirt and the responsibility of being their Champions League inspiration.

Oscar scores against Juventus

Oscar's two-goal debut against Juventus rewarded Di Matteo's faith in him. Photo: Getty

The £25m purchase has virtually slipped in under Stamford Bridge's radar this season because of a combination of time away with Brazil and the instant, overshadowing impact of another expensive acquisition, Eden Hazard.

Di Matteo, with the sureness of touch that has marked so many of his decisions in Europe, decided the opening group game of their Champions League defence against Juventus was the ideal time to let this gifted young South American make his first full start.

And if wearing the shirt the talismanic Drogba left behind carried any sort of burden, it was one Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Junior carried lightly as he illuminated a highly-entertaining 2-2 draw with the sort of individual brilliance that hints at a golden future.

While Hazard walked along the margins of the game - except when he was denied what looked to be a penalty as he was pushed by Andrea Barzagli in the second half - and Fernando Torres had another of those frustratingly fruitless nights, Oscar flourished.

In close proximity to this wiry youngster was England's Euro 2012 nemesis Andrea Pirlo, now sporting a beard that gives him a piratical appearance and central to Juventus's renewal in Europe, but the boy who has already been granted the honour of wearing Brazil's number 10 shirt lost nothing in comparison.

When he signed for Chelsea, Oscar described himself as "an elegant type of ball-player". Definitive judgement at this early stage must be reserved but he looked all that and more.

After some early bedding in, Oscar grew into the game and announced himself with a deflected goal to give Chelsea the lead after 31 minutes. It was a strike that showed confidence, but it was his second two minutes later that pointed at the possibilities to come.

He took Ashley Cole's pass and evaded the attentions of Pirlo before looking up and curling a sumptuous 25-yard drive that rendered the great Juventus and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon helpless.

Stamford Bridge rose in acclaim and the boyish figure was swamped by elated team-mates. The noise that swept around the stadium was the sound of someone special being announced.

It was a goal that had Brazil stamped right through it. Instinctive, artistic and worthy of decorating a game that saw Chelsea parade the famous old trophy before kick-off just to emphasise, as if it were needed, their new status as European champions.

It is to Juventus's eternal credit that the "Old Lady" of Italian football stirred herself to take a point with a goal from Arturo Vidal before half-time and a late equaliser from substitute Fabio Quagliarella.

From a Chelsea perspective, however, the main stage was occupied by Oscar and his starring role.

And for all his avowed elegance there is a steel within that slender frame, as evidenced in a few seconds either side of the 56th minute.

Firstly, he came through two tough Juventus challenges with the ball to spray out a perfect long pass and then he had the audacity to ruffle the timeless elegance and composure of Pirlo by dumping him on his backside near the touchline.

It is a side to his game he will need because his ability will make him a target for those practising the darker arts. So it proved here as his night was cut short by 15 minutes as a result of a cynical challenge from Leonardo Bonucci, the new hero leaving to a standing ovation.

Di Matteo described Oscar's performance as "perfect". The same could not be said for a Chelsea side that may have sacrificed some of the steel that took them to triumph last season for a silk that makes them more vulnerable to the sort of quality Juventus possessed.

Whereas they were equipped to dodge the opposition's big punches last season, this more open Chelsea looks like they may take a few on the chin this time around. And there are some very big hitters in the Champions League.

Juventus were well worth their draw and Quagliarella almost won it with a shot from the edge of the area that grazed the bar with Chelsea keeper Petr Cech well beaten.

The draw may have left Chelsea and Di Matteo deflated, but there was no disguising the excitement Oscar's display had created.

If this is a taste of things to come, it will not be the last time the name that is a headline writer's dream will be up in lights on Fulham Broadway.

Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    Oscar looks like a tremendous prospect. I think it will take him a while to adapt to the pace of the Premier League but he has all the attributes to be a top player.

    His second goal was pure class.

  • Comment number 2.

    Well done Juve' Exellent come back and spirit. Could have won the game late on.
    Juve' could be a dark horse in this years competition.

  • Comment number 3.

    A very good game with some great play by two very good teams and the result was fair for both teams.
    The Oscar goal started from Torres losing possession and winning it back on the wide right, so credit to him.

  • Comment number 4.

    Absolute class, how this lad slipped under that radar I'll never know!

