Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Chelsea 2 - 1 Everton

Back from my short break and straight into a Carling Cup semi against Everton. Still no Cech, Lamps, Maka, Sheva or Terry through injury as well as no Drogs, Kalou or Ess due to early ACN release requirements. Jeez, we're looking very thin on the ground but at least Carvalio is back, Jedi gets to play his last game before he gets ACN'd and Malouda makes an unexpected return

Despite being well under strength, the first half is all Chelsea with Ballack and Jedi having their best games of the season and its no surprise when in 26mins, SWP picks up a clever Malouda pass, swivels in the box and curls a peach past Tim Howard. It was nearly 2 - 0 three minutes later when Joe Cole was tripped on the edge of the Everton box and Ballack's free-kick shaved the paint off the far post with Howard beaten.

Everton came out strongly in the 2nd half (they had to really) but again it could have been 2-0 when SWP shot straight at Howard with the whole goal to aim at. On 59mins, Jedi makes a one footedl challenge on Neville and is shown a straight red - UNBELIEVABLE - Jedi's rep is preceding him now and it looks like he cant even put a tackle in. Unsurprisingly, this is the catalyst for Everton to up their game and on 66mins they equalize when Yakubu lashes in a loose ball after Hilario flaps (again !!) at a James McFadden's free-kick.

Its all kicking off now - Neville floors Malouda for an obvious second yellow but scampers away so quickly that the ref does nothing. Everton continue to press and could have got a second when McFadden cuts through the Blues defence but is cross-shot hits the post.

10mins to go and we're coming back now with a final push so its strange that AG takes off first Pizzaro for Sidwell and then Cole for Ferreira and it looks like we're settling for a 10 man draw with only SWP up front. But it turns out to be a masterstroke and on 92min, Ballack hits a hopeful overhead kick across the box and SWP amazingly out-jumps the 6'2" Lescott to cause him to head into his own net. Lescott could have made amens in the last few seconds when clean through o n goal but his touch let him down and Hilario smothered his tame effort.

So, 2-1 and back to Goodison for the second leg - maybe with Anelka up front :-)
Come on you Blues

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