Up to the City of Manchester Stadium for the Robinho vs Chelsea show. Drogba's on the bench as a potential bit player and Joe Cole is wearing the Terry Butcher memorial head bandage after his battles for England earlier in the week.
Less than 15mins on the clock and would you believe it, Rickey give up a soft free kick on the edge of our box, we set up an awful wall and lo and behold, Robinho pops it into the corner - you couldn't write this stuff - could you ?? Well it only lasts 4mins though as a JT header comes loose off Joe Cole and Rickey's there to crash the ball home. Its then end to end stuff for the rest of the half with the Blues going closest as Malouda hits the bar, Anelka plants an open goal chance straight at the keeper and Ash sends one just over the bar from 25 yards. One goal from 7 on target attempts may not be enough here ! We'll need more that one point after the scousers beat Man U earlier this morning.
No changes at half time and the game starts in similar vein - however, there's 52mins on the clock and Chelsea stroke the ball end to end with a flowing move that finds Lamps on the edge of the box and he buries the ball across Joe Hart in the City goal. Another great move on 59mins finds Anelka on penalty spot and is bundled to the ground by Richards - a stonewall penalty denied ! Its still very open as, on 63mins, Rickey saves a certain equalizer by throwing himself full stretch across Stephen Ireland and the Lamps drills in a screamer that is saved by Hart. Another great passage of one touch passing and the ball is slid into Anleka from Joe Cole and even he cant miss from 10 yards 3 -1 to the Blues and on comes Belletti and Drogba (for Joe Cole and Malouda) with 20mins to go.
Its gonna get tight now as JT is loudicrously sent off on 76mins when he pulls down Jo with both Rickey and Belletti covering so he could never be the last man. Vidic got a yellow earlier in the day for something far more blatant and closer to goal - absolute farce but what should we expect from Mark Halsey. Alex is on for Anelka and it really could have been "backs to the wall" but the mighty Blues play out the last 10mins in consummate style. It ends 1 - 3 just to show that showboating, even Brazilian showboating isn't everything.
Come on U BLUES !!!!