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May 082013

Manchester United 0 -1 Chelsea
2013 05 05T171237Z 1 CBRE9441BT700 RTROPTP 2 SOCCER ENGLAND Shameless on the field of Our Dreams!It was, according to my old mate and midfield partner from the Prestwich Heys team, Rob Cockcroft, in the message he sent me from Pnom Penh, the very worst single display of a team at its worse in at least 34 years. An exaggerations, perhaps, or else an apt clarification of just how mediocre the football has been in the Premier League this season. Having been crowned champions, however, good, bad, or mostly mediocre, as I would have it, the players of Manchester United have quit. All well and good for them. It’s nice to be a millionaire. But, really, for the season ticket holders, satellite dish owners and suckers who order a la carte from their cable supplier, expecting the lads to at least give enough of a damn to try just a bit seems too much. Why is this asking so much? Worse yet, is the sound of my Spurs’ fan acquaintances’ sarcasm, as, humiliated by 63 years of the F.A.’s favoritism, they sincerely wonder why United’s players would prefer not to have them in ECC instead of Spurs. Even the guys on Republica Deportivo posited the idea that not qualifying for the top four will cause Spurs’ owner to flog Gareth Bale to United(and thus why we would let them win!). That, of course, is ridiculous, but no less ridiculous than the fact that Danny Levy would rather sell the Welsh chimp boy to Les Gooners than Us.

Not that Chelsea were particularly good. Going into their 65th match of a long long season, the royal blues had to do without an injured Eden Hazard. Yet, even minus the slick Belgian playmaker, Chelsea were far more creative than a jaded United, who were bound and determined from the get-go not to score at Old Trafford for the first time in 67 league matches, and didn’t. Adding another piquant soup con of insult to treating their millions of fans around the world like a roll of one-ply toilet paper, the red devils appropriated their very first red card of the season as a dimwitted Rafael Da Silva let himself get suckered into retaliating against his fellow Brazilian tormentor, David Luiz.

Yet none of any of this would have mattered a whit had not the indefatigable Oscar not located Juan Mata with an absolutely exquisite pass four minutes from full-time. With Patrice Evra’s elderly legs having given out somewhere after the beginning of the second half, he was a frozen, grinning twit of a witness as Mata seized the moment. Firing a curving left-footer at the bulk of Phil Jones, Mata was like a sniper doing maty in his head, calculating wind and spin and the manner in which United’s goalie Anders Lindegaard–who had virtually nothing to do throughout the game–would angle his dive for the ball. And even though the goal will be credited as a Jones own goal, we’ve all seen enough of these clever Mata deflected masterpieces that they may soon deserve a category all of their own.

Hard to say much about the rest of this match. Chelsea were marginally better in a yawn of a first half. Mata missed twice after nice passes from Demba Ba. Moses shot over the bar and Lindegaard made a single save, smothering a fine shot from Oscar at the post. United’s single tactic seemed to involve always locating Robin van Persie after too many tiki-tiki-tak short passes. Indeed, only Ryan Giggs manage to surprise the flat-footed Chelsea back four as he stole the ball off RVP’s toe and shot past a diving Peter Cech, only to see the ball waylaid by a bump and go a centimeter or so past the post. The old wizard also came close with a header off a Vidic cross, but Cech was there in the way with plenty of time to to smother it.

Poor Tom Cleverley, slow on the uptake as ever, was well set up by both Anderson and Giggs, and allowed all the time in the world on the edge of the box, but twice he hammered the ball on the edge of the area, yet with a better opportunity than he possibly realized the fringe player lacked the composure to take advantage, shooting early and blazing over the bar. Those of you who are as utterly exhausted by the mediocrity of Cleverley and puzzled by Roy Hodgson’s penchant for picking him for England must remember, he simply is not very good and has regressed rather than improved. As he was such a hit under the tutelage of Roberto Martínez at Wigan Athletic, I suggest we put him in a parcel with a bow and pawn him off in some kind of part-exchange for Jamie McCarthy.

Chelsea might have had a penalty at the start of the second half when Giggs hauled down David Luiz as he entered the area. Howard Webb waved away their claims, however, which seemed reasonable as the offense seemed to originate outside the box, though it appeared overly generous of the referee not even to award a free-kick or a red card after Luiz managed to simultaneously take the kick and dive forward as if wounded from behind my a high caliber bullet.

Even introductions of Wayne Rooney and Fernando Torres as substitutes didn’t work. Both seemed distracted. Rooney looked particularly enfeebled. All the repeated rumors of Rooney’s transfer requests to leave for new partnerships with Lewandowski at Bayern or Ibrahimovich at Paris S.G. may have been deemed absurd, but there clearly is something wrong once again with Wayne Rooney. His losing of the ball to the aggressive Ramires in his own half is clearly understandable. Goes with the territory? Right! But Wazza’s attitude, having only just arrived on the pitch full of pizzazz, was, one might reasonably expect, to give chase. Ramires, clearly Chelsea’s best, most consistent player this year, was off to the races but clearly exhausted, puffing as he looked all around for someone to pass to. Our stocky little Scouse should have easily been able to run him down, but he did not.