  • Comment number 5.

    As for the game in general I thought a draw was a fair result although Chelsea will be disappointed to let a 2 goal lead slip. They have strength in depth in midfield but I do think they lack options up front. The team seems to be built around Torres but in my view he isn't good enough any more to lead the line for a club like Chelsea.

    Juventus have quality in most positions (particularly in defence) and will be tough opposition for any team.

    Overall an entertaining first round of matches in the CL.

  • Comment number 6.

    Oscar does look like a very good player , and his 2nd goal was very good. Chelsea were unlucky not to win.

    Chelsea were given nothing by the ref , apart from the Hazard penalty decision Juventus got away with a lot of subtle pushes and pulls that should have been fouls .
    Chelsea seemed to be pulled up and penalised for everything , and the theatrics from the Juve players were a bit over the top.

  • Comment number 7.

    Damn.

    I can't believe I missed all the chat about WW2 on the last blog. You miss 1 or 2 days and you miss a historical discussion (and occassionally some stuff about football). It was interesting to read everyones thoughts on the conflict although I would disagree with the general opinions that came out (who was most important etc). However very pleased to see there were no comments like 'actually Hitler was misunderstood'. You never can tell when these kind of conversations start.

    Did not even see any highlights of last nights games unfortunately but the blog suggests Oscar may be the second coming. We'll say how he plays on Saturday.

    2 Europa League games to watch live tonight which should be good - particularly looking forward to Spurs v Lazio. Liverpool game not so much since Brendan Rodgers looks like he will be playing a team consisting of secondary staff - the turnstyle operators, tea ladys and ball boys at this rate. Goodness me you think he would want to actually win a game after the run they are having. How can he honestly say that he dosen't want to risk injury to players as that will effect their premier league campaign for a few months.

    Look at the state of it so far - there is no way Liverpool are making top 4 so he should go for it in the Europa League and maybe get a confidence boosting win.

  • Comment number 8.

    That second goal was amazingly good. Chelsea will be kicking themselves for letting two goals slip but will qualify comfortably.

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    He is a real pure talent.
    One for the future, today.
    Can't see him emulating Drogba in anyway (Mostly because they are completely different players) but I can see the Chelsea fans already taking him into their hearts. And hopefully for him there's more of these type of performances for him.

    On the actual game, draw a fair result, could agrue that Chelsea should have had a penalty. But Juventus played well and worthy of a draw.

  • Comment number 11.

    5.At 10:53 20th Sep 2012, BaggiosPonytail wrote:
    The team seems to be built around Torres but in my view he isn't good enough any more to lead the line for a club like Chelsea.
    ____________________________

    He keeps popping up on the wings and in deep positions , it looks as if he is turning into an attacking midfielder.
    He is certainly not the out and out striker that he was.

  • Comment number 12.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 13.

    Awesome goals from the lad!

    (I bet he could score a pentalty too! - from an envious Man United supporter)

  • Comment number 14.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 15.

    @ 13 a "pentalty" indeed can't get over how annoying Nani is. Somebody buy him already!

  • Comment number 16.

    Whilst I watched the United game - that goal from Oscar was pure class! Great stuff from the boy who shone at the Olympics. Unbelievable prospect - looking forward to watching him play more often.

    How Chelsea threw away a 2-0 lead at home must be a cause of concern though. Why they persevere with Mikel is beyond my comprehension. Not the greatest ball winner and can't pass for jot. Contrast to Essien's performance the night before - maybe RDM cut his losses too early?

  • Comment number 17.

    Proenca is a very good referee he may have got the Hazard decision wrong.
    Thinking Hazard did go down very easily and made it look far worse than what it was. It was hard to call.

  • Comment number 18.

    12.At 11:07 20th Sep 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Goals wrote:
    Looks like a decent player, but a bit early judge based on 1 performance.
    _______________________________

    Morning the alter ego of ESG :)

    To be fair he has looked very good in the sub appearances he has made in the prem this season.
    I was wrong Cluj beat Braga , but it was not a great game. I was flicking between the Chelsea nad Barca games.
    Spartak certainly parked the bus , and we saw a cracking own goal from Danni alves :)

  • Comment number 19.

