FC Nordsjælland V Chelsea: 6 Things We Learned from Champions League Clash
Chelsea secured their first victory of the Champions League group phase this season with a 4-0 victory over the Danish champions Nordsjælland.
The Blues, who failed to win any of their three group matches last season, secured the victory with goals from Juan Mata (2), David Luiz and Ramires.
It was a fascinating game which has given Roberto Di Matteo a good idea of how the Blues have already transformed their style from last season.
Here are six things we learned from the game.
Jores Okore Is One of Europe's Best Young Centre-Backs
Jores Okore put in a superb performance against the European champions on Tuesday night as the Danish champions fought hard in their home debut in this competition.
The 20-year-old's Champions League debut was a great indication of how good the Ivorian-born Dane can become.
The Nordsjælland centre-back was excellent in anticipating the many off-the-ball runs that the Blues made, as well as in using his outstanding physical skills to negate the danger.
A great example of this was when Nordsjælland were caught in possession high up the pitch and Victor Moses was able to knock the ball into the space. The Nigerian international would beat the majority of defenders in a race, but Okore was able to recover well, forcing the winger into a wide area before help arrived.
With three international caps already, I expect Okore to build on this and eventually secure a transfer to one of Europe's biggest clubs.
Frank Lampard Still Offers a Great Deal to Chelsea
Frank Lampard returned to the Chelsea team on Tuesday after missing out on the weekend against Arsenal.
Lampard, who failed to even come on as a substitute at the Emirates, looked fresh in the midfield and was able to help the Blues at both ends of the pitch.
The England international is gradually adapting to a new style of play, engaging in quick, snappy passing moves that the Blues are increasingly becoming known for.
The pass for Juan Mata's goal was evidence of this as Lampard delicately stabbed the ball between the centre-backs with the outside of his boot, knowing that the Spaniard was venturing forward with pace.
Roberto Di Matteo knows that a 34-year-old Lampard will be unable to feature in every match this season, so it is imperative that his time on the pitch is managed well.
On this showing Lampard can still contribute to the Blues, despite their change in style.
Nordsjælland Belong in the Champions League
Nordsjælland may have ultimately been outclassed by Chelsea, but the Danish champions were highly impressive.
The Wild Tigers held their own against the Blues for over an hour, with an ambitious passing game that many smaller sides would not have had the bravery to execute.
It is a learning process for Nordsjælland, who have been punished in both group matches so far for silly mistakes.
Before Chelsea put the match out of sight, Nordsjælland were able to worry the European champions by creating several dangerous opportunities, especially when Joshua John's wonderful effort struck a post.
The real challenge will be to return to this stage on a regular basis in order to validate their footballing philosophy at the highest level.
The Scoreline Flattered the Visitors
Chelsea evidently possessed far too much class for Nordsjælland, who struggled to cope in the final 10 minutes, shipping three goals which flattered the Blues.
The Blues were able to bring on Ramires, Eden Hazard and Jon Obi Mikel, which would have been a horrible sight after matching Chelsea until midway through the second half.
Were it not for Petr Cech's brilliant save to deny Joshua John or some wasteful finishing from the Danes, this match could have been a different story.
Their next match will be at home to Juventus and will provide an intriguing problem for the Wild Tigers: whether to persist with their expansive style, which can expose them when mistakes are made, or begin to change their footballing philosophy somewhat.
Fernando Torres Can Contribute Without Goals
Fernando Torres may not have scored against Nordsjælland, but the Spaniard continues to impress since Didier Drogba's departure.
Torres is moving superbly in the final third and creating the space for the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata.
Proof of Torres shining as Chelsea's number nine came in the buildup of the opening goal when he robbed the ball from Okore. Okore made a rare mistake of dallying on the ball for too long, before Torres snatched the ball and fed Lampard, who was able to slip in Mata to break the deadlock.
Ramires' goal was further proof of the Spaniard's increasing influence. Torres was able to hold the ball up when the pass was not available and eventually release Oscar, who burst beyond the Nordsjælland defence and squared for Ramires to tap into an empty net.
More goals will come for Torres, who is getting chances regularly, although five goals in 10 matches this season is a remarkable improvement on the previous 18 months at the club.
Juan Mata Confirmed He Is Chelsea's Best Player
Juan Mata is in sparkling form for the Blues and looks revitalised after a small rest at the beginning of the season in order to recover from his exertions on international duty.
The Spaniard is relishing his role in Roberto Di Matteo's side, floating between a wide berth and his preferred role behind Fernando Torres.
Mata was overwhelmed with the creative responsibility for the Blues last season, but it could not be any different now with numerous options to help in this capacity.
Mata has four goals and four assists in seven matches this season, proving that he can post remarkable statistics in addition to the rave reviews that he receives when operating in a deeper role where he tends to dictate the tempo of the match more.
Despite achieving so much already in his Chelsea career, the 24-year-old has a great future as the pacesetter of this new-look Chelsea.
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