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CHELSEA 7-1 Villa: Easy Does It Ahead Of United


That’ll teach me to make predictions won’t it?

Ok, I know we’d done Pompey 5-0 midweek but there’s no way anyone could’ve seen us dicking Villa in quite the manner we did. Personally, I thought we’d be lucky to come away from this one with a draw, having said that, I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to be proved completely wrong.

The starting line-up raised a few eyebrows, maybe not so much because Alex, Joe Cole and Anelka all started but more because Drogba didn’t. If I’m honest, I couldn’t understand it because firstly if there were any doubts about his fitness he shouldn’t be on the bench but if there weren’t any injury concerns then why on earth wouldn’t he be played against Villa? If, as suggested, he was being rested because we’ve got United next week, surely any risk of dropping points in this game would kind of cancel next week’s result out anyway? Still, it was all incidental whingeing on my part as it turned out.

The opening minutes didn’t give much away as to which way the game would go but there was good pressure from Villa, always pushing us back, looking to force errors but maybe a little against the run of play, it was us making the breakthrough courtesy of a seemingly re-awakened Frank Lampard. Nicolas Anelka, who seemed to have benefited from his recent rest, cut back for Malouda to put it across the face of goal for Lampard at full stretch to somehow get on the end of it.

As ever though, despite the opener signaling a good little spell for us, with the midfield linking up nicely with Anelka, we were struggling to do anything of note against a resolute Villa, who were quite happy to drop off and invite us on to them. And you could see their point, when they caught us with an almost carbon copy of our opener as Ashley Young whipped in a cross for John Carew to equalise on the half hour.

Quite amusingly, at this point in the game I found myself thinking ‘oh for the days where 1-0 would do us.’ Ironic as it turned out but at 1-1 I couldn’t help thinking we need to box games off a bit better in the first 45 minutes because the joints usually seize up in the second half. Still, we were helped on our way to doing that when Collins sent Zhirkov tumbling in the box just before the break and with Lampard stepping up to take the penalty, we had our lead back in place for half-time.

The start of the second half belied what was to come really, with a lively start for Villa seeing us restricted to a bit of counter-attacking before our midfield really got into its stride. Ancelotti’s slightly amended formation had Deco and Mikel controlling the midfield allowing Lampard a freer role behind Anelka – and it paid dividends with both Lampard and Malouda getting the sort of possession they couldn’t help but score from – and score they certainly did.

Before the hour, Deco shrugged off Milner to find Zhirkov, and the Russian cut it back for Malouda to volley in our third. Five minutes later, a hint of Brazilian one-touch stuff ended in Zhirkov tripped in the box by Dunne and Lampard stepped up to the spot to claim his hat-trick. So, 4-1, game over but we were far from ready to take our foot off the pedal. Nicolas Anelka, who had a really good game despite failing to get on the score sheet, started the move that ended in our fifth with Lampard turning provider for Malouda to curl into the top corner.

The last quarter saw Ballack come on for Deco and Kalou and van Aanholt replace Joe Cole and Zhirkov, before Anelka, who’d just been denied by the feet of Friedel, unselfishly finished off some impressive footwork with an assist for Kalou. But if we thought 6-1 was enough for the shift, apparently no-one out there in a blue shirt agreed because it was Malouda and Lampard combining again that saw super Frank notch up his 151st and another 20+ season to end it 7-1.

Overall then, bloody outstanding. We needed a convincing performance, not only to cement our 5-0 win midweek but also to pick us up ahead of Old Trafford next week and this performance exceeded any of our expectations.

Let’s just hope we’ve saved something for United.


CHELSEA: Cech, Terry, Alex, Zhirkov (van Aanholt, 76), Ferreira, Mikel, Lampard, Deco (Ballack, 72), J Cole (Kalou, 76), Malouda, Anelka

Unused subs: Turnball, Drogba, Sturridge, Bruma.

VILLA: Friedel, Collins, L Young, Dunne, Warnock, Sidwell, Milner, Petrov (Downing, 63), Carew (Delfouneso, 63), Agbonlahor (Beye, 71), A Young.

Unused subs: Guzan, Cuellar, Davies C, Salifou.


CHELSEA: Lampard 15, 44 (pen), 62 (pen), 91, Malouda 57, 68, Kalou 83

VILLA: Carew 29



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


March 2010
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