RADIO CLIVE'S FIVE: BRENTFORD V CHELSEA
Throughout the season former player Clive Walker provides radio and TV commentary on Chelsea's games. Here he selects five aspects from Sunday's difficult visit to Griffin Park that caught his eye…
1. From what I saw when I watched Brentford earlier this season, they threw everything into the game on Sunday. It has long been known that with sheer guts and work-rate, teams can make it hard for quality players to play, and the way for a top-flight side to nullify that is to do a similar job and put the lower league side under pressure, because they find it harder to play under pressure. However in the first half against Brentford the Chelsea tempo showed we wanted to play our usual passing game. On a poor pitch that is hard. We were overrun a bit.
2. Chelsea needed to have the ball in our attacking third of the pitch more because Brentford will make mistakes. We did that after half-time and it was clear the manager had had strong words. There was more closing down and more hard work.The question is why the players didn't sort that out themselves in the first half. John Terry was probably concentrating a lot on his own game which is understandable on his first start after injury, but we needed to change it during the game.
3. We have players with the capability to score goals against anybody, which is why we needed to be down that end of the pitch, picking up loose balls. It wasn't a passing move that lead to Oscar's goal, it was raw football, working hard to pick up bits and pieces. We needed some of that and then Oscar showed how composed on the ball he can be.
4. I can see why the Brentford penalty was given. Tom Adeyemi hurdled Ross Turnbull and he probably could have stayed on his feet. It was hard to see contact but the ref was following a quick break and I can understand why he decided there was a foul. The decision not to give Chelsea a penalty for handball near the end was harder to believe. Maybe from the referee's angle he couldn't see it, but that is where you are looking for the linesman.
5. At the end Demba Ba and Fernando Torres were on the pitch together. I don't think it was a sign we will see that more often, more a case of needs must. In the end Ba's tenacity helped. He found some space and although he was falling over still managed to squirt the ball through to Torres. The goal was a super strike from a player who was not looking threatening in front of goal. Although not having a particularly good game, when it mattered he was confident enough to strike it first time when other players who weren't confident would have taken a touch. Torres took a gamble on the ball flying over the crossbar and it was a great finish. He stuck to his task.