Game Report: Champions League Group E, Fixture 1, Chelsea FC vs Bayer Leverkusen 2:0

by Patrick1904

Most Leverkusen Fans went yesterday to sleep with a smile on their face. The Werkself had put together a better than expected display against the English giant. It was cleverness that decided the encounter at the end.  No surprise at this level.

Bayer 04’s defense managed to not receive a goal in the first half and was only under pressure in the last 10 minutes before the break. Especially the beginning of the second half brought a lot of chances for the Leverkusen side.

However in middle of this Bayer momentum in the second half, Blues Brazilian centre-back David Luiz struck our hearts with a shot to the far post from outside of the area. Unstoppable for Leno, who had been brilliant at the Bridge, with saves that Capello would love to see from any (young) English goalkeeper. The upper hand that Bayer 04 possessed until the 67th minute was flushed away. Ballack missed a 1 on 1 against Cech just a few minutes earlier and got substituted 37 seconds prior to Luiz’s goal! Did we lose our organisation on the pitch? Why is the most veteran player on the squad not allowed to play 90 minutes? According to him he felt fine and with the sufficient energies to endure the entire match.

There is no doubt that Robin Dutt did an excellent job at analysing the opponent, choosing the right line-up (Schürrle instead of poor defending Renato) and giving the right instructions to his players. Just as an example, the high amount of long goal kicks/throws to Kiessling were aimed at avoiding deadly ball losses in our part of the field, like we have seen in the recent past.  But Ballack’s substitution was a mistake and I am sure he knows that. The 35 year-old was a reference for the players around him and won 70% of his direct challenges. Sidney Sam hardly ignited his turbo yesterday night and would have been the correct man to come off at that time. This cannot serve as an excuse for the goal received, but it underlines that we were missing cleverness from both players and the coach in these deciding moments.

Following the goal, the Werkself continued to fight for every centimeter of grass. However opportunities were rare and Chelsea way more dangerous on the counter-attack with Lampard and Anelka, both were brought on minutes prior to Chelsea’s goal. The increasingly offensive attitude of Leverkusen, gave the second goal to Chelsea on a silver tablet. Similar as against Villareal in the BayArena the desperate run forward came expensive. Let’s just hope that we will not remember Juan Mata’s goal in the last fixture.

YES we played a great match, but we did not achieve a great RESULT (draw), let’s not forget that!  A lot of good chances were wasted, as you can see below in the statistics.

Who knows! Maybe it would have been better to not have dreamt about a victory at Stamford Bridge and instead used a more conservative approach in the second half (Balitsch for Sam). This is my impression, we really went for it following the half-time break.

Sounds a bit negative from side, but hey cannot always give away roses.  If you want that just read  😉

Dutt’s statement after the match

“Actually, not much went wrong [for us]. We had a huge chance to take the lead through [Michael] Ballack, but then a centre-back is allowed to march right through the entire midfield to score. That was one of the few moments where we were not very well organised. That was the decisive thing today; Chelsea opening the scoring. Chelsea won deservedly, no question about it. But nevertheless I have seen a good performance from my team.”

Line-up: Chelsea (top) vs Leverkusen (bottom)

Substitutions Chelsea
64 min. Anelka for Sturridge
64 min. Lampard for Raul Meireles
76 min. Alex for David Luiz

Substitutions Leverkusen
66 min. Renato Augusto for Ballack
73 min. Derdiyok for Sam
80 min. Balitsch for L. Bender

Yellow Cards: Fernando Torres and David Luiz (both Chelsea); Castro, L. Bender and Derdiyok (all Leverkusen)

1:0 David Luiz (67 min.)
2:0 Mata (90. + 2 min.)

Statistics Chelsea vs Leverkusen
Attempts on target: 11 vs 2
Attempts off target: 10 vs 6
Corners: 6 vs 2
Offsides: 2 vs 1
Fouls committed: 17 vs 24

Group E

KRC Genk vs FC Valencia 0:0

1 Chelsea FC          3 Points (2:0 goals)
2 Valencia CF       1 Point (0:0 goals)
3 KRC Genk           1 Point (0:0 goals)
4 Bayer 04 Leverkusen     0 Points (0:2 goals)

Videos uploaded by third party with no link to We assume no responsibility for it!

or here (5 min. better quality)>>

Our fans were amazing in London!


Brilliant for me yesterday: Leno, Toprak, Schürrle and Ballack
Disappointing: Bender and Sam

Go ahead and discuss!

5 responses to “Game Report: Champions League Group E, Fixture 1, Chelsea FC vs Bayer Leverkusen 2:0

  1. Chelsea line-up is copied from Kicker.

    Actually should be a 4-3-3:

    With malouda LM and mata LW
    meireles RM, sturridge RW

    Too tired to change it now 🙂

  2. Leno had a brilliant game. Not trying to soft pedal Leverkusen’s loss, but considering the vast amount of CL experience between them and Chelsea, and playing at Stamford Bridge, I thought Leverkusen showed a good effort and have a reasonable chance to advance from this group.

  3. It all comes down to the home games in the group-stage, so yeah in a way it was good that we had first Chelsea away. Now with Genk and Valencia at home, we need to produce results to build the foundations of advancing in this group. Looking forward to the BayArena in Champions League mode

  4. schnixb04

    Great review, Patrick. I, too, was very happy with their performance, but less pleased with the result. Regardless, the confidence our boys showed suggests that they won’t be any kind of pushovers in Europe.

    I would disagree with one small point. Yes, Dutt made a mistake subbing out Ballack at that time, but rather than see it as a lack of cleverness I see it more as a lack of experience. This is obviously Dutt’s first go-around in the CL, and I am expecting mistakes like this to be made. The hope is, of course, that with each game these mistakes give way to experience. It’s a young team – I think we’re where we should be.

    A victory against Koeln should be just the thing to push the game against Chelsea into the background.

  5. Cleverness comes with experience 🙂
    We have been hearing the excuse: “The team is still young/ in development” for years.

    The best is Holzhauer in the stadium magazine for Cologne match: “All great so far this season bla bla. It turns out we were right, that no further signing for the defense was needed.”

    Sorry but especially in the first goal we failed to defend properly.

    Not saying we should criticise the team, but a bit of more neutral talk would be good. Instead this over positivizing everything.

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