Thank God for that, sigh Chelsea fans. And their manager especially. As Chelsea come away with a win over Dynamo Kiev in their ‘must not lose’ clash, Jose Mourinho must be thanking the stars for Willian tonight.
The Brazilian came up with the winner from a sensationally hit free kick and also provided the opener thanks to an own goal, unfortunately headed past his own keeper from Aleksandar Dragovic. But the whip on the cross was good enough to cause the danger.
So the win for Chelsea means that they’re almost there in Europe. It’s a vital win that puts qualification in their own hands – even though nothing is certain for Chelsea given how they’ve started this season.
But thanks to how they’ve played tonight we know that even in victory, Chelsea still have problems. Yet they clearly still have the quality in their side to do well if they can start to get things right. If one or two more key players can hit form now, Chelsea might start dragging themselves up the table into a respectable position, and start to actually challenge for silverware in the cup competitions.
Chelsea's top scorers this season: Willian: 5 Own goals: 4 pic.twitter.com/eHKDHQOZ99
— FourFourTweet (@FourFourTweet) November 4, 2015
Without a shadow of a doubt, Willian is the player making things happen for Chelsea. The Brazilian has scored the free kicks and set up the crucial goals for the Blues this season, and if they’re to get out of this slump then Jose Mourinho owes him big time.
He’s the one looking like he’s part of a team that won a league title last season, and it might just be up to him to pull them out of the mire they’re currently in.
Willian's great play and this lucky win distract from Mourinho's awful team selection.
— Luca (@EICrisco) November 4, 2015
Before tonight’s game, Harry Redknapp, that beacon of knowledge and tactical insight, gave Jose Mourinho this advice: ‘Play your best team.’
Aside from the fact that Redknapp giving Mourinho advice is like Rolf Harris giving advice to Pablo Picasso, it’s starting to look very clear that Jose has absolutely no idea what his best team is these days. Although I’d still bet he has a clearer idea than Harry has.
Meanwhile…. Chelsea has serious problems
— LEOnatic (@seancaxton) November 4, 2015
Midway through the second half, as Dynamo Kiev were feeling their way back into the game, Chelsea looked like they were withering on the vine and the game looked like it was heading inexorably to a Kiev equaliser. And it did.
But what was important was the heart that Chelsea showed later on in the game in order to claw their way back into it, score the winner, and see out the game. Mourinho will be very pleased by that, and maybe it shows that whatever the problems are, they aren’t that the squad isn’t playing to win games.
That still means that the problem does still exist, and won’t go away. But whatever it is, it can’t be as bad as the players not playing for the manager.