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CHELSEA 2-4 Man City: 2 Pens, 2 Red Cards & Not A Hand-shake In Sight!


Well, there’s bad games and then there’s complete disasters – and make no mistake, this was the latter.

The game everyone had waited for, like soap watchers anticipating the next installment after a particularly juicy cliff-hanger, even neutrals wanted to see what would happen when the stars of the show came face-to-face. Never has there been so much focus on the boring ‘meet and greet’ stuff where the eyes of the world waited to see what would happen once Wayne Bridge got level with Terry, and when he did, he didn’t let the press down. Because after we’d already seen a reluctant handshake from Bellamy, who clearly muttered something as he turned his head away in disgust, once it did get to Bridge, he completely ignored the Chelsea skipper’s outstretched hand. So, there was never going to be any love lost in this one but whilst I’d thought this was going to be somewhat of a battle, it appears Ancelotti hadn’t prepared his troops.

Although happy to see Joe Cole in the starting line-up, I have to say I was less than comfortable to see Malouda being played out of position again at left-back in the absence of both Ashley Cole and Yuri Zhirkov. As it turned out though, Malouda wasn’t the weakest link in our defence on the day, as both our first-choice centre-backs looked out of sorts again.

Not a lot to say about the first 40 minutes really, which didn’t live up the hype as we were served up a comfortable, if pretty dull performance. I feel like I could copy and paste these words this seasons but yet again, we dominated possession and failed to make it count. City didn’t have any serious attacks to speak of and seemed happy to limit themselves to breaking up the play where they could.

As for us though, it was a half of shots over the bar, wasted free-kicks and poor final balls – some might call it patient play but realistically it was just bloody frustrating against a City side that had offered very little. But in the 42nd minute it looked as if the ‘patience’ had paid off with Joe Cole assisting Frank Lampard with a lovely ball slotted through the defence for Lampard to almost stroll on to and put past Given.

But if we thought we would push on from there, particularly with another chance presenting itself to Lampard, we’d have been a bit premature because he fannied about long enough for City to send the ball down-field. A naïve back-header from Mikel fell perfectly for Carlos Tevez to take on Carvalho and Terry, turning them in the box to make complete mugs out of not just them but the slow to react Hilario (who we know couldn’t catch a cold) as it just about trickled into the net. So, 1-1 at the break and City no doubt wondering how the hell they’d managed it.

Second half and with City scoring again just six minutes in, it was starting to feel a bit surreal. Another counter-attack saw Bellamy losing Mikel to hit the ball across Hilario, slotting it into the far corner for one of those ‘what the f***?’ moments. They’d barely had the ball since we kicked off and yet here they were 2-1 up with less than an hour gone. The words ‘caught napping’ just don’t do justice to our preferred style of defending for this game.

Ancelotti’s response was to replace Joe Cole with Daniel Sturridge and Belletti for Mikel although as it turned out, despite his errant header in the first half, Mikel might well have been the safer option because on 75 minutes, Belletti was adjudged to have brought Barry down in the box to concede not just a penalty but a red card as well – not quite as blatant as Zabaleta’s attempt to have his opponents penalised with his imaginary card but Barry certainly didn’t come out of his attempt in the ref’s book anyway.

So, Tevez vs Hilario for the penalty was a no-brainer as bizarrely we found ourselves 3-1 behind and a man down. And if any hopes of turning the game round had dwindled before that fiasco, they well and truly dissolved when Michael followed Belletti down the tunnel courtesy of a second yellow for a foul on Tevez. By this point, I have to admit it almost felt worth it to see the little Argie twat in pain.

It was inevitable we’d concede again once we were down to 9 men, particularly seeing as we insisted on pushing forward, so it was no surprise to seeing another counter-attack end with Bellamy slotting home their fourth. Thankfully, even that didn’t deter us and we managed to bring the scoreline down a little courtesy of a Frank Lampard penalty following Barry’s foul on Anelka.

Overall then – a bloody nightmare!


CHELSEA: Hilario, Malouda, Terry, Carvalho (Kalou, 68), Ivanovic, Mikel (Belletti, 60), Lampard, Ballack, J Cole (Sturridge, 60), Anelka, Drogba

Unused subs: Turnball, Ferreira, Matic, Alex

MAN CITY: Given, Bridge (Santa Cruz, 78), Lescott, Kompany, Richards, Zabaleta, de Jong, Barry, Johnson (Wright-Phillips, 60), Bellamy, Tevez (Sylvinho, 90)

Unused subs: Taylor, Onuoha, Toure, Ibrahim


CHELSEA: Lampard 42, 90 (pen)

MAN CITY: Tevez 45, 76 (pen), Bellamy 51, 87



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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