Consequently, although United and Chelsea had each looked deliriously happy enough to settle for a draw. Ramires urinated in the punch bowl. Ramires to Lampard to Oscar who found Mata before the Spaniard fired a masterpiece of a left-footed beauty fit to deflect in off Jones’ back and wrong foot Lindegaard at the far post.

Any last second hope of a last-second United miracle comeback evaporated as David Luiz made easy sucker-work out of his Brazilian compatriot Rafael Da Silva after elbowing him twice and then falling down tragically once again “like a dying swan,” as Fergie put it. United ‘s hotheaded right back really ought to know better now that he is no longer an adolescent. Sure, Luiz was seen all over the world smirking at the referee, Howard Webb, after he sent Fabio off. It was indeed sad for the club to receive its first red card of the season over something so petty. Yet the collective naïveté of the team is not at all touching as it is in a club full of kiddiwinkies like Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa. Nothing cute at all, just embarrassment.

Ferguson was clearly not best pleased when he made his post-match appearance before the press. With his face fixed in a sort of gargoyle state of rictus, the old veteran looked as devastated as he had more than a year ago after the club took a 6-1 home hammering to Manchester City. “The desire was not there,” he said from between pursed lips. “It just wasn’t there.”Chelseas Juan Mata and a 008 Shameless on the field of Our Dreams!

Apr 032013

Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United
cesc 1702785a The Wages of Apathy: Manchester United Stumble Out of the F.A.Cup at Stamford BridgeAfter playing a dire, miserable game of low-risk football, Chelsea and their manager Rafael Benïtez look forward to an F.A. Cup semifinal against Manchester City while a yawning Manchester United, clearly complacent about having the Premier League Championship completely locked up, looked hungrily toward returning home to their Cheshire mansions where they could text-message their brokers and read travel brochures. Outplayed and intimidated in equal parts, the whole nightmare scenario for millions of United fans worldwide was repeatedly personified in the way which both Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley winced and turned their bodies aside rather than challenge Chelsea’s dynamic midfield enforcer, Obi Mikel Jon, who gave neither one any quarter in midfield. To fold, mutilate and spindle an old cliché: It’s not the fight in the poodle, but the poodle in the fight! And this poodle was a pussy!

Did somebody say this was going to be a classic dog fight? With Chelsea only 22 points behind United in the P.L.? As Russell Brand put it, Roman Abramovich had a harder time getting a crew of his thugs to help Boris Berezovsky hang himself than United gave Chelsea. Indeed, having given away a two goal lead to United in the first F.A.. Cup Quarterfinal game at Old Trafford, they deserve a lot of kudos. Such endurance is applaudable in a young team in transition, especially considering the disheartening loss of its fine young manager Roberto Di Matteo. and despite the hiring of a sad-sack yes-man hack manager in the rotund shape of Rafael Benitez, they have persevered. More often than not left to try and fail minus the presence of old-school leaders Frank Lampard and John Terry, they have found a new backbone in the tough-mindedness of Brazilians David Luiz and Ramires, who perform with a passion alongside the underrated Mikel. I mention all this not because I’m a Chelsea fan but because, by comparison, although United have a more or less an equal number of high-quality performers to the much celebrated Oscar, Eden Hazard and Juan Mata, we have no warriors of our own save a worn-down, psychologically-troubled Patrice Evra and the tiny Rafael Di Silva who can be admired when there is so much negativity swirling around the club.

Although others my disagree and find the winning of a 20th championship plenty of reward, any absurd notion that this United squad is up there by comparison with the treble-winning team of 1998-1999 is imbibing opiates.

One thing is for sure. It was an absolutely out of this world goal by Demba Ba which turned Stamford Bridge’s Easter Monday into a party and basically saw United instantaneously throw in the towel. Thus, four minutes into the second half, Juan Mata, who had looked tired and jaded throughout the first half, shimmied about with the ball in the left central corner of the box before firing an exquisite tumbling floater as he simultaneously ghosted his way around Rio Ferdinand. As good as this chipped beauty was, just how Ba managed to stretch his full body diagonally to reach the ball and manage to hook it on the volley past a fully extended David De Gea is amazing to contemplate.

