Monday, 27 October 2008

Chelsea 0 - 1 Liverpool

It was going to happen sooner or later but we really hoped it wasn't gonna happen against a big 4 side. After over 4 & 1/2 years and 86 games the home record fell to a deflected Alonso shot and a Liverpool defence that owed a lot to the way Roma set up earlier in the week. Without Torres up front, the omens looked good for the Blues, however it was the same front 3 of Malouda, Anelka and Kalou that were ineffective against Roma so it was unlikely to be a goal-fest

We started brightly and the deflected goal came against the run of early play but once they were ahead Liverpool set up a really strong defence. The rest of first half was all Chelsea but the final balls were poor and there was no real pemetration. Deco dispossed Gerrard with 9mins of the half to go but his shot went angonisingly inches wide.... and that was that. The second half was much the same and after an early Liverpool surge, it was all Chelsea again but apart from a possible penalty when Reina brought down Malouda, there was little to worry the Reds defence. Franco di Santo and Juliano Belletti came on for Malouda and Kalou but we had to wait until the 72nd min for a real chance when Cole latched on to a superb through ball from di Santo but he sliced wide. It was the last real threat of the half and we trudged away on the final whistle thinking that, although the record had to go one day, why did it have to go to Liverpool and in such a limp wristed fashion.

A major response is required away to Hull on Wednesday - come on you Blues !!

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Chelsea 1 - 0 Roma

After the demolition of Boro at the weekend it was hard to believe this would be as tricky as it looked - this was after all a worse Roma side than the one Man U put 6 past and they were coming to the Bridge off the back of a terrible run in Seria A. The Blues set up pretty much as they closed on Saturday with Deco starting alongside Lamps and the Jedi holding. Bridge came in for the injured Ashley Cole but still no sight of Joe.... and the start was pretty bright. Clearly Roma were here to defend with 3 holding midfield players but within 8 mins of the kick-off Lamps cracked a 20-yard volley but Doni safely pushed it away. Kalou latched onto to a cute Deco pass 20mins later but his shot was more like a back-pass. Lamps cracked a rolled Deco free kick against the crossbar but this was starting to look dodgy. Malouda was nowhere an Jedi was giving the ball away as the Blues continued to hit an 8 man Roma wall.

Second half and Big Phil replaced Malouda with Belletti and it seemed to inject some new urgency as a Kalou header brought a great save from Doni. Things were getting desperate as even Jedi tried his luck from Belletti range but it went high wide and not so handsome. On 67mins Anelka deflected another Jedi shot over the bar when it was way easier to score and at that point we we all getting worried. We shouldn't have bothered, with 12mins to go, JT powered his way ahead of his marker to connect with a Lamps corner to make it 1 -0. Lamps nearly cracked in a free kick to make it two in the 83rd minute but Doni tipped the ball over.

So the mighty Blues navigate a tricky tie and now all eyes are on Liverpool at home - come on u Blues !!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Middlesborough 0 - 5 Chelsea

Its a team decimated by injuries that makes its way up to the Riverside and the only good news is that JT is passed fit as well as the return of Deco, albeit on the bench. Chelsea start without Cech, both Coles, Essien, Drogba, Rickey and Ballack so in come Bridge and Alex with Belletti in a midfield role. That said, its Chelsea from the start with loads of good possession. On 13mins a lovely sweeping move funds bridge wide on the left and his cross drops to belleti and after a few bobbles drops to Kalou to open tne scoring. With 23mins on the clock, Malouda skips round the Boro right back and squares across the 6 yard box with Lamps baring down on goal but his flick drifts just wide. Malouda and Mikel are playing really well though on 30min its Malouda who wastes another great opportunity when he screws a cross / shot well wide after latching on to a lovely through ball from Bridge. This is beautiful football from the blues but for all the possession, its still only 1-0 and that's how the half ends.

