by ‘Ifreke Inyang
On Wednesday, we were all glued to our TV screens, for more Champions League action from all across Europe. The drama was just as intense, if not more. But here are the four things we picked out from the games we saw:
Chelsea desperately need a striker
The argument was usually that Didier Drogba’s presence was inhibiting Fernando Torres’ gift and abilities. But like we have seen several times already this season, it is either the Spaniard is at the wrong club or Roberto Di Matteo’s system is quite not working for him. One of the most perplexing things that happened over the summer, was Chelsea failing to buy a top class striker, after the Ivorian moved to the Chinese League. At some point, they were bang on to land Hulk from FC Porto. That has left them with Torres and Sturridge, as the only recognised strikers. I’m sure Di Matteo cannot wait for January.
Oscar will become a huge star
Eden Hazard’s blistering start to the season, has somewhat cooled off in the last few matches and Chelsea have gone back to looking like a struggling team. In the Super Cup game against Atletico Madrid, they were steamrollered without a fight. And as they started the defence of their Champions League trophy, at home to Italian Champions, Juventus, they were in dire need of inspiration. And it was Oscar, who made his full debut for the Blues, who provided it. His first goal had a huge slice of luck about it, as it took a crucial deflection. But the second was a show off of his technique. The 20-year-old’s turn was sublime and the finish was simply glorious.
Manchester United paper over the cracks
Once again, Manchester United looked ordinary. Even with summer arrivals, Shinji Kagawa and Robin van Persie starting the game, they didn’t give the impression that they could blow away the visitors. Big credit to the Turkish side, who battled throughout the game and gave a good account of themselves. But then, Ferguson must be secretly worried about how his team is playing at the moment. Especially as Nani missed from the spot, when the game was far from settled.
Vilanova is no Guardiola
In one of his interviews, former coach of Barcelona, Pep Guardiola, paid a mighty compliment to his then assistant, Tito Viilanova, claiming that some of his tactical brilliance, came from him. But quite frankly, we have not seen any of that on display in the few matches he has overseen this season. Vilanova has looked clueless at many a time and his formations seem to confuse the players, even more than the viewers. Thankfully, a certain Argentine rarely fails to inspire. Or else, the headlines would have been about a huge upset at the Nou Camp.