Day one of the Champions League tournament started today September 19, 2019 all over the continent of Europe. This elite group of teams are selected by their individual standings in their home nations league, whether it be the English Premier League for Chelsea or La Liga for Valencia. When an individual team comes in 1-3 place, they are automatically inducted to represent their club in an all out war of football athletics otherwise known as the Champions League.
Chelsea and Valencia are part of group H, joined by LOSC and Ajax, and will continue to face these two teams for another 5 matches until December 10, 2019. Of the 32 teams in the tournament, 16 teams (Groups E-H) got their start today. Chelsea and Valencia battled today in Stamford Bridge, Chelsea’s home field in London, UK.
But Chelsea’s own cheers and chants would do the team no justice as the statistics did not fairly represent the match. The home team maintained possession (60%-40%), took more shots on target (6-2), had more passes (600-427) and had better passing accuracy (89%-82%). Still they struggled to penetrate the net, even with opportunities inside the box.
The English club took a major hit in the 15th minute when 20 year old Mason Mount (midfield) was removed from the game due to an ankle injury. In his debut for the tournament of tournaments, he was prematurely taken off the field before achieving any monumental plays, although he originally tried to play through the pain. The team now had to power through with the loss of one of their best.
At the half, the match was scoreless, and both teams would come onto the field striking faster and harder. The first goal would come off an assist from a free kick. Valencia’s forward Rodrigo, took the game up 1-0 in the 74th minute. With the matches time ticking away, Chelsea raised their game and were awarded with a penalty kick after further VAR review.
All night long, Chelsea’s forward Willian, took free kicks and corner kicks. He stepped into the box with his teammates and questioned the man who got there first: Ross Barkley. Barkley came in as a substitute in the second half, but pleaded his confidence for this penalty attempt among his teammates. Unfortunately for Chelsea, the substitute midfielder beamed the ball and hit the post, completely missing his target. A draw regretfully slipped away, and Valencia took the win on the road.
Chelsea will take on LOSC next on October 2,2019. LOSC lost 3-0 to Ajax today and both teams will enter the game with an 0-1 record in Group H.