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CHELSEA 4-1 Cardiff: Drogba The Difference


Well, the scoreline might have been acceptable in the end against a pretty depleted Cardiff side but it probably took a rocket up our players’ arses at half-time to get that result.

Considering the game kicked off far too early for the hangovers to have the slightest chance of clearing, nevermind the opportunity to shift them with the usual ‘hair of the dog’, Didier Drogba at least woke us up a bit with a goal inside the first two minutes. Picking up Mikel’s ball over the top, the Ivorian hit a lovely volley past Marshall but whilst we were thinking that might have signaled a bit of a walkover was on the cards, it seemed our players weren’t up for much more than a stroll.

Not that we didn’t look comfortable, probably more that we looked a little too comfortable at times and it didn’t look to do us any favours taking our foot off the pedal as our passing went a bit wayward. Peter Whittingham’s free-kick was only kept out of the top corner courtesy of Hilario’s fingers and whilst Cardiff pretty much had to wait for the odd counter-attack, their patience paid off in the 34th minute when both Zhirkov and Alex were caught napping as Burke was allowed to cross into the area for Chopra to head past Hilario for the equaliser.

But while we went in all square at the break, it just felt as if a bit more effort on our part could have seen a better scoreline. Didier Drogba’s overhead went straight at the keeper and Sturridge could have given us a second but we lacked a bit of conviction really.

Our saving grace seemed to come in the form of whatever it was Ancelotti had to say to our players at half-time, because the second-half was a completely different story.  Didier Drogba was the first to test Marshall after the break with a free-kick before Salomon Kalou, who’d replaced a lacklustre Joe Cole at half-time, laid the ball off for his fellow Ivorian to put Ballack through to volley over the Cardiff keeper.

On 69 minutes, it was Didier Drogba again menacing the Cardiff defence to set up our third. At the heart of everything today, Drogba drew in three Cardiff players and a lucky rebound allowed the unmarked Sturridge to slot through the keeper’s legs. Three FA Cup starts for Sturridge and 4 goals – and he was duly rewarded by being subbed for Florent Malouda.

Kalou made it 4-1 in the 86th minute with a surprisingly good header as we secured a respectable scoreline and our place in the quarter finals but make no mistake about it, today was about one man.

Didier Drogba scored one and had a hand (not literally) in two more as he almost single-handedly took Cardiff on. Whilst Frank Lampard was wearing the armband, it was Drogba who really stepped up to the plate in John Terry’s absence. Defensively, we lacked the usual organisation with both Terry and Ashley Cole missing but thanks to Didier Drogba – and whatever Ancelotti had to say at half-time – attack seemed to be our best form of defence in the end.



CHELSEA: Hilario, Alex, Carvalho, Zhirkov, Ballack, Mikel, Lampard, J Cole (Kalou, 45), Sturridge (Malouda, 78), Drogba (Borini, 88)

Unused subs: Turnball, Ivanovic, Bruma, Matic

CARDIFF: Marshall, McNaughton, Gerrard, Gyepes, Kennedy, Burke (McCormack, 77), Rae (Blake, 74), Wildig (Taiwo, 89), Whittingham, Chopra, Bothroyd

Unused subs: Enckelman, Quinn, Matthews, Feeney



CHELSEA: Drogba 2, Ballack 51, Sturridge 69, Kalou 86

CARDIFF: Chopra 34



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


February 2010
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