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Everton 0-1 Chelsea

All a bit surreal really, but anyway, a mere 3 days after seeing the title slip away from us for the second year in succession with a 1-1 at home to Wigan, here we go again. Having benevolently rested some of his key players on Monday (oh but to have a boss like that), Grant chose to recall Ashley Cole, Ricardo Carvalho and Joe Cole to the starting line up. Didier Drogba (knee-come-can’t be arseditis) and Lampard (family illness) remained absent and Grant chose to restore Paulo Ferreira to right back and Shaun Wright-Phillips in central midfield, although in Shauny’s case I spent most of the game asking “why?”


Apathetic, yet strangely nervous before kick-off – not because 3 points would actually help us achieve anything, but more because coming away without them would result in even more ridicule than we’ve suffered this season already – the older supporters among us would be forgiven for daydreaming of the 80’s here.


Surprisingly, we started with some purpose, having the better possession and troubling Everton with our passing, if not our final ball in the area – Shaun Wright-Phillips having another one of ‘those’ games that makes me want to headbutt the nearest wall. Essien’s goal then, four minutes from the break resulted in much relief as well as a pretty sore throat if I’m honest. The midfielder, who to be fair hasn’t really looked up for it this season seems to have had a late rush of blood to the head, first scoring the opener on Monday and then inexplicably ending up prostrate on the pitch tonight having scored what eventually turned out to be the winner.

Having offered little going forward in the first half, Everton improved after the break, making for a nervy 45 minutes which saw Grant replace a stony-faced Joe Cole with Malouda (again, why?) and finally withdraw Shaun Wright-Phillips for Makelele, as Chelsea everywhere united in praying “please not 5 at the back again”. Actually, as second halves go, it didn’t offer much at all, with both defences pretty much controlling the game. Not exactly the sort of performance you’d expect from the ‘second best team in the country’ versus the fifth. If anything, just another stick to beat us with, but whatever, we both started off 5 points away from where we wanted to be and we held on to take all 3.

But, while the players supposedly walked down the tunnel shouting about not being out of the title race yet, realistically, tonight’s game was about damage limitation. And whilst it wasn’t a game for the football connossieur – the most memorable point being the whiny bint on the tannoy asking Chelsea supporters to sit down – to us at least, it brings a sigh of relief and a break from the nerves until Tuesday.



Blue is the colour is an honest insight to the World of Chelsea FC. Not always pretty, sometimes rather cynical, but always realistic.


April 2008
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