No changes at half time and Boro start much brighter with Dowing blasting over from the edge of tne box. Within a minute, Malouda is up the other end and slips into the Boro box only for him to push the ball wide when a simple pass to Anelka was the more obvious option. It matters not a jot as Belletti buries a screamer from fully 30yds on 50mins. Its 3-0 within 2mins as Kalou side foots home a brilliant cut back on the volley from Malouda. Surely game over. Its exhibition stuff on 65mins as a wonderful move ends with Kalou delivering a deftly weighted cross on to the diving head of Frank Lampard. The travelling blues fans rotate their chants from "boring boring chelsea" to "are you Tottenham in disguise ?". There's still 22mins left and its 5-0 as Turnbull spills a vicious Anelka shot on to the post only for it to rebound to Malouda to slot home. Anelka nets 2mins later but its offside and just to make things worse for Boro, on comes Deco. I said someone was gonna get a pasting soon and it ends 0 - 5 to the mighty Blues. This could have been much worse for Boro and with 7 recognized first team players missing. Lets hope more are back for Roma on Wednesday.

Come on U Blues

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Chelsea 2 - 0 Aston Villa

Back home after the exertions of Europe which added to our injury list - no Alex today and he's replaced by Ivanovic alongside JT. The one bright note is the the return of Joe Cole who starts upfront alongside Anelka and Malouda.
We start at a cracking pace, moving the ball well and running Villa all over the shop - Joe looks very lively. Its just over 15mins when Lamps gets his head on an Anelka cross but it drifts wide. However, we're in front 2mins later as Malouda finds Lamps who in turn sets Joe Cole free inside the area to bury the ball past Friedel. Anelka goes close 3mins later when he wrests the ball from Curtis Davis and crashes a 25yrd shot off the crossbar. Lamps has a free kick well saved by Friedel before, on 41mis, he sets Ash free down the left who cuts back only for Ballack to drive straight at Friedel. Fortunately Anelka is on hand to net the rebound at the second attempt. The half ends 2-0 and we should have even more.
Villa make 2 changes - well they had to really, as Milner and Cuellar are on whilst Franco di Santo comes in for Anelka. Its more of the same though and within 5mins Joe Cole finds di Santos but the youngster shoots tamely at Friedel. Petrov launches himself at Joe Cole on 52mins and takes his ankle - if that was Jedi there would be a flurry of Villa players waving imaginary cards. Joe's trying to run it off but looks in trouble and he's off within 2mins to be replaced by Kalou. Ballack drives straight at Friedel and then a Lamps cross skids infront of di Santos and Malouda. A lovely exchange of passes between Lamps, Ballack and Kalou sets Kalou free but his shot deflects over the bar - great football. There's 8mins to go and Belletti comes on for Malouda who's probably had his best game to date in a blue shirt.
Its not being unkind to say that Villa could have been on the wrong side of a 5-0 drubbing today - we were that good
Come on U Blues

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

CFR Cluj 0 - 0 Chelsea

Round 2 of the Champions League against the little known CFR Cluj of Roumania who won their domestic double last year having gained promotion in their previous 2 seasons after being bought by a wealthy benefactor. They're a side packed with Portuguese and Argentine talent that beat a strong Roma side 2 - 1 in round 1 so we should expect a tough test. Its pretty much the same side as Saturday with Bridge coming in for Cole on the left as the only change.
The opening 20 - 30mins settle into a familiar pattern of Cluj sitting tight with 10 behind the ball and then breaking quickly. As the half progresses they are getting more confident and this is looking tricky. Few clear cut chances for either side but the better strikes on goal are coming from Cluj but the half still ends 0-0 and Scolari does not look happy.
Its Anelka on for Kalou as we go 4-4-2 in the second half. Immediately things look better until on 55mins Drogba stretches for a whipped in malouda cross and falls awkwardly. His hand goes straight up and he's stretchered off to be replaced by Belletti. That really looked bad. It takes a while to get our shape back and soon Bridge is marauding down the left but still clear chances are hard to come by. With 15mins to go big Phil makes his final change with di Santo coming on for Malouda. Cluj have their best chance with 10mins on the clock when Trica dances across the edge of our box and the shaves the outside of the post with a snap shot. Cluj are growing in confidence again and believe they can win this. On 86mins they nearly do as Perreria spins past Bosingwa and forces a sharp save from Cech. Straight up the other end and Anelka screws a shot wide when uh would have been easier to steer the ball in on the volley. Amazingly there's only 2mins of stoppage time - Drogba was down for at least 3mins - but it ends 0 - 0 and big Phil will be happy with that but not with the growing injury list (the early news about Drogba is not good as reports say knee ligaments ancillary a possible fracture)