Chelsea-Roma: John Terry Saves Chelsea in Lacklustre Champions League Win

chris daviesAnalyst IOctober 22, 2008

Following their 5-0 thrashing of Middlesbrough, the Blues looked lacklustre and disappointing against Roma in their Matchday Three game.

Chelsea were lucky to come away with three points after a John Terry header 12 minutes from time. After a poor first half, in which Chelsea seemed to press far too hard, the team played similarly in the second, only managing a goal when Terry headed in from a corner.

Terry himself disclosed that perhaps his side did not deserve all three points on the night. "They worked very hard all night and maybe they deserved something but thankfully we got three points."

Chelsea retained their slim lead atop the group, due primarily to an even worse display from Roma. Captain Francesco Totti represented the only down field presence for the Giallorossi.

It is no wonder that Chelsea managed to control the ball for 63 percent of the game. The Italian side clearly were in need of an offensive force, however, their defense did hand in an impressive performance, keeping the Blues hitmen silent for 90 minutes.

One glaring weakness for Chelsea was the lack of striker Didier Drogba. His replacement was Nicolas Anelka, who has begun his campaign well, with four goals in the Premier League so far.

Tonight Anelka looked out of place and consistently out of touch with his teammates. Le Sulk's performance will have inspired few.

His French counterpart, Florent Malouda, was equally dismal. After an early yellow card, for a trite offense, it seemed as though he was tempting the referee to give him another and dismiss him from the match. Luckily for Malouda, and the rest of the team, Luiz Felipe Scolari replaced him after the break.

With so few offensive substitutes available, Scolari elected to replace the winger with defender Juliano Belletti. Belletti has been the jack-of-all-trades under his new manager, able to fill in wherever needed, and he played a decent second half pushing forward into Roma's half.

All told, the story of the evening was that the West Londoners, despite their wealth of players and money, still have a few glaring weaknesses when injuries hit, specifically in attack. Against a formidable opponent, the Blues seemed to be unable to step up their game in the same way that was evidenced on Saturday against Middlesbrough.

With Liverpool, who are equal on points with Chelsea at the top of the Premier League, set to visit the Bridge on Sunday, Blues fans can only hope that the team that takes the field is the same one from the Riverside Stadium, not the paltry team at the Bridge on Wednesday.