Just how totally United capitulated after the goal was scored is shocking to contemplate, yet no more surprising than the aftermath of surrender against Real Madrid after the issuing of a red card by a nakedly biassed referee. The incident, although it’s only a few weeks back. seems like it has turned into United’s customized version of the movie Groundhog Day.Is it possible that our beloved club has been overwhelmed by the ascension of a dominant group of weak-minded quitters? Indeed, the post-match rantings of the team’s captain Patrice Evra, “I was certain we could not lose and I still do not believe it,” are the words of a man unfit for leadership, not the skipper of one of the world’s top football teams.

My bread and butter comes from analysis, so looking back at the first half surely offers clues. One is that Chelsea’s goalie, Peter Cech, made a stupendous save off Javíer Hernandez that defied the laws of gravity. How so sweet a cross from the otherwise consistently awful Nani reached little Chicharito after some deft interaction was put together by Carrick and Cleverley was marvelous to behold. The little Mexican’s header was an arching work of art, so how could it be that vast bulk of Cech was able to twist like a one-handed reflexive human pretzel and, miraculously, save the day(dare I say it?) like a captain.

And thus it was Cech’s monstrous hand that wrote on Sir Alex Ferguson’s wall. United have not won the F.A. Cup since 2004 and this showing has to have yanked the old man’s reality chain. I am not one for using the tiredness excuse but both Cleverley and Carrick have been forced to play too much now that Scholes seems to have finally lost the ability to play more than twenty minutes and Anderson suffers from the same problems of stamina and repeated injury. No wonder Carrick looks wiped out! Valencia, too, looked exhausted and Nani seemed intent on acting the fool, a sort of Cape Verdean manifestation of latter-day Mr. Beane. Phil Jones, who always looks like he’s on the verge of somehow doing something seemed lost in midfield, perhaps so intimidated by the effortless power and bullying assurance of Obi Mikel Jon that he became a passive observer.

Our brilliant puppy striker Danny Welbeck was all enthusiasm and no bite. As with playing for England earlier in the week, every time the lad would scoop up the ball and enter into his long stride, it felt like this time would be different. A lot is being made of Robin Van Persie’s run of bad luck in front of goal and perhaps he shouldn’t have started against Sunderland, but the kind of hard work and pure graft his attacking teammates put out there for him in the first two-thirds of the season is gone. Indeed, although there are already whispers that he will not be missed by the Gaffer if he leaves, the passion of the injured Wayne Rooney is irreplaceable. Without Rooney on his shoulder and no consistent service from Carrick, Young, Nani or Valencia, RVP seemed lost in search of balls that were never coming his way me. His one good chance was a volley which he blasted over the bar into the crowd in the 87th minute. Too little, too late.

Thus, a week from now, the derby game against Manchester City looks like it looms more important in the minds of its fans than their team. A loss to the sky-blue Abu Dhabian rent boys would definitely, at this point, hold more dread in it for those who truly love the club rather than those ho see it as just a receptacle for a paycheck.
cesc 1702785a The Wages of Apathy: Manchester United Stumble Out of the F.A.Cup at Stamford Bridge

Oct 302012

C h e l s e a 2 -3 M a n c h e s t e r U n i t e d
Manchester Uniteds Javier 008 A Crazy One At Stamford Bridge!This was one crazy classic of a game at Stamford Bridge. To say it was controversial would be a massive understatement. And although Chelsea had their clerks and solicitors up all night, ready to file a sackful of grievances when the F.A. opened for business on Monday morning, there was a kind of innate Chelsea fatigue growing among fans of the English game throughout the world on the blogs. Along with love for the beautiful game often played here at its very highest performance level fans are disgusted vis-à-vis Chelsea being a collective group of drama queens who take being bad losers to the penultimate point of perceived no return. The match was, nevertheless, a marvelous entertainment that will be long remembered. Its referee Mark Clattenburg, who has been a magnet for criticism often in the past, may have been instrumental in the wanton self-destruction of his own career after this great, eccentric match is replayed again and again by the fans, a gloating media and at least one angry club. Yet, it was, all of it, a shame because, above all, it was a brilliant match played at the highest level by two great teams with a sense of abandon and beauty that often took our collective breath away. Not to mention Manchester United’s first league win at Stamford Bridge for a decade.

The pre-match hype had been enormous. With Chelsea unbeaten and Manchester United simultaneously playing its worst defense since the days of Tommy Docherty and relegation while also playing some of its best attacking football since the treble year of 1998-99, the bookies and the pundits were in the pink taking bets for and against Fergie’s bipolar United. So who would have expected United to take a 0-2 lead within the first twelve minutes and then Chelsea to fight back to a 2-2 tie before Clattenburg handed out red cards to both a deserving Bronislav Ivanovic in the 63rd minute and, shortly after, a perhaps less deserving Fernando Torres for simulation six minutes later? The upshot of a second yellow card for Torres, who is, admittedly, one of the poorer divers in the Premier League, was perhaps the culmination of many seasons of frustration Clattenburg and his refereeing colleagues have often felt about Torres. Clattenburg’s timing and judgment, however, in the midst of a brilliant, thrilling match, seem to point to his owning massive ego on a par with the players.

