Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o saw limited action in the Blues' 1-1 Champions League draw at Galatasaray on Wednesday, but nonetheless squandered an opportunity to play hero for the English powerhouse.
Eto'o replaced Chelsea goalscorer Fernando Torres in the 68th minute, but was unable to produce the go-ahead goal the Blues were searching for after Galatasaray leveled the match moments earlier.
What's more, Eto'o's underwhelming performance comes just two days after critical comments by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho were made public, per the Daily Mail's Matt Barlow and Matt Lawton:
"The problem with Chelsea is I lack a scorer. I have Eto’o but he is 32 years old, maybe 35, who knows?"
The remarks were made in French during what Mourinho thought to be a private conversation. However, once word got out, Eto'o was "very annoyed," according to Cameroon coach Claude Le Roy via ESPN.co.uk.
Unfortunately for the 32-year-old Eto'o, Wednesday's performance in Istanbul only backed up Mourinho's undermining comments. He touched the ball seven times after coming off the bench, but was largely ineffective, failing to record a single shot and heading to the dressing room with an overall match rating of 5.95, according to WhoScored.com.
I don't think there's a defender in world football that fears Samuel Eto'o anymore, hard to believe he was once a world beater.— Lloyd. (@LloydTellis) February 26, 2014
Although the draw puts Chelsea in solid position heading back to Stamford Bridge for the second leg on March 18, the result is disappointing considering the Blues led 1-0 in the second half and were unable to capitalize on several scoring chances down the stretch.
Eto'o has been productive at times during his first season with Chelsea, recording eight goals and three assists in 28 appearances in all competitions, but has failed to produce at the rate he has in recent seasons with Anzhi Makhachkala, Inter Milan and Barcelona.
Having failed to score a single goal in his last eight appearances since recording a hat-trick against Manchester United on Jan. 19, Eto'o is sure to continue to face harsh criticism from Chelsea supporters who feel his struggles could prevent the Blues from winning titles in 2014.
But before Eto'o can potentially redeem himself against Galatasaray in mid-March, Chelsea will prepare for a trio of pivotal Premier League contests to begin the new month. Therefore, the Cameroonian forward is sure to remain under immense pressure to perform each and every time he takes to the pitch for Chelsea moving forward.
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