    #7

    do you have reading problems??

    this is a blog on Oscar's herorics last night not LFC, wind it in. LFC has nothing to with you, probable MUFC or AFC fan.

  • Comment number 20.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 21.

    17.At 11:11 20th Sep 2012, parisian818 wrote:
    Proenca is a very good referee
    ________________________

    Usually he is , and I was suprised he got conned a bit by the juve players , he should be used to it officiating in Portugal.

    The last Chelsea game he took charge of was the champs league final.

  • Comment number 22.

    Over hyped...

    Yet another poor article by Phil... How can you tag someone "Talented" "New Didier Drogba" based on one performance...

    Raise your standard Phil... I feel sorry

  • Comment number 23.

    Oscar is so brilliant he led Chelsea to a resounding victory against the Old Lady of Italian football. Er, no, wait a minute...

  • Comment number 24.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 25.

    14.At 11:09 20th Sep 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Goals wrote:
    7.At 11:00 20th Sep 2012, Drastic wrote:
    Damn.

    I can't believe I missed all the chat about WW2 on the last blog.
    ______________________________________

    Give it a few more posts and it will be about Newton's 2nd law........

    Lazio should be a good tie as AVB has come out and said he wants to win the thing. THink there's some other tasty non UK matches as well....
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ha Ha - yes, or a chat about quantum physics!

    Right about AVB - he is the only one of the three who has stated he takes it seriously. I'll watch both games tonight on the BBC's rival though.

    Have I missed something ESG, you account seems to have got early release for good behaviour?

  • Comment number 26.

    12.
    At 11:07 20th Sep 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Goals wrote:

    Looks like a decent player, but a bit early judge based on 1 performance.

    Chelsea will be gutted. I worry for RDM.
    ____________________________

    Agreed it is too early to judge Oscar on one performance but he certainly has potential.

    Why? They are top of the league and got a draw against a very good team in their first CL game.

  • Comment number 27.

    22. At 11:15 20th Sep 2012, Torres_White_Heskey wrote:
    Over hyped...

    Yet another poor article by Phil... How can you tag someone "Talented" "New Didier Drogba" based on one performance...

    Raise your standard Phil... I feel sorry

    ----------------
    I'm impressed you read the article. I know it's always going to be a bucketload of reactionary nonsense and hyperbole so I just skip straight to the comments - which are full of reactionary nonsense and hyperbole...hmm.

  • Comment number 28.

    22: Where exactly is the quote by Phil that you are referring to please? You seem to be putting words into people's mouths.

  • Comment number 29.

    Phil

    I don't think Chelsea have lost steel. I think they have lost concentration, that is all.

  • Comment number 30.

    19.At 11:12 20th Sep 2012, wavertreehead wrote:
    #7

    do you have reading problems??

    this is a blog on Oscar's herorics last night not LFC, wind it in. LFC has nothing to with you, probable MUFC or AFC fan.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wow - you are one touchy child.

    Yes I can read and if I choose to talk about tonights games I will do so. Clearly you are a Liverpool fan who has mistakenly taken my post as a wind up. Believe me the last thing I want to do is join the dry chorus of so called 'big club' supporters trash talking each other like it is a school playground. My point is I really want Liverpool to go at it and play a full strength team - I love to see ALL English clubs win in Europe. And I am a Charlton Athletic supporter - I have stated it enough times on here.

  • Comment number 31.

    I can see what Robbie is trying to do the owner wants more entertaining football but the way we are playing at the moment this is giving the opposition more chances to score. At 2-0 Chelsea were well in control a superb double Oscar from Oscar Torres worked hard up front on his own for no reward. we couldn't close the game down and we got a little sloppy in the second half.Juventus scored for them just before half time and enjoyed better spells of control in the second half. You get punished for losing the ball in your own half and Juve duly obliged keeping a clean sheet is proving difficult definitely one for the neutrals.

  • Comment number 32.

    "Oscar steals show on European stage"


    Is this what you understood most by watching the game?

    I don't believe it is.


    .

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    29. At 11:20 20th Sep 2012, MrBlueBurns wrote:
    Phil

    I don't think Chelsea have lost steel. I think they have lost concentration, that is all.

    --------------
    Question is will it matter come December? It's not the easiest group in the world. Shakhtar are a good team - points dropped at home may be significant...

