Chelsea’s poor season continued after they lost to Porto in the Champions League on Tuesday evening. The Blues had come into this game sitting pretty at the top of the group, but goals from Andre Andre and Maicon cost them dearly. Willian had hit a late first half equaliser, but they weren’t able to take anything back from the Dragao.
Jose Mourinho sprung quite a few changes ahead of this game, most notably dropping PFA Player of the Year Eden Hazard. John Terry also remained on the bench, but Branislav Ivanovic once again was given another chance at right back. John Obi Mikel, Ramires and Nemanja Matic made up the midfield three, showing that the manager was coming here to keep things tight.
That worked for most of the first half, as the game stayed level, with Chelsea actually having quite a few chances. That all changed with six minutes to go in the half, as the home side edged ahead. Yacine Brahimi glided past Ivanovic on the right, and he hit a shot that was saved by Asmir Begovic. The keeper could only push it into the path of Andre Andre, however, who buried it to score the opener.
The Premier League champions looked set to go into the half time break behind, but that changed on the stroke of the whistle. Willian’s second free kick in four days went the same way as his first, into the opposition net. Straight after it went in, the referee blew for half time. Mourinho remained motionless on the touchline, probably thinking of all the bother he had gone to in planning his half time team talk.
The second half was a little better, but a huge mistake ended up costing the visitors the game. After pushing the hosts and trying to go ahead, Porto caught them out from a set piece. Maicon showed more desire than his opponents, getting to the ball ahead of Ramires and flicking in at the near post. It’s the second time this week that Chelsea have conceded from a corner. That’s not something they can allow to happen.
The Blues had a penalty appeal turned down and saw Diego Costa hit the bar, but they couldn’t get back into the game despite no lack of effort. After the game, Mourinho reassured his squad that they weren’t that bad. “When the game is under control we concede a goal that is ridiculous,” said Mourinho. “They hit the post from a similar mistake. Apart from that the game was balanced. Two ridiculous moments and we were punished.
“The team played well and there were good reactions from the goals we conceded. We had chances to equalise and had desire. When you feel everything is going against you it is disappointing. The team tried until the end so I have nothing to say against them.”
LCN Man of the Match: Asmir Begovic