Chelsea's game against Valencia today was much anticipated by the fans and the players alike. It was to be a real test of just how good this Chelsea side is, and just how far they can go in this competition that seems to have eluded them for so many years.
So now, with the toughest game in our group under our belt, let's take a look at some of the positives that can be taken from our 1-1 draw at the Mestalla.
There's been a lot of controversy surrounding Frank Lampard recently, after he was left out entirely from Chelsea's game against Swansea City last Saturday. Several media outlets were reporting that the midfielder stormed off the bench after the last substitution was used, and he no longer featured in Andre Villas-Boas' plans.
All that seemed to be proved wrong tonight, with Lamps looking as good as he ever has. His touches were sharp, and his goal was just a bonus.
He's proving that there's still life left in him, and that he deserves a place in Chelsea's starting XI.
One of the best outcomes of this match is that Valencia couldn't beat, or even equalize against us in open play on their own turf in the whole 90 minutes. It took a stupid penalty concession in the dying minutes of the game to get them level, and that's a great sign for Chelsea.
Going to Valencia isn't easy for anyone, including Barcelona, apparently, after they were held there just over a week ago. But nevertheless, Chelsea looked dominant for much of the game, and when they weren't, their defense was always there to fend Valencia off.
Torres looked alert and sharp the whole match.
In the first half, in the opening minutes, he picked up a badly passed ball from Valencia and burst into the 18-yard box, only to be whaled onto by a Valencia defender. But alas, no penalty. After that, he was less noticeable in that half, considering he was, as one commentator on my stream put it, "feeding off of scraps."
In the second half, he was much more of a threat, with the midfield creating more chances for him to score. He very nearly did twice, which were both masterfully saved by Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves.
His night ended with AVB mysteriously taking him off in the 72nd minute for Nicholas Anelka.
Another great result from this game is that Salomon Kalou proved his worth to this Chelsea side: useless. It seems like every time he comes on the pitch, he screws something up.
All he had to do tonight was nothing, and he messed that up, too.
Hopefully now, AVB will realize not only that kalouless Kalou doesn't deserve to see the pitch in Chelsea blue ever again, but also that he should be sold off as soon as possible.
And lastly, it looks like Chelsea is definitely getting into its groove. We're improving in every game, as the team gets used to its new additions as well as a new coach and his tactics and formations.
The defense today looked a lot better and stronger than it has recently. There were many chances created, and everyone on the pitch is upping their game as the weeks go by.
This is a good trend.