  • Comment number 35.

    24.At 11:16 20th Sep 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Goals wrote:
    Braga was a surprise. A one off or they in decline?
    ____________________________

    Decline ???

    A team with a total weekly wage bill of 45k playing in the champions league group stages !!!
    We problably have non-league teams with bigger wage bills.

    But Braga were below their best and Cluj played reasonably well, the guy that scored the 2 goals was an ex Braga player as well just to rub salt into the wounds.

  • Comment number 36.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 37.

    repo #21

    He was the ref for my home club a few seasons ago, very strong.
    I did see a comment recently by the London poster. He said clubs should prepare for the ref and know what they do. Watching last night I can see his point.

  • Comment number 38.

    Pogba not even on the bench. Made a good career move there....

  • Comment number 39.

    32: Again, who are you talking to? That may be a link posted by someone else but it's not written here!

  • Comment number 40.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 41.

    Saturday 12/01/2013, Stoke away. Let's wait until then to judge Oscar.

  • Comment number 42.

    31. At 11:23 20th Sep 2012, RON wrote:
    I can see what Robbie is trying to do the owner wants more entertaining football but the way we are playing at the moment this is giving the opposition more chances to score. At 2-0 Chelsea were well in control a superb double Oscar from Oscar Torres worked hard up front on his own for no reward. we couldn't close the game down and we got a little sloppy in the second half.Juventus scored for them just before half time and enjoyed better spells of control in the second half. You get punished for losing the ball in your own half and Juve duly obliged keeping a clean sheet is proving difficult definitely one for the neutrals.

    -----------------
    Defo agree. Under Mourinho, at 2-0 he would've brought a defensive mid for Torres and called it a day. I think that Juve goal straight after Oscar's wonderstrike was massive. If they had time to consolidate the lead, may have been a different result.

    Still, I like the new Chelsea - they entertain. I mean it is a sport, first and foremost, not a business!

  • Comment number 43.

    33 ESG

    Arrhh! Very sly - I can't believe I didn't notice that. However for the sake of time I always abbreviate your user name so my mind is probably just used to reading it as ESG.

  • Comment number 44.

    36.At 11:25 20th Sep 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Goals wrote:
    26.At 11:18 20th Sep 2012, BaggiosPonytail wrote:
    __________________

    After seeing each team play one game, time for some predictions. I wonder who Repo has his money on?

    I'm saying Real Madrid.

    _________________________________

    I posted on the last blog that I put 20 quid on Real Madrid at 5:1

  • Comment number 45.

    @30 Drastic

    Good morning. It didn't take long for the comments to get personal did it? Posters like wavertreehead need to chill out.

    Like you i'm perplexed that Liverpool are not taking the Europa League more seriously. To be honest the cups are their only chance of silverware this year and probably their only route back into European football next season.

    If my team ever get into Europe again I would be really excited about it. Of course it is just a dream for the foreseeable future.

  • Comment number 46.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 47.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 48.

    36.
    At 11:25 20th Sep 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Goals wrote:


    26.At 11:18 20th Sep 2012, BaggiosPonytail wrote:
    __________________

    After seeing each team play one game, time for some predictions. I wonder who Repo has his money on?

    I'm saying Real Madrid.
    _________________________

    Rather pointless at this stage but i'll go for Bayern Munich.

  • Comment number 49.

    45. At 11:30 20th Sep 2012, BaggiosPonytail wrote:
    @30 Drastic

    Good morning. It didn't take long for the comments to get personal did it? Posters like wavertreehead need to chill out.

    Like you i'm perplexed that Liverpool are not taking the Europa League more seriously. To be honest the cups are their only chance of silverware this year and probably their only route back into European football next season.

    If my team ever get into Europe again I would be really excited about it. Of course it is just a dream for the foreseeable future.

    ----------------
    It's not about the glory anymore though is it. The Europa League is an inconvenience - look at the squad Newcastle have taken.

    Trophies only matter to fans - teams need to balance the books. I reckon that's why Arsenal bought Park - business gamble that didn't pay off.

  • Comment number 50.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 51.

    wow...I've only just seen his second on youtube but WHAT A GOAL! Chelsea look to have done well signing this boy!

  • Comment number 52.