Down to nine men, Chelsea’s boss, Roberto Di Matteo had every right to be aggrieved about the previous series of events which lead to United’s decisive and of course controversial winning goal. in the 75th minute Javíer Hernández was definitely in an offside position when Rafael da Silva took an awkward shot. Back and forth and in and out of an offside position, the Mexican striker was onside at the moment Rafael’s shot fooled Chelsea’s goalkeeper Petr Cech as he reached out to  stab the loose ball home.  Having watched the goal a half dozen times, it’s certain that Hernandez was onside  when he actually scored, but twice offside in the moments leading up to it. And so United nicked one away and Chelsea’s unbeaten start was kaput.

At any rate, it was a pulsating brilliant match which United began brilliantly with Valencia’s line hugging runs down the right flank impossible for Chelsea’s veteran left back Ashley Cole to cope with. Ashley Young, starting his first game since August, was prominently involved on the other flank and far more contained than he’s previously been with United previously. Ably assisted by Wayne Rooney, who left no blade of grass untrammeled, the two wingers repeatedly helped set up a brilliant unmarkable Robin Van Persie. Thus, after only three frantic minutes, Rooney broke on the right, fed Van Persie and the brilliant Dutchman’s right-foot shot rattled the post before bouncing off the manic David Luiz into the net.

Vulnerable down the left, Sir Alex Ferguson altered what has been a diamond formation to a more traditional 4-4-2 because Chelsea’s left-wide Eden Hazard kept moving into a more central positioning leaving Ashley Cole all alone and exposed to Rafael and Valencia. Thus, eight minutes later, Rafael steamed past Hazard, flicking to Valencia who had oodles of time time to cross for an exquisite Robin van Persie finish. Two up, United played their best football for the next ten minutes since the 2007-08 season.

For the opening half an hour it was difficult to think United had been more impressive at any other point this season. Yet it all started to come undone just two minutes before half-time as Rooney hacked at Eden Hazard’s ankles just outside the box. Juan Mata, Chelsea’s free-kick specialist then fired off a brilliant left-foot shot into the top corner that United’s goalie David De Gea missed by a fraction of an inch.

At 1-2, at home, Chelsea came out for the second half completely revitalized. Retaining the ball more consistently, Mata took over with the high octane assistance of Hazard and Oscar. David de Gea, United’s goalkeeper, made five fine saves, doing particularly well to keep out a Torres header while. a clumsy but brave Evans turned a cross off his own post and Rooney booted away a Gary Cahill header. Wave after wave of Chelsea attacks kept United on the brink of a tie and then, 53 minutes in, the hummingbird-like Oscar stole the ball away from a sloppy Cleverley before passing high across the penalty area for Ramires to head past De Gea.

Yet the incidents which followed the match being tied score seem inevitable in retrospect. There ought to be no dispute about the validity of the first dismissal as Bronislav Ivanovic clipped Ashley Young’s heels as the forward ran clear on goal. This is especially valid considering the patient early warnings the garrulous Clattenburg had given the Serb after over-the-top fouls on Rooney and Cleverley. The first booking for Torres should have been for his two-footed De Jongesque karate kick on Tom Cleverley early on. Instead it came a minute after Juan Mata’s superb free-kick had put Chelsea back into the game, Yet it seemed harsh that Clattenburg decided Torres had been trying to deceive him when the Spaniard ‘flew’ past Jonny Evans. The replays showed there had been a slight touch , so when Clattenburg reached for his pocket, every one thought a yellow card would have gone to Evans. Instead it was a second yellow card for Torres and, after that, it was not particularly surprising the away side took advantage of their extra numbers.

A great win for United, as well as what was their best first-half in years. Only a point back behind Chelsea now and tied with Manchester City, United are surely feeling good. Hopefully, despite Chelsea’s rage at Clattenburg, the fact that it was a fantastic game of football should not escape us. Unfortunately, Mr. Clattenburg, like his refereeing colleague, Howard Webb, owns the kind of personality that demands attention. However the explosive charges of racism leveled by Chelsea’s Obi Mikal Jon play out–this is not the first incident of this type he has been involved in –the quality of the game itself must not be forgotten!
Sir Alex Ferguson 002 A Crazy One At Stamford Bridge!

What’s The Time? It’s Five Past Tottenham

 Posted by on April 15, 2012 at 10:50 pm  Chelsea, EPL
Apr 152012

Chelsea routed London rival Tottenham 5-1 to reach the final of English soccer’s F.A. Cup for a fourth time in six years.

Didier Drogba, Juan Mata, Ramires, Frank Lampard and Florent Malouda scored for the Blues at Wembley Stadium in the U.K. capital yesterday to set up a meeting at the same venue with Liverpool on May 5. Television replays showed that Mata’s shot for the second goal didn’t cross the line.

