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Tuesday, 13 September 2011 23:35

Villas Boas hails Chelsea effort after Leverkusen win

Chelsea 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen

Andre Villas Boas got off to a winning start in his first Champions League match as Chelsea boss, as the Blues scored two second-half goals to see off Germans Bayer Leverkusen at Stamford Bridge.

Former Benfica defender David Luiz and recent Spanish arrival Juan Mata were to the goalscorers for a Chelsea side that did not contain captain John Terry or vice-captain Frank Lampard, both of whom were left on the bench by Villas Boas.

Raul Meireles and Jose Bosingwa both started for the hosts, but the omission of Chelsea’s two longest serving players was the focus of much media talk before and after the match. Speaking to Sky Sports following the final whistle, Villas Boas played down the significance of leaving the high-profile duo out of his line-up.

"I don't see things like that. I think you are trying to look at the negative when there are so many positives,” said the ex-Porto coach. "We have a very, very competitive squad and a tremendous calendar in front of us.

 

"I think this decision has to be taken bearing in mind the amount of minutes people collect internationally and the amount of talent that we have at our disposal. The team that we selected today was a team that gave us comfort to win the game and that's what we did."

"Everybody has been amazing in this effort to absorb all of these new ideas. I'm very happy with everyone.

"Excellent work from everybody, excellent effort. Tremendous work rate, tremendous amount of possession. Good attacking fluency and a game well played. So I'm very happy and pleased with the group."

In the group’s other match, Spanish side Valencia were held to a goalless draw in Belgium against Genk. Miguel started for the visitors, while Ricardo Costa was an unused substitute, with the stalemate meaning Chelsea take early control of Group E.

Comments (3)
AVB and bit on Group F
3 Wednesday, 14 September 2011 13:23
AVB and Chelsea got a much needed win. Although winning, they have looked less than stellar in the EPL so far. AVB not starting Terry and Lamps, is always going to raise eyebrows. This is the CL and they are supposed to be your key guys. The fact is that both players have slipped considerably, Terry surprising me the most, and need rest if not become subs. It's hard to imagine Chelsea without the duo being in charge. We'll see if AVB will be able to navigate those rough waters.
As for the game, I don't know why, but Torres still hasn't been able to integrate himself into the club. For me, he's a tough guy to root for. Granted he did have two assists, but still left a lot to be desired. As for former Benfiquista Luiz, he was very lucky in not getting two yellows. Let me add that his forrays into the opponents box are exciting, but it does leave Chelsea exposed at the back. Especially when Lamps is on the field. His goal was nice. By the time Mata scored the whistle was going to blow, but he has played well. If Torres is going to have some success, it will be because of Mata amd Meireles.
On a side note, I know that JJ gets a lot of grief for his anctics on the sideline, but I find it funny that AVB gets none. He is just as demonstrative as JJ.

I still can't believe that Valencia drew with Genk. I still didn't get a chance to watch it, but I feel that I must. If for no other reason, but to see how the much maligned Miguel performed. Amazingly, he even played the whole match.
Leverkusen had to be thrilled with this result.

If I may, a little about Group F
I know that Group A is considered the "Group of Death". But for me, due to the proximity in level of the clubs, Group F isn't far behind.
I did get to watch the Arsenal vs Dortmund, and I feel that the result was fair. Yes Perisic's goal for the draw was a shot that goes 20 feet above the goal 99 out of 100 times. But Dortmund worked hard and threatened all night. Arsenal is very thin, and will struggle all year, and due to the EPL's grind I'm not sure they will advance.

Marseille has looked bad in Ligue 1, three points in five matches with no wins. A lot of questions are being asked of Deschamps. Like so many times last season, Lucho came to the rescue. There was a lot of talk of him leaving this summer, but it's hard to see Marseille doing anything without him. Olympiakos, and the Greeks in general, get a lot of fan fare for their clubs. They always give you a tough match and it's never easy to go to Greece and play in front of that raucous crowd. But in truth they rarely advance past this stage.
Chelsea 2 Leverkusen 0
2 Wednesday, 14 September 2011 04:33
Why is there no mention of Torres and his 2 assists?
No big deal
1 Wednesday, 14 September 2011 03:32
I'm with AVB on this one. Chelsea have a big game this weekend with ManU and those guys are gonna need the rest. It was a gamble not to start them. I don't think they were on the bench because they out of favor.

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