    #34 becks-phone-call-went-to-me

    We'll have to wait until December to see I suppose. After all, it's only the first game so it's too early to say.

    Overall, I think 'people' try to write too much drama and conclusiveness into these early group games. Even when you get to the last game of the group, your fate is often in your hands. Last season, for example, some had knives out for AVB, Chelsea beat Valencia 3-0 and we top the group.

  • Comment number 53.

    Predictions Bayern or Chelsea will be there at the end. Which one I am not sure.

  • Comment number 54.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 55.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 56.

    An entertaining game last night with two very good teams playing decent attacking football.

    Oscar looks an outstanding prospect but we will have to wait until the end of the season before making any serious judgements.

    No pressure on RDM yet. Top of the league and a point against a team that could be regarded as a "dark horse" in the UCL this season.

  • Comment number 57.

    •Comment number 50.
    At 11:33 20th Sep 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Goals wrote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Mid January, a forlorn looking Oscar stares distantly ahead of him as sheets of icy rain pour from the sky over the Britannia Stadium".

  • Comment number 58.

    #49 becks-phone-call-went-to-me

    The Europa league may well be an inconvenience for Premier League clubs who can earn more just by being average domestically. Something UEFA could sort out at a stroke would be to take money out of the Champions League and put it into the Europa league.

    #46 money4oldrope

    I thought the ref was pretty good last night even if he was a touch fussy once or twice.

    Someone I do like seeing though is Buffon. A mad eyed legend of a player. He absolutely rules his area in a way that few other keepers seem to.

  • Comment number 59.

    Chelsea have been missing a player of Oscar's match turning class ever since they lost Arjen Robben.
    It's not too soon to say he will light up the Premiership, like Ya Ya, Silva and Aguero have done for rivals Man City.

  • Comment number 60.

    45

    Morning to you Baggio. I think that has to be close to the record on here - some people type before they think, or even before they make sure they understand the context of the post.

    I think Spurs/Lazio could be a cracking game and I would love to say that about Liverpool. And for wavertreehead's benefit - I would love nothing more to see Liverpool storm to a crushing victory tonight too. But Rodgers worrying that someone might pick up a knock so he won't play any of the first team (who could all do with a moral boosting win) is just plain crazy. The good thing about Kenny Dalglish is that he broke Liverpool's trophy drought, got them back in Europe and gives them another front to fight on. To then not bother trying is really odd. I think Liverpool would be proud to add another European trophy to the cabinet.

  • Comment number 61.

    49.
    At 11:32 20th Sep 2012, becks-phone-call-went-to-me wrote:

    It's not about the glory anymore though is it. The Europa League is an inconvenience - look at the squad Newcastle have taken.
    ____________________________

    Yeah it's depressing. I like it when English teams to do well in Europe but the way some of them treat the Europa League I hope they get what they deserve.

  • Comment number 62.

    52. At 11:33 20th Sep 2012, MrBlueBurns wrote:
    #34 becks-phone-call-went-to-me

    We'll have to wait until December to see I suppose. After all, it's only the first game so it's too early to say.

    Overall, I think 'people' try to write too much drama and conclusiveness into these early group games. Even when you get to the last game of the group, your fate is often in your hands. Last season, for example, some had knives out for AVB, Chelsea beat Valencia 3-0 and we top the group.

    --------------
    Fair play - of course it's too early to judge. But whichever way you look at it, it is 2 points dropped at home. I wouldn't fancy United on a trip to Ukraine, that's for sure!

    Still, I hope all 4 English teams top their groups (don't think it'll happen though) and then we get Bayern, Barca, Madrid and Juve joining them in the quarters. That's when it really gets interesting!

    FWIW I don't think Barca or Madrid will win this year - I've a sneaky feeling Arsenal are going to go under the radar and surprise us. Bayern to make up for last season is my tip but wouldn't surprise me to see a United - Arsenal final at all considering everyone who's already written those two teams off.

  • Comment number 63.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 64.

    53.At 11:34 20th Sep 2012, parisian818 wrote:
    Predictions Bayern or Chelsea will be there at the end. Which one I am not sure.
    _________________________________

    Real Madrid will win it !

    Then Mourinho will say "Adios amigos " and go back to Chelsea , along with Coentraõ , Pepe , and Ronaldo :D

  • Comment number 65.