Chelsea has played in the final on 10 previous occasions, winning the title six times. Seven-time champion Liverpool beat city rival Everton 2-1 two days ago to secure its spot.

“It’s two clubs with lots of tradition, particularly in the F.A. Cup,” Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo, who won the competition twice as a player with the Blues, said at a news conference. “It makes for a great final.”

Chelsea’s victory came three days before it faces Barcelona in the first leg of a Champions League semifinal. The Blues were unhappy at the scheduling of the domestic cup match so close to that game.

They had two early opportunities yesterday, though Lampard headed wide and Drogba sliced a shot that was collected by goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini.

Drogba was yellow-carded on 15 minutes for a foul on Aaron Lennon as Tottenham attempted to break.

Both teams pushed forward in search of a goal and Spurs came close nine minutes before halftime when a header by Rafael van der Vaart was blocked by defender Terry on the line with goalkeeper Petr Cech beaten.

Drogba Goal

Emmanuel Adebayor had another opportunity for the north London team soon after, although the Togo striker failed to connect with the ball, which hit a post.

The Blues scored at the other end seconds later when Drogba took Lampard’s long pass, held off William Gallas and fired past ex-Chelsea keeper Cudicini from 15 yards.

Cudicini dived to stop Mata from doubling Chelsea’s advantage three minutes after halftime and the Spaniard was awarded his controversial goal within a minute.

Terry, David Luiz and Tottenham’s Benoit Assou-Ekotto were among players on the ground on the goal line as Mata’s shot rebounded before bouncing clear. Referee Martin Atkinson allowed the goal, although replays showed that the ball hadn’t crossed the line.

“It was nowhere near a goal, it wasn’t even close,” Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp told the British Broadcasting Corp. “It was big turning point in the game for sure. They picked us off in the end.”

Spurs Score

Spurs replied with a goal from Gareth Bale on 56 minutes when Atkinson played an advantage instead of stopping the game when Cech felled Adebayor in the penalty area. The ball fell for Bale to stroke into an empty net.

Chelsea then had to make a defensive change following an injury to Luiz, who was taken off the field on a stretcher and replaced by Gary Cahill.

Mata was again involved in Chelsea’s third goal as his pass released Ramires, who slotted the ball past Cudicini on 77 minutes.

Tottenham’s chances of a comeback were then ended when Lampard fired a free kick into the net four minutes later. Malouda completed the scoring in injury time after Mata chipped the ball into his path.

Spurs have now lost six straight F.A. Cup semifinals since last winning the competition in 1991.

“I can understand the frustration,” Di Matteo said of Mata’s goal. “But I don’t know how much it would have mattered because today we scored five, not two.”

Dramatic win for Chelsea

 Posted by on April 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm  Uncategorized
Apr 092012

Juan Mata scored a stoppage-time winner to sink struggling Wigan and strengthen Chelsea’s hopes of a top-four finish.
Branislav Ivanovic was in an offside position when he put Chelsea ahead in controversial circumstances after a floated pass by Raul Meireles.
Mohamed Diame appeared to have earned the visitors a priceless point when he netted from the edge of the area, but Chelsea secured victory through Mata after fellow Spaniard Fernando Torres hit the post.
It was tough on the Latics, who remain anchored in the Premier League relegation zone, but manager Roberto Martinez will be confident his side can still escape the drop if they can produce this level of performance in their remaining six games. They proved they were no pushovers and stood their ground as Chelsea pushed forward in the first half.
Wigans Maynor Figueroa cleared Dider Drogbas shot off the line and Keeper Ali Al-Habsi denied his former Bolton teammate, Gary Cahill from 25 yards out before Figeroa tested Petr Cech from distance. The half ended 0-0.
The second half started in the same way the opening 45 minutes ended – Al-Habsi denying Drogba with his body – before the game exploded in controversy.
Shaun Maloney was cautioned for a clumsy challenge on Ivanovic, who ultimately made him pay from the resulting free-kick with goal that should have been disallowed.
Wigan thought they had cleared the danger but Raul Meireles played the ball back in to an offside Ivanovic, who steered it home. The Latics were furious and surrounded referee Mike Jones and his assistant Dave Bryan, who were unmoved.
Then Ivanovic denied Wigan when he blocked Franco Di Santo’s shot on the line after a goalmouth scramble before substitute Diame crashed an unstoppable shot into the corner of the net to make it 1-1.
But the drama was far from over, with Mata scoring in the 93rd minute after Torres brilliantly volleyed Drogba’s cross against the post.
Chelsea will play Clint Dempsey and Fulham on Monday. They will be happy to have Frank Lampard and captain John Terry back into the team. 


