Ajax vs Chelsea (0-1): Five key talking points as Blues reign victorious in Amsterdam

Chelsea pulled off a major shock in Group H beating the unbeaten Dutch Champions in their own back yard.

Michy Batshuayi’s 86th minute strike was the difference between the two youthful sides.

Here are the five key talking points from the game:

Chelsea are back on the right track in Group H

Embed from Getty Images

After the Valencia game, a minority of fans thought that it would be mission impossible to get out of the group after that lacklustre and uninspiring performance.

The Ross Barkley missed penalty was thought to be pivotal in the reason why Chelsea may have in the end missed out on qualification from Group H.

However that was only a blip as since the Valencia game, the Blues have managed to now win six consecutive games in all competitions (not taking into account the Liverpool loss straight after the Valencia game).

In the Champions League since the Valencia game, the Blues have beaten Lille 2-1 away from home and most recently Ajax tonight. That has left them joint top of Group H with the Dutch champions on six points.

The West-Londoners now have three games left in Group H to secure their passage to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

They face Ajax in the revers fixture at Stamford Bridge next, then take on Valencia away from home at the Mestalla, before finishing off wit Lille at Stamford Bridge.

A minimum of four points from the remaining three games in Group H could be just about enough to see Chelsea through.

However Lampard would want more to make it an easier and more convincing qualification for his Chelsea side and expect at least six points from the remaining games the Blues have left in Group H.

Lampard’s subs win the game

Embed from Getty Images

Frank Lampard got his tactics spot on tonight- Limiting Ajax’s attacking threats by setting up his team to defend with a real intensity and high pressing the Dutch champions to force the issue.

But the main aspect that of the game tactically that Lampard got spot on tonight was his substitutions.

Both of his subs combined for the goal with Christian Pulisic providing the low cross into the box for Batshuayi to smash in via the under side of the bar.

Not just those two subs but when the Blues went 1-0 up, the boss acted quickly by bringing on right back Reece James to see the game out. And that worked out perfectly.

Pulisic offered more attacking drive from the bench, whilst Batshuayi added more of a focal point and James added solidity at the back.

VAR a big factor in Chelsea win

Embed from Getty Images

What game nowadays doesn’t have an incident with VAR?

This game was another game where VAR was used to chalk off a goal.

In the 35th minute, Ajax thought they had taken the lead when Hakim Ziyech’s deflected shot fell into the path of Quincy Promes who prodded home from close range.

However VAR adjudged Promes’s arm to be in an offside position.

Judge for yourself!

Blues dealt well without Kante in the midfield

Embed from Getty Images

The main concern before the game from a Chelsea perspective was the absence of star midfielder Ngolo Kante.

The consensus before the game was no Ngolo Kante would mean no Chelsea win against Ajax.

However Jorginho’s and Mateo Kovacic’s work in the two man midfield showed that the Blues can cope without the Frenchman.

The Italian was the more defensive of the two midfielders, breaking up play and setting up Chelsea attacks from deep within his own half.

Whereas, the Croatian midfielder was the more attacking of the two. Driving at the Ajax midfield and back line with his direct runs and distributing the ball to the Chelsea wingers when on the attack.

Both worked so well together and created a dynamic that Ajax could break down and ultimately could not cope with as the Blues won the highly contested midfield battle in the end.

Kurt Zouma- Chelsea’s new Kalidou Koulibaly?

Embed from Getty Images

The jury has been out all season to whether Kurt Zouma will ultimately be good enough to play for Chelsea in the long-term.

The answer at the start of the season to that question would have been that he is not good enough especially considering his poor performances against the likes of Manchester United and Sheffield United.

But as this season is progressing, you can see major progression in Zouma’s game and his confidence!

And tonight’s match reinforced that pattern!

He in many Chelsea fans eyes was a beast in that defence. Him and Tomori worked so well together defending against the lethal front three of Ajax!

The Frenchman was definitely the better of the two centre-backs tonight, but this isn’t always the case which is huge credit to the work that both himself and Tomori are putting into making a stake to be Chelsea’s permanent centre-back’s for the seasons to come!

Published by danyalkhan2000

Sports Journalism second year student at University of Gloucestershire

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: