Napoli 3 Chelsea 1 – AVB gets the Blues in Naples
It was all going so well for Chelsea until the 38th minute. Andre Villas-Boas decided to leave Fernando Torres, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Michael Essien on the bench and the eleven players selected were in front when Juan Mata scored in the 27th minute.
February 21st, 2012
There was an element of fortune about Mata’s opener, although the Napoli defence wasn’t the only one at sixes and sevens, with Napoli level ten minutes later when the outstanding Ezequiel Lavezzi fired in from 20 yards.
As Chelsea looked to reach half-time with a 1-1 scoreline, the Naples side struck again and there was some really poor defending from the visitors, with Edinson Cavani converting Gokhan Inler’s cross just before the interval.
The Stadio San Paolo erupted and it was clear that the absence of John Terry from the heart of the Chelsea defence meant that Napoli looked dangerous every time they went forward.
David Luiz was at fault for Napoli’s third goal which saw a simple ball over the top cause confusion for the Brazilian and Lavezzi was on hand to comfortably slot the ball home to double the home team’s advantage.
It leaves Chelsea with a mountain to climb in a fortnight’s time and the speculation regarding Villas-Boas’ future will intensify with the Blues needing to beat Napoli 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in a fortnight.