 Posted by on October 29, 2011 at 4:20 pm  Uncategorized
Oct 292011

An Eight Goal Thriller At The Bridge

Robin van Persie scored a hat-trick as Arsenal beat Chelsea 5-3 in a memorable match of attacking grandeur and many defensive mistakes in the lunchtime match at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

The victory gave Arsenal their first away win in the Premier League this season, while Chelsea’s eight match unbeaten streak at home came to an abrupt end.

Chelsea manager André Villas-Boas made several changes to the squad that played in the midweek Carling Cup match. With Didier Drogba serving his suspension from his sending off against Queens Park Rangers, Fernando Torres was the choice to spearhead Chelsea’s attack after being an unused sub in Wednesday’s match. Juan Mata also returned to the starting eleven as did John Obi Mikel. After missing several matches with a knee injury Ramires returned to the squad in place of Raul Meireles.

4 3 3 D 3 F E N 5 E

Chelsea were on the scoreboard first in the 14th minute. Branislav Ivanovic sent a beautiful cross to Juan Mata who sent the ball into the box allowing Frank Lampard to get the better of Per Mertesacker and head it into the back of the net.

Arsenal equalized in the 35th minute, Aaron Ramsey sent a pass to Gervinho who sliced through Chelsea’s centre-backs and passed the ball sideways to Robin Van Persie who tapped it in.

Chelsea restored their lead right before halftime. Once again it was Per Mertesacker at fault as he allowed John Terry to move in front of him and guide Frank Lampard’s corner kick into the back of the net.

Once again Arsenal equalized three minutes into the second half thanks to André Santos. Chelsea’s right-back Jose Bosingwa was drawn into the middle of the pitch like a moth to a flame which allowed the Brazilian left-back to take advantage of the space by taking a pass and watching his shot go right through Petr Cech’s legs.

Arsenal took the lead for the first time in the match in the 55th minute, Theo Walcott stumbled to the ground, but quickly picked himself up and continued his run easily slipping in between Terry and Ivanovic to smack the ball past Cech at the near post. I still don’t understand how Walcott was able to get past four Chelsea players. After reviewing the goal Ashley Cole went in for the tackle with Mikel coming from behind Walcott falls over as Cole runs into Mikel who is holding his hands up claiming he didn’t foul Walcott. Walcott springs back up and easily goes in between Terry and Ivanovic and scores the goal. Why neither Terry or Ivanovic were unable to shut Walcott down is beyond me just horrible defending.

With ten minutes left in the match Chelsea got their equalizer and it was a fantastic one at that. Second half sub Raul Meireles was involved in winning the ball before Juan Mata struck a fantastic swerving shot from just under 30 yards out, which Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny had no chance of saving. Arsene Wenger received a front row seat of what Mata can do and what he could have had if he signed him this past summer.

It looked as though Chelsea were going to come out of this match with a point, but it slipped away in the 85th minute. Florent Malouda made a terrible, horrible, appalling, atrocious, awful, disastrous, dreadful, horrendous, poor, severe, shocking, unfortunate, just plain bad back pass to John Terry who then slipped trying to retain the ball leaving Van Persie to run in on Cech and blast the ball into the open net giving the Gunners the lead.

As if things could not possibly get worse for the Blues, Arsenal added another goal in extra time. With Chelsea desperate to find that equalizer with Mata having two of his shots blocked, the boys in blue were caught on the counter-attack with a 4-2 advantage in Arsenal’s favor Van Persie blasted a left-footed shot past Cech at the near post completing the flying Dutchman’s hat-trick.

It was a bad day at the office for Chelsea, but to say their season is over is absolutely ridiculous. We are at the end of October, there are still seven more months to be played in the league, and they are still in the hunt for all four trophies. The sky is not falling! Every club is going to have a bad match, it could be worse you could be Wigan.

Win or Lose Up The BLUES!

A Long Time Coming: QPR vs. Chelsea

 Posted by on October 21, 2011 at 10:52 pm  Uncategorized
Oct 212011

QPRvs.CFC A Long Time Coming: QPR vs. Chelsea

It’s been 15 years since Chelsea travelled to Loftus Road to play a competitive match against Queens Park Rangers. Chelsea are coming off their 5-0 demolishing of Genk in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, while QPR were held at home to Blackburn last weekend.

QPR don’ t have history on their side having won just one of their last 14 matches in all competitions against Chelsea.

Injury News

Ramires has failed to recover for Chelsea’s Barclays Premier League game at QPR on Sunday. The midfielder is still missing with the knee injury picked up in Saturday’s win over Everton but could be back for the Carling Cup tie against the same opponents next week. John Terry, Didier Drogba and Juan Mata look set to return after being rested for Wednesday night’s Champions League thrashing of Genk, while Fernando Torres serves the final instalment of his three-match domestic suspension.