    #45
    English teams that take the Europa League seriously from the start though seem to have poor domestic seasons off the back of it. Liverpool's directors have already made it clear top 4 is where they need to be.

  • Comment number 66.

    54 ESG

    I'd like to operate a home bias but none of our clubs have started in sparkling fashion. I think Barcelona may steal back the crown (real brave predicition, I know) but I hope not.

  • Comment number 67.

    #58
    I went to a pre-season friendly against Juventus about 4 years ago and Buffon was laughing and joking with the crowd during the game. Gave his gloves away at the end.

    Top bloke, and fantastic keeper. One of the best ever.

  • Comment number 68.

    English teams cannot win Europa with the attitude they have. What is wrong with them. They will never win the league and they show no respect to the second cup of Europe.

  • Comment number 69.

    65.At 11:41 20th Sep 2012, Weallfollowunited wrote:
    _______________________________

    EPL teams will only take the europa League seriously when they treble the prize money.
    If you win it you get less than half the amount for qualifying for the last 16 of the champs league.

  • Comment number 70.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 71.

    49.At 11:32 20th Sep 2012, becks-phone-call-went-to-me wrote:
    45. At 11:30 20th Sep 2012, BaggiosPonytail wrote:
    cups are their only chance of silverware this year and probably their only route ----------------
    It's not about the glory anymore though is it. The Europa League is an inconvenience - look at the squad Newcastle have taken.

    Trophies only matter to fans - teams need to balance the books. I reckon that's why Arsenal bought Park - business gamble that didn't pay off.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Europa League may not bring huge prize money but it would hardly put a team at a loss, particularly with Newcastle who have short trips away in their group. And if strong teams were fielded, more fams would pay to watch and you would get higher income form the gate. And the prize money does improve as you get through the KO rounds.

    The game is about winning trophies as a target. If it is just about pulling in as much money as you can at the EXPENSIVE of winning trophies then we certainly have entered a topsy turvy world.

  • Comment number 72.

    @65 Weallfollowunited

    Yeah but being realistic Liverpool are not going to finish top 4 regardless of how they do in the Europa League so why not give it a go.

    Maybe i'm deluded in thinking that winning a trophy is better than finishing a couple of places higher in the league. Put it this way if I was a Chelsea fan i'd have been more than happy with them finishing 6th in the league and winning the CL.

  • Comment number 73.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 74.

    66.At 11:42 20th Sep 2012, Drastic wrote:
    I think Barcelona may steal back the crown (real brave predicition, I know) but I hope not.
    ___________________

    Brave prediction ?

    They are the bookies favourites to win it !

  • Comment number 75.

    65.At 11:41 20th Sep 2012, Weallfollowunited wrote:
    #45
    English teams that take the Europa League seriously from the start though seem to have poor domestic seasons off the back of it. Liverpool's directors have already made it clear top 4 is where they need to be.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Examples please? (and realistically Liverpool are highly unlikely to make top 4 this season so they have nothing to lose going for Europa League)

  • Comment number 76.

    You can not compare Oscar to the Drog he is and will be a completely different kind of player. That second goal last night made me pause for 1 second thinking did he really do that. A bit like Zola's goal against Norwich many years ago (2001/02 ?)

    To early to compare him with Mr Magic feet, but I think the potential is there.

  • Comment number 77.

    70.At 11:47 20th Sep 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Goals wrote:
    ___________________________

    Mourinho´s wife will not let him go to Manchester , she loves London , and she has him om a short leash.

  • Comment number 78.

    72 Baggio

    No you are not deluded - winning a trophy should matter more then one or two higher places in the league. Ask Ferguson how he feels about last season? And this is not a wind up Man U fans - please no hostile responses.

    74 Repo

    Sarcasm mate!

  • Comment number 79.

    they show no respect to the second cup of Europe.
    --------------

    True but neither do UEFA who have set this tournament up that it is so miserly

  • Comment number 80.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 81.

    79.At 11:55 20th Sep 2012, Strange_UBoat wrote:
    they show no respect to the second cup of Europe.
    --------------

    True but neither do UEFA who have set this tournament up that it is so miserly
    ____________________________________

    It would be far more exciting if it was just a straight two legged unseeded knockout tournament from the start.

  • Comment number 82.

