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CHELSEA 0-1 Inter Milan: Mourinho Still Costing Us In Europe


Well that was bloody painful.

Yet again we let Jose Mourinho come between us and the Champions League and ‘sick as a dog’ doesn’t even cover it. I suppose the only saving grace this time is that we won’t be whingeing like bitches about it being because of ‘this’ decision or ‘that’ decision’ because we have no-one to blame but ourselves.

At least we hung on longer in this game than the first leg, managing more than 3 minutes without conceding. We even started off fairly ok, with Didier Drogba trying to muscle his way through a couple of defenders in the early minutes before Malouda was blocked off in the area. Penalty? Nope. Free-kick on the edge of the area at least? Nope……I’m not getting into it though.

Back to the action then – if that’s what you could call Eto’o rolling around on the pitch. You wouldn’t have thought a brush of Mikel’s shoulder could do quite so much damage but apparently the pain spread right up through the Inter striker’s face such are Mikel’s biceps these days. Poor bloke looked as if he got caught by the Stamford Bridge sniper just as Zhirkov blocked him off as well, you just can’t odds that sort of luck on a pitch eh?

There was a bit of football played as well and a tidy ball in from Sneijder saw Milito blocked off by Alex, who’d kept Carvalho on the bench for the night. Lucio’s studs shaved Malouda’s face and this was about the point where you just knew Didier Drogba was going to have one of ‘those’ nights as he waded in with his own special brand of peacekeeping skills.

Not that even Drogba was going to compete with Eto’o on the theatrical front though, because a disagreement with the linesman’s decision saw his tantrum rewarded with a score of 8 – my mistake, it was actually a yellow card the ref held up on this occasion. Not to be outdone though, when Drogba was flattened minutes later, it was John Terry’s turn to find his pace at last, sprinting halfway down the pitch to voice his opinion on the challenge. And so, with just twenty minutes gone it really was all getting a bit niggly.

Patience really isn’t a Chelsea supporter’s strong point either and the more irritable they were on the pitch, the more it seemed to ripple through the crowd. And what was more irritating than anything else at this point was that you just knew we were playing against a Mourinho side by the swagger – because it didn’t seem to matter how we were playing because Inter were the ones with all the confidence.

On 25 minutes, Didier Drogba’s eyes were like saucers, bearing down on goal, only for Maicon to block his shot but with half an hour gone, there really wasn’t very much to write home about from either side. Eto’o did have an opportunity with a lovely ball floated into the box from Maicon, but as it sailed over Terry’s head Eto’o – obviously still distracted by the wounds inflicted on him – was way too slow to react.

Still, we seemed to have woken up enough by this time to put a bit of pressure on and some great footwork from Malouda saw him create a chance for himself, only for Samuel to provide the block this time. Then stretching Inter again, Anelka picked the ball up in the box but couldn’t get enough on it and saw it go out for a corners. The usual contentious decision followed, with Samuel all but bear-hugging Drogba in the area. Fortunately for Mourinho, he obviously fare’s better with the officials these days because even once Drogba had hit the floor, the decision wasn’t given.

We probably could have done without the half-time break at this point but once play resumed, we initially seemed to pick up where we left off but for all our efforts we were missing the killer ball. Ten minutes in and it was all getting a bit edgy as Didier Drogba conceded the foul for holding his man back, then a yellow for the slightest of touches on Motta, who milked it just to make sure. But we were letting Inter take advantage and Sneijder definitely did that, with a lovely ball to Pandev, who beat 3 of our defenders before Zhirkov got across him with a fantastic piece of defending. The corner from this saw us get into a bit of a mess although Turnball had got himself into a good position to save well.

The hour mark saw Joe Cole waiting on the touchline and although it could in truth have been any of our midfielders taken off, it was Ballack’s number held up. Inter were playing in and around our area by this time and it was getting increasingly uncomfortable to watch, even more so when the ball was spun over to Milito and with no flag raised it really looked as it could be all over for us. Mourinho certainly thought so anyway because despite his promise to show ‘no emotion’, his arse was already out of his seat in preparation before his dramatic swing of the hands as Milito shot wide.

We were conceding niggly free-kicks left-right-and-centre now and the Inter support was showing us up. Every breakaway Inter got was agonizing to watch and you could just see what was coming. Kalou came on for Zhirkov with around 15 minutes to go, with Malouda shifting back again – as if that was going to help. To be fair, Kalou did run into the area almost immediately before going down but his second shot didn’t exactly sustain the initial optimism as it made its way into the upper tiers.

And then we had the sod’s law moment. Eto’o, who’d spent the majority of his game rolling around on the floor, finally managed to stay on his feet long enough – to score – and there was never going to be a way back for us after that. Because this isn’t the Chelsea of old, the one who never knew when it was beaten, the one who’d never give up until the ref had pulled his whistle back out of his mouth. No, this was a Chelsea side who in all honesty, probably only believed in themselves for about ten minutes out of the ninety.

Oh and apparently no Champions League exit for Chelsea is complete these days without the Didier Drogba red card, so the ref duly obliged when the Ivorian was judged to have stamped on Motta in the box.

Still, Turnball managed to save us any further embarrassment by stopping Eto’o from getting a second right at the end and Mourinho made a swift exit before the whistle rather than push his luck waiting for ‘his song’ and as for Inter – they celebrated as if it was the final, but then it’s little wonder they’re dizzy getting so far in the competition for a change.

Overall though, I can bitch as much as I like but the truth is, we weren’t good enough. Mourinho might have pissed me off with all his talk about it being his team but the sad fact is, even up against a pretty uninventive Inter Milan, we absolutely looked like a side who’d been dragged out week-after-week, month-after-month, year-after-year. And it just feels like it’s time to stop flogging this particular dead horse.


CHELSEA: Turnbull; Ivanovic, Carvalho, Terry, Zhirkov (Kalou 72); Ballack (J Cole 62) , Mikel, Lampard; Anelka, Malouda; Drogba.

INTER MILAN: Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Zanetti; Cambiasso, Motta; Pandev (Stankovic 74), Sneijder (Mariga 84), Eto’o; Milito.



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


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