QPR defender Danny Gabbidon has not recovered from a knee injury and will miss Sunday’s match against Chelsea at Loftus Road. Adel Taarabt has been suffering from a mild virus, but is likely to be fit and could possibly start. DJ Campbell had an operation this week and was expected to be out for two months, but may come back sooner and Kieron Dyer may now return in December despite initial fears that he could be sidelined until the new year.

Possible Starting 11

John Terry, Didier Drogba and Juan Mata were all rested for the Champions League win over Genk on Wednesday, but the trio should return to the starting eleven, while Fernando Torres is unavailable as he completes the three-match ban after being sent off against Swansea.

255093 Chelsea A Long Time Coming: QPR vs. Chelsea

Ones To Watch

Juan Mata: The little Spaniard has been a breath of fresh air for Chelsea. He will be key going down the left hand side of the pitch but will also be the man to supply Drogba with the ball.

Didier Drogba: The Ivorian has started the last two matches while Torres is serving his suspension, though he hasn’t scored in the last two matches he has contributed to both victories with his passing.

I can see Chelsea winning this match especially with the Manchester Derby playing right before them. The outcome of that match could actually benefit Chelsea if they get a victory.

Chelsea’s Boogie Team

 Posted by on October 15, 2011 at 3:52 am  Uncategorized
Oct 152011

Chelsea vs Everton Chelseas Boogie Team

Chelsea return to action tomorrow following the international break as they host Everton. Chelsea will be without Fernando Torres who will serve his second installment of his three-match ban tomorrow, David Luiz may be rested after returning from International duty on Thursday which could see Alex or Branislav Ivanovic partner John Terry in the center of defence.

For Everton, David Moyes may be without Tim Cahill after an ankle injury forced him to withdraw from the Australian squad last week. John Heitinga remains a doubt for this match as a knee injury made the Dutchman miss his country’s midweek match.

Everton’s five match unbeaten run at Chelsea is the currently the longest by any visiting team at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League, with all the matches drawn. Don’t let this fool you as Everton have not won a Premier League match at Stamford Bridge in 17 years.

Defending set pieces will be key for Chelsea as most of Everton’s goals come from them, but Chelsea have had trouble defending them in recent time. It seems that Villas-Boas has moved away from the man marking system and has tried to implement a zonal marking system. I never did like the zonal marking system, but I am sure it will be used plenty tomorrow.

Ones To Watch

Daniel Sturridge: The 22 year-old forward has been in good form this season and is being tipped to be in the England squad for next month’s friendlies against Spain and Sweden as manager Fabio Capello looks at alternatives to replace Wayne Rooney following his three match ban in next summer’s Euro 2012. Sturridge has been played on the right side of the pitch under André Villas-Boas. With his speed and his ability to cut into the middle expect a good battle between him and Leighton Baines.

Louis Saha: The Frenchman loves scoring goals against Chelsea whether if his in an Everton shirt or when he was with Manchester United. Saha has scored nine times during his career against the London club, including five in six matches for the Toffees. If he appears on Saturday it will be the striker’s 100th match for Everton.

The Chelsea Supporters: It will be interesting to watch how Chelsea supporters will react following the news that Chelsea have proposed to buy back the freehold land on which Stamford Bridge sits from the Chelsea Pitch Owners. Listen for chants and look out for banners opposing the proposal around Stamford Bridge.

I expect to see a similar match to the one Everton played against Manchester City, ten men in their own half clogging up the midfield and trying to score on the break. Chelsea need play out wide that is the best way to get a goal, Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge will be key to a Chelsea victory.

International Round-Up

 Posted by on October 12, 2011 at 12:57 am  Uncategorized
Oct 122011

It was great day for international football as today was the last of the group matches to qualify for Euro 2012 in Ukraine and Poland. Below is a briefing on how some of the boys from Chelsea did.

Frances players celebrate 005 International Round Up

Florent Malouda is the latest Chelsea player to book his place in next summer’s European Championships. He was a part of the French side that earned a 1-1 draw at home to Bosnia & Herzegovina today. The winger played the first hour in Paris as his side trailed, only for Samir Nasri to score a late penalty to send France through. Bosnia and Herzegovina will now go to the play-offs.

Petr Cech and the Czech Republic came out 4-1 winners in Lithuania today, the goalkeeper will now go into next month’s play-offs in second place behind Spain, who defeated Scotland 3-1 in Alicante. Fernando Torres and Juan Mata were unused subs for this match.

Raul Meireles and Portugal will also be in the play-offs as they were defeated 2-1 by Denmark.

Branislav Ivanovic’s Serbia were beaten 1-0 in Slovenia, Ivanovic played the entire match at centre-back. Unfortunately, the defeat eliminates Serbia from qualification so next year it will be a summer break for the defender.