    79.At 11:55 20th Sep 2012, Strange_UBoat wrote:
    they show no respect to the second cup of Europe.
    --------------

    True but neither do UEFA who have set this tournament up that it is so miserly

    -------------------------------
    Agree with both statements.

    And another thing, our co-efficient will keep suffering if the Europa League is not taken seriously. We are already trailing Spain this year and Germany and Italy could catch up if we have a couple of poor years. Then all the disrespect will come back to haunt the PL when they lose a CL place.

  • Comment number 83.

    If Spurs do take the Euro League seriously as AVB says then Spurs have an exellent chance of winning the competition. They should though as Spurs dont win many trophies. As for LFC well where do we start? BR could field his best team but even then they are not good enough so it doesnt matter who they field. People have mentioned a top 4 as priorty for LFC. This will definatly not happen.

    I expect a Young Boys victorty tonight.

  • Comment number 84.

    #75
    Fulham struggled to do both, as did Stoke.

    Whether Liverpool could do better remains to be seen. It is unlikely they'll come in the top 4 (or even top 6) but Rodgers needs to do what the owners want, they've already shown a cup win isn't good enough to keep your job if the league form doesn't cut it.

  • Comment number 85.

    32.
    At 11:23 20th Sep 2012, nibs wrote:

    "Oscar steals show on European stage"


    Is this what you understood most by watching the game?

    I don't believe it is.
    ________________________________
    I can't help but feel that if it was Arsenal or United instead of Chelsea, Phil would have written a blog about how they let a 2-0 lead slip, at home.

  • Comment number 86.

    Eduard_Streltsov_Goals , It isn't early to judge him if you watched him in Preseason and the Olympics for Brazil, you can see this kid has some talent and I was at the game yesterday and he chased the ball and won it at times and even left Pirlo on is ass at one point so fair play to the kid and well done on your debut! This kid has talent and I have watched him play on more than one occasion.

  • Comment number 87.

    RE: LFC dilemma;

    Board/Owners want money = Champs league, good PL position
    Manager wants job = keep Board/Owners happy
    Fans want success = trophies (personally i'm not fussy)

    However

    Fans = Money

    So

    Board/Owners should be keeping fans happy, and bringing new fans in, with club success i.e. trophies.

    And this is why fans, including me, get frustrated when we field weakened teams in competitions we have a (fairly) decent chance of winning.

    some fellow fans will criticise me and claim LFC should be concentrating on the PL, but i am a realist and believe we are some way off top 4, so why not try hard in cup competitions?

    Chelsea = i don't care.

  • Comment number 88.

    For those of you mystified by Torres`dry run...he wasn`t exactly banging them in at Atletico Madrid. Before he came to Liverpool, he was not a prolific goalscorer. It was only in his first 2 seasons at Liverpool that he became the world class finisher/goalscorer that he was. And let`s not forget, that football is a team game...with a midfield containing Macherano, Alonso and Gerrard (at his peak), and the style played under Benitez at that time...Torres thrived on that style. In contrast...look at Andy Carroll. Thrived at Newcastle, but struggled at Liverpool. Diego Forlan was not that great at Man Utd, but went on to become a legend for Uruguay. Football is a team game, and certain players need a certain style/formation/classy team-mates to perform at their best. Others, will mostly do well wherever they play, and however the team is set up. Even the great Lionel Messi, performs better with Barcelona than with the Argentine national side...that does not make him bad (of course). He still very much performs at a world class level for Argentina, but maybe not consistently as with Barca.

    Maybe this will be the season that Torres gets back to his Atletico days of around 12 to 15 goals a season, or maybe even his 20+ days for Liverpool. He is still a very good player on his day. As a Liverpool fan, I wish him all the best at Chelsea, and wherever he plays...as for reports that Liverpool (or Damien Comolli) wanted him back. I for one would gladly accept him back.

    Torres is now at the stage where he has a team around him, that does not neccessarily need to play to his strengths to perform well. That is, Chelsea won the CL with Torres not at his best. Liverpool, ironically did not win the CL with Torres at his best. Chelsea`s team/squad is probably stronger in depth than Liverpool were in 2007 to 2009. Chelsea have the luxury of other game winners, whereas Liverpool did not have that many.

  • Comment number 89.

