Friday 15 November 2019

Mourinho fury at 'weak' ref after Chelsea draw blank

Chelsea 0 Dynamo Kiev 0

Dynamo Kiev's Brazilian defender Danilo Silva (L) vies with Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Oscar
Dynamo Kiev's Brazilian defender Danilo Silva (L) vies with Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Oscar
Chelsea's English defender Gary Cahill (L) vies with Dynamo Kiev's Austrian defender Aleksandar Dragovic
Chelsea's Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta (C) vies with Dynamo Kiev's Ukrainian forward Andriy Yarmolenko (L)

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Under normal circumstances, Chelsea might look at a point like this, and a game like this, as something to forget about quickly and move on.

This Chelsea, though, the Chelsea of one of the most disastrous Premier League title defences ever launched, can certainly not turn their nose up at a clean sheet and a point.

It could have been three, however, had Jose Mourinho's men been awarded a penalty after Cesc Fabregas was brought down in the box.

"The referee was weak and naive - a big penalty," said Mourinho, in typical fashion. "I keep not understanding what the goal referee does. Because (he) doesn't make a clear decision.

"Once more a game without luck, because with a bit of luck you win this game. It's okay. We have the destiny in our hands. We play two matches at home and one in Israel."

This was not a classic match and nor was it a classic performance, but Chelsea found something here in the cold of Kiev that has evaded them for much of the season: stability. They defended in numbers but they defended well, which is more than they have been able to say for much of this season.


Dynamo Kiev did very little to impress, but Chelsea have almost found ways of beating themselves this season. Here, though, they hung together, played together and followed Mourinho's instructions as far as their limited confidence and form would carry them.

There were very few moments of quality - Eden Hazard hit the post on the break, Willian hit the underside of the bar with a free-kick - but nor were there any moments of disaster.

After everything that has happened, this display - like the 2-0 defeat of Aston Villa - could represent if not progress then at least a bottoming out, or clinging onto the last few rungs of a ladder that the team had been sliding down all season.

Mourinho restored Hazard to the side after dropping him for curious tactical reasons on Saturday. Early on, Hazard found himself space and clipped a shot against the far post.

The rest of the first half was scrappy at best, although Fabregas should have had that penalty.

After the break, Chelsea initially had the better of proceedings, but Dynamo gradually got on top and finished the game with a confidence that had been far beyond them in the first half. It was Chelsea, then, rather than Dynamo, who hung on for an important point.

Irish Independent

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