Guest Fan Blog Thu 19 Oct 2017
On Wednesday evening, we welcomed Italian side AS Roma to Stamford Bridge for our third group game of this season’s Champions League campaign.
While we took maximum points from our first two fixtures – wins over FK Qarabag and Atletico Madrid – we headed into this match on the back of two consecutive losses in the Premier League. There was the usual pulsating European night atmosphere around Stamford Bridge but there was still a hint of nervousness from the terraces.
Thanks to a great strike from David Luiz and a Hazard finish, we found ourselves 2-0 up just as half-time approached. So far, so good, despite Roma dominating possession. But the visitors managed to turn the tie and by the 70 minute mark, the Italians were leading 3-2 at the Bridge. Thankfully a second goal from Hazard – a deft headed finish – ensured we took a share of the spoils and remained top of the group.
I found it a difficult result to decipher and left Stamford Bridge with mixed feelings. On the one hand, we let a 2-0 lead slip at home, our defence looking vulnerable at times. On the other, we fought until the end to draw against a strong Roma side and avoided a third loss in a row. I thought Hazard played particularly well and Luiz provided an energetic display in place of an injured Kante in midfield. Morata managing a full 90 minutes following a return from his hamstring injury is undoubtedly a boost.
We are still top of our group and are now two points clear. The unexpected 0-0 draw between Qarabag and Atletico Madrid earlier on in the evening was also in our favour. Our next Champions League encounter sees us lock horns with the Italians once again, this time at the Stadio Olimpico, in just under two weeks’ time. This follows quite an intense 10 days for the Blues, with games against Watford, Everton and AFC Bournemouth all on the agenda.
The main aim of the group stages is obviously to qualify for the last 16, but if you can do so as early as possible, it allows the players to rest and shift focus back to the Premier League and defending our title. Let’s hope Chelsea can do just that.
By Hannah Kurzawski, Chelsea fan.