Romelu Lukaku will also have the summer off as Belgium were eliminated after their 3-1 defeat from table leaders Germany. Turkey secured the play-off spot in that group.

John Mikel Obi played the final 20 minutes of Nigeria’s 0-0 friendly draw against Ghana at Vicarage Road. Nigeria were eliminated from the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations so there will be no international football for Mikel in the month of January and early February.

Conor Clifford played the first 66 minutes in Ireland’s Under 21 match where they came out 4-1 winners in Liechtenstein, and Milan Lalkovic player the full ninety as Slovakia were 6-0 winners away at Latvia.

The playoff draw for a spot at Euro 2012 will be made in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on Thursday, with the two-legged ties set to be played on November 11/12 and 15.

David Luiz and Mata Put Chelsea On Top In Group E

 Posted by on September 13, 2011 at 6:57 pm  Uncategorized
Sep 132011

Two Assists From Torres Give Chelsea All Three Points

Chelsea Torres Champions OKAS David Luiz and Mata Put Chelsea On Top In Group E

Ah, the Champions League.

The only competition where we as supporters watch our club play the best teams from around Europe. Chelsea officially kicked off their Champions League campaign today as they hosted German side Bayer Leverkusen. It was the return of Michael Ballack, the last time the he set foot in Stamford Bridge Chelsea were crowned Premier League Champions after beating Wigan 8-0. The crowd gave the German a warm reception and Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck gave him an award prior to kickoff.

ballack%2Breturn David Luiz and Mata Put Chelsea On Top In Group E

Chelsea were without John Terry who was rested with the upcoming match against Manchester United in mind. This meant the return of David Luiz who partnered Branislav Ivanovic in the center of defense. Florent Malouda started in place for Frank Lampard who was on the bench. Didier Drogba was still recovering from his injury from the Norwich match, but he was sitting in the stands with Romelu Lukaku who was omitted from the Champions League roster. Ramires was serving his suspension after his sending off in the Quarter-Finals last season. Villas-Boas put Fernando Torres back in the starting eleven with Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge as his support on the flanks.

It was a lively start to the match with both clubs going back and forth at each end of the pitch. Fernando Torres had the first chance on goal within a minute into the match. Torres attempted an overhead kick that just went wide of goal. Oh what a beauty that would have been if it went into the top corner. There were two disallowed goals at each end within the span of two minutes. Bayer’s goal from a corner kick was called back due to a foul on Mikel in the box, and Torres flicked the ball with the back of his heel that went into the lower far corner. The linesman called for offsides on Raul Meireles who looked to have guided Torres’ ball into the back of the net, but after looking at the replay Meireles made no contact with the ball, therefore Chelsea should have been a goal up. Fifth official where were you on this play?

In the 31st minute Sturridge took possession out wide where he took an unexpected shot at goal that forced Bayer goalkeeper Bernd Leno to react quickly to pull it away from the bottom corner of his net. The 19-year-old who is on loan from Stuttgart is filling in for Bayer’s first choice keeper Rene Adler and second choice Fabian Giefer both sidelined with injuries.

The half ended scoreless with the last piece of play coming from Chelsea when Ivanovic’s header off a Mata corner kick was easily caught by Leno.

Bayer Leverkusen started the second half on the front foot with Michael Ballack with the best chance for the Werkself. Chelsea lost the ball in it’s own half, a pass from André Schürrle allowed Ballack to run through Chelsea’s defense leaving him in a one on one situation with Petr Cech. Cech ran out to block Ballack’s attempt on goal with the rebound bouncing off Ballack and out for a goal kick. It was the best chance of the game so far for Bayer.

BallackvChelsea David Luiz and Mata Put Chelsea On Top In Group E

In the 66th minute Chelsea final broke the deadlock thanks to David Luiz. The curly haired Brazilian drove all the way into Bayer’s half with a great lay-off by Fernando Torres, David Luiz was able to put the ball into the far corner of the net. Luiz made sure Torres received credit for the assist as he pointed him out to the crowd.

david%2Bluiz David Luiz and Mata Put Chelsea On Top In Group E

Chelsea doubled their lead in extra time, Fernando Torres had plenty of space down the left flank and had the opportunity to take a shot on goal, but he unselfishly passed the ball to Juan Mata who put it past Leno. “He took the right decision.” said André Villas-Boas “We had players there with the goal in front and he took a wise decision so we’re very happy for that.”

mata%2BCL David Luiz and Mata Put Chelsea On Top In Group E

With tonight’s victory Chelsea are top of Group E with three points with Valencia and Genk tied for second after their scoreless draw with Bayer at the bottom of the group. Chelsea head to Old Trafford on Sunday where they will play reigning Premier Champions Manchester United. Chelsea’s next Champions League match is on the 28th of September where they head to the Mestalla to play Valencia.