Chelsea: Why Big Win Against Nordsjaelland Proves Nothing for Benitez's Blues
Chelsea entered their final group match of the Champions League needing a big win for a number of reasons—least of which being their future in the European competition depended on them picking up all three points at home to Nordsjaelland.
The match, however, also stood as a great opportunity for new manager Rafa Benitez to record his first win as the Blues boss and, in the process, start to win over some of the fans that have become so disillusioned with him over the past few weeks.
The West London club ran out 6-1 winners on the night against the lowly Danish club and whilst they achieved everything they had set out to do in the match, the result doesn't change anything or help the situation at all for Benitez or the club.
I mean, netting six goals is great and entertaining the home fans is wonderful and proving that you can actually pick up three points is needed, but the Blues gained nothing from their big victory against Nordsjaelland other than an unhelpful spike in self-worth and false confidence.
Let's not kid ourselves here—this is Nordsjaelland we're talking about.
The Danish club averages less than 5,000 people to their home matches and spent less than $7 million on 12 player transfers during the recent summer transfer window.
And he didn't even score his penalty.
The reigning European champions had everything to play for in this match whereas their opponents had nothing other than the opportunity to play under the bright lights of Stamford Bridge and try and score a sneaky goal against the run of play.
They knew Chelsea were going to dominate offensively; Chelsea knew it and we knew it as well, so their control shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to us.
Their six goals, 27 shots and 20 shots on target are all great numbers, but at the end of the day, when it comes against the type of opposition that Nordsjaelland truly are—especially when they have nothing to play for—can it really count for as much as we'd all like it to?
Because at the end of the day, Chelsea players, management and fans alike will all want to try and use this victory to reignite their season and find the winners' circle again—something they haven't managed to do domestically for over a month now.
Rafa Benitez is yet to win a league fixture and as much as he'd like to point to the result just gone to try and alleviate some of the pressure, it's just not the case.
The Spaniard is still under pressure to start performing in England; his team are coming under fire for letting West Ham run riot through the middle of the pitch last week and they still don't have a striker who is enough of an offensive threat to scare opponents' defensive units.
Chelsea, Benitez, Fernando Torres—they're all still under pressure to perform and the weight of expectation that's growing on them won't drop off because they managed to slam six goals past a nothing team with even less to play for.
Their trip to the Stadium of Light on Saturday won't be easy, but even if they beat Sunderland too, it doesn't instantly mean that all of Chelsea's problems have been solved.
That simply doesn't happen overnight.
Benitez still has a defensive edge to his game in midfield—meaning that the Blues aren't going to net six goals every week—and despite his best efforts, he was easily outmanaged by a man last week who hadn't been in the Premier League for 12 months.
He has the best team available to him that he's ever had, and yet he can't pick up a single win except for a meaningless drubbing of Nordsjaelland.
The pressures on him, the club and the players within it are just as high—if not higher—than they were traveling to Upton Park last week.
Winning one game against a meaningless opponent isn't going to change that.
Did the win against Nordsjaellend change anything for Chelsea?
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