    84.At 12:00 20th Sep 2012, Weallfollowunited wrote:
    #75
    Fulham struggled to do both, as did Stoke.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sorry mate but you are plain wrong.

    Fulham finished on 49 points in 2010-11, and got 52 points in 2011-12 while also in the Europa League

    Stoke got 46 points in 2010-11 and got 45 points in 2011-12 while also in Europa League

  • Comment number 90.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 91.

    90.
    At 12:07 20th Sep 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Goals wrote:


    86.At 12:02 20th Sep 2012, alex wrote:
    Eduard_Streltsov_Goals , It isn't early to judge him if you watched him
    ___________________

    So he's world class and a perfect replacement for Drogba is he based on 1 competitive club game and a few pre-season knockabouts?
    ____________________

    I don't get it. The only thing Oscar has in common with Drogba is the shirt number. Comparisons with Kaka are probably more accurate although he has a long way to go to match him at his peak.

  • Comment number 92.

    Strange-Uboat #79

    True but neither do UEFA who have set this tournament up that it is so miserly
    ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

    How does Europa treat teams miserly. It is only English clubs that treat Europa with no respect.
    The prize money for Europa cannot be looked at in the same way as the prize money for CL. They are two different competitions.

  • Comment number 93.

    82. At 11:59 20th Sep 2012, Drastic wrote:
    79.At 11:55 20th Sep 2012, Strange_UBoat wrote:
    they show no respect to the second cup of Europe.
    --------------

    True but neither do UEFA who have set this tournament up that it is so miserly

    -------------------------------
    Agree with both statements.

    And another thing, our co-efficient will keep suffering if the Europa League is not taken seriously. We are already trailing Spain this year and Germany and Italy could catch up if we have a couple of poor years. Then all the disrespect will come back to haunt the PL when they lose a CL place.

    ---------------
    How much do the Europa League teams contribute to the coefficient? I don't know the first thing about it but generally the English teams nearly always get into the KO rounds of UCL. The same can't be said about the "other" Spanish, German and Italian teams.

    I think if the winners of Europa were guaranteed an entry into UCL for the next season and those KO'd out of UCL in groups had to play each other in Europa rather than being seeded, it'd be a lot fairer.

    Don't get me start on the bleeding prize money. I suppose that's all controlled by UEFA's commercial "partners".

  • Comment number 94.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 95.

    #80/81
    Agree with you both.

    2-legged ties wouldn't be allowed because the Europa League is meant to give the smaller clubs some money in the same way to the CL. But then UEFA don't give the competition much resources which lessens interest in places like England.

    It was a great tournament last year though, some wonderful football from the likes of Athletico and Bilbao

  • Comment number 96.

    It makes me laugh how after one good game everyone is certain he will become a star. Yes his second was sublime, but his 1st was lucky. And to those who said he went under the radar, he went for £25m and has been known by many for years

  • Comment number 97.

    I was at the match last night - it was a top quality game and but for a good performance by Buffon in goal, combined with poor officiating, Chelsea would have won.

    I wish people would stop having a go at Torres - his work rate and touches last night were superb and he started the attack that led to Oscar's wonder goal.

    Chelsea are in transition, there are exciting times ahead, especially if they can find a decent player in front of the back four, who doesn't give the ball away.

  • Comment number 98.

    58.At 11:37 20th Sep 2012, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    Not a bad point to start the tournament with. 10 more and you should qualify easily.
    Lack of striking options may be an issue for you later in the tournament though if Torres doesn't get his shooting boots on again.

  • Comment number 99.

    #89
    Fair enough, but all I ever hear from managers of English clubs in it is them bitching about playing Thursdays nights.

  • Comment number 100.

    #92 parisian818

    It's a bit difficult to know what you're reading, but, it seems to be that you get more money for reaching the group stage of the Champions League than you get for winning the Europa league.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UEFA_Europa_League#Prize_money

    Now, you could argue that there is more money in the Champions League. Of course, the 'best' teams are in the Champions League. But, if entry into the Champions League was restricted to, say, the top two from a domestic league then you would get better teams in the Europa league which would surely make it more attractive and better financially.

    Again, until UEFA sort our their competitions and the spread of 'their' money, then I will continue to laugh in the face of FFP.

 

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