17 December, 2012 - 14:43

Corinthians beat Chelsea to claim the FIFA Club World Cup title

Corinthians beat Chelsea to claim the FIFA Club World Cup title

The UEFA Champions League winners Chelsea have suffered the surprise 0-1 defeat to the Brazilian side Corinthians in the Club World Cup final, to record their third final loss in three tournaments of the season. Earlier they were thrashed 1-4 by Man City in the FA Community Shield and beaten by Atlético Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup final by the same score. Those two defeats to a certain extent have pre-determined Di Matteo’s dismissal.

Chelsea fans have met the appointment of Rafa Benitez with dismay refusing to forget the Spaniards’ contemptuous statements directed towards Jose Mourinho as he was in charge of the Blues. In order to try and win the respect of the fans Benitez desperately needed to beat Corinthians and clinch the Club World Cup trophy for the first time in Chelsea’s history. Taking into account the semi-final game against Monterrey, recent wins in the Premier League and Benitez’s decision to field all his big guns in the final Chelsea were touted as strong favorites to win the title.

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From another side resilient Corinthians were highly motivated to outplay their rivals as the Brazilians traditionally treat Club World Cup with more respect as compared to the English side. The difference in attitude has even led to the ructions in Chelsea’s squad, as the Brazilians David Luiz, Lucas Piazon and Oscar demanded more responsible approach from their teammates.

Corinthians have been purposefully preparing for the tournament for several months and they were not going to give up to their high-profile counterparts. Another powerful stimulus for Corinthians’ players to win the game was the desire to impress visiting scouts and the perspective of moving to a European club in near future.

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Rafa Benitez has decided to play his favorite 4-2-3-1 formation making several changes to his squad. Frank Lampard and Moses were playing in the middle, David Luiz returned to his traditional centre back role and Ivanovic moved to right-back.

Tite chose the modified 4-2-3-1 formation with Jorge Enrique playing instead of Douglas on the right in the midfield.

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At first it seemed that Chelsea without any efforts will see off Corinthians’ challenge. The Brazilian side have not pressured their opponents, held onto the ball for long periods without attempts of killer passes and left plenty of space between the lines. However Chelsea failed to make the chances pay with Cahill’s and Torres’ early shots on goal denied by the Corinthians’ goalie.

As it turned out the “take-it-easy” playing style of the Brazilian side was nothing more than the tactical maneuver employed by Tite. Corinthians effectively slowed the tempo down, which was crucial for the stifling of Chelsea’s quick passing game. It is to be recalled that Chelsea beat Monterrey in the semi-finals namely because the Mexican side could not cope with the high Premier League tempo. Monterrey left creative midfielders Mata and Oscar too much time and space on the ball and the Blues took advantage of that effectively. By the end of the first half it became evident that Tite has apparently found the remedy to the problems posed by quick and skillful Chelsea midfielders.

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Both teams had a number of attempts at goal which promised much but the quality of the finishing was poor throughout. Despite overall poor quality of their attacking game it was Corinthians’ Paolo Guerrero who scored the simple header to give the Brazilian side the lead with 21 minutes to go. Torres scored the equalized in the dying stage of the game however the goal was disallowed due to the offside.

It was Benitez’s mistake to leave Oscar who could add fluidity, pace and creativity to Chelsea’s game on the bench until 72nd minute. Another two changes (Azpilicueta on for Ivanonvic in the 82 minute and Marin instead of Hazard in the 86 minute) have changed nothing as they were made very late.

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In such a way, despite fielding all their big guns, Chelsea’s hopes of claiming their first title under interim coach Benitez suffered a major blow as Corinthians battled to a deserved 1-0 victory. Corinthians have effectively slowed down the tempo and prevented Chelsea’s attacking players from making the influence on the game. Tite has tactically outplayed Benitez thanks to the excellent organization of defensive play with clever positioning and pressing.

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Photo: sportinglife.com, mirror.co.uk

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Author: Basil Naumov

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18 December 2012, 14:28

Chelsea is the best team of the world!!!

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