Monaco was disappointing but we can bounce back at QPR

It’s never nice to see your team absolutely outclassed and it’s not good at all when that spanking happens in a high-profile match being watched across a whole continent.

But if Chelsea had to be heavily beaten in a major European game, I think any fan would choose for it to be the Super Cup rather than a Champions League match.

I wasn’t in Monaco – and in hindsight I’m grateful for that – and made do with TV coverage.

Amid the occasionally gleeful post-match analysis came one line that stuck with me, when one of the pundits pointed out that Atletico Madrid had treated the game like a cup final and Chelsea like a friendly.

Yes, it’s great for Atletico – they played the European champions off the park, picked up another trophy and gave their travelling fans a great night.

You couldn’t ague with what they did. But if Chelsea’s lacklustre showing really was down to mentally prioritising other competitions rather than just being an off-day, then you can see the reasoning behind that too.

I’d much prefer us to play that way in the European equivalent of the Community Shield than in Barcelona or Munich at the tail end of last season or at home to Juventus in a couple of weeks.

Of course the last time we turned in such an insipid European performance was in Naples back in February and we all know what happened next.

I’m not advocating a change of manager now, don’t worry, but I would say we need to react with a similar sense of purpose to that shown post-Napoli.

Lessons have to be learnt from a performance like that in Monaco, perhaps primarily how to defend and that football isn’t just about beating teams such as Wigan and Reading and taking the plaudits for it.

Roberto Di Matteo’s ashen-faced but composed reaction after the final whistle suggested there will be a strong response, as did apologetic tweets from some of the players on Friday night and Saturday.

We followed up defeat in the Community Shield with three league wins on the bounce. It would be nice if the reaction to this latest showpiece-but-not-that-much-of-a-showpiece defeat could be similarly emphatic – starting at QPR a week on Saturday.

James Clarke is the author of Moody Blues: Following the second-best team in Europe

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