Sunday, 30 November 2008

Chelsea 1 - 2 Arsenal

Home to Arsenal after a difficult and frustrating week for the Blues. Kalou comes in for Joe Cole who is injured yet again and Ivanovic keeps his palce alongside JT.

In a game that was billed as a must win for the Arse they started really slowly and the Blues bossed the opening 10 mins with Kalou denied an early opener thanks to a very dubious offside. Arsenal were growing in confidence and Cech had to make smart stops from Nasri and Fabregas. Its end to end stuff as Lamps and Deco combine to put Anelka through but the ball skips away. However on 30mins a whipped cross from Bosingwa following a crazy throw out from AlmouniaDjourou. That's it for the first half.

No changes in personnel and the second half starts much as the first as Lamps almost makes it two within 6mins from the edge of the box. Arsenal had done very little when just before the hour Van Persie latched on to a Denilson's pass and while we all waited for the clearest of offside flag to go up he smashed the ball past Cech. Mike Dean pointed at Bosi as if he was the one who played VP onside - clearly not but it was 1 - 1 and worse came 3mins later when AdebayorFabregas' free-kick in to Van Persie who swung a boot to scuff a shot past Chech. From 1 - 0 and cruising to 2-1 and struggling and the introduction of Malouda and Stoch did litlle to suggest we'd get an equaliser.

So fortress Stamford Bridge has been breached again - this is starting to look decidedly dodgy. We have 7 wins from 7 on the road in the Premiership but home its home form that's killing us .... and its the reverse in Europe.

I'm getting worried - COME ON U BLUES !!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Bordeaux 1 - 1 Chelsea

Its away to Bordeaux in a vital matchday 5, following the disappointment of Saturdays 0-0 home draw with Newcastle. Drogs is on the bench as a result of an alleged clandestine meeting between him and Inter Milan officials on Monday. So its Anelka up front with Malouda and Cole on either side. Ivanovich lines up alongside JT and Ballack’s back in the midfield.

The opening 25mins is all Bordeaux with Cech having to make 4 vital saves and JT, Ash and Lamps all booked for reckless tackles. This is a very scrappy Blues performance, with Bordeaux closing down quickly and the omens don’t look good at present. It takes a full 35mins for Chelsea to string a decent move together but the balls squirms away from Lamps and Bordeaux are straight back up the other end winning a corner. Ballack, Lamps and Joe Cole have been largely anonymous and Anleka keeps straying offside. Fortunately the half ends goalless and the Blues can regroup - big team talk needed from Big Phil.

The second half starts with no changes and Bordeaux streaming forward . There's an hour on the clock and Drogba is warming up when the ball breaks to Lamps on the halfway line and he slips a through ball to Anelka that splits open the Bordeaux defence. Anelka carries the ball forward and coolly slots home. That's 1-0 and Anelka's reward is to be replaced by Drogs anyway. Joe Cole has the ball in the net on 67mins but its ruled offside and Joe's booked for his efforts for not playing to the whistle. Bordeaux seem to have lost their edge but on 82mins no one picks up Diarra from a Bordeaux corner and its 1 -1. Not one Chelsea player challenged Diarra's run which was criminal...... but it goes from bad to worse on 85mins as Lamps is booked for a loose challenge and he's off for a second yellow. It very nearly gets even worse as Cavenagi tests Cech from the edge of the box but his shot goes wide. The final whistle comes not a minute too soon and we trudge off thanking our lucky stars we're still in the competition.

A home win against Cluj next week (without the suspended Lamps) is now a must as Roma turned in an impressive 1 - 3 away win.

Monday, 17 November 2008

West Brom 0 - 3 Chelsea

A perfect response to a pathetic display on Wednesday night, though to be fair for 30 mins it looked like this would be a struggle. All the pre match chatter was about Drogs and his midweek coin tossing and the expectation that he would start his last game before suspension. As it turned out, Anelka started up front in another injury disrupted lineup that saw Carlo remaining in goal, Ivanovich playing alongside JT; still no Ash, Ballack or Joe Cole.

West Brom started well with James Morrison going closed with a drive from the edge of the box and Ishmael Miller scuffing a clear chance wide of the post but as the half wore on we started to knock the ball around and Lamps and Malouda both tested Scott Carson in the Baggies goal. On 34mins Bosingwa cut in from the right wit consummate ease and drilled a shot into the top corner that took Carson completely by surprise - 1-0 to the Blues. Within 4mins it was 2-0 as Anelka collected a headed flick on ffrom Malouda and lifted the ball over Carson. Before the half was complete Anelka got his second and sealed the game when he picked up a pass from Kalou and squeezed the ball between Carson and his near post.

Pretty much game over and though the second half began with chances falling to Deco, Anelka and Malouda we simply eased off as time wore on to see out a routine away victory. Now we need a win against Newcastle to start rebuilding the fortress Stamford Bridge mentality - Come on you Blues

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Blackburn 0 - 2 Chelsea

It's more like a swimming pool than a pitch that Chelsea have to deal with up at Eawood Park and they have do it without either of the Cole as Joe's out again and Ash is still not fit. The opening 25mins are all Chelsea and Blackburn are penned back in their own half against an irresistable onslaught. We could be 4 up, with clear chances falling to Kalou, Lamps Malouda and Anelka - the latter being denied a stone wall penalty on 4mins. Robinson is having to have a good game in the Blackburn goal as on on 32mins Anelka is played in by Kalou and he needs firm hands to keep out another good strike. There's standing water everywhere and he ball is holding up badly in the wet - this might even get called off - however, on 35mins Lamps drives in another fierce shot that's parried for a corner. Its been all Chelsea but it takes a fluke to finally beat Robinson when a drive from Bosingwa is deflected in off Anelkas knee.... and that's how a soggy first half comes to a close.

Second half and Blackburn go 4-4-2 introducing Matt Derbyshire to try and respond on a pitch that is at least starting to dry out now. They're starting to cause a few problems but no real goal threats and on 61mins Belletti replaces the injured Kalou so Deco pushes out wide.We'd been looking a bit flat when Lamps pops up opn the edge of the box and nudges the ball to Anelka who lifts the ball over Robinson to make it 2-0. Last throw of the Blackburn dice as they introduce Fowler with 12mins to go. Two mins later Lamps rattles the crossbar with a free kick and Deco just chips over - still all Chelsea and that's how it ends.

That was a bit easy - come on U Blues

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Roma 3 - 1 Chelsea

Off to the Stadio Olympico for what turned out to be a disastrous night in Rome

Round two of our battle with Roma who set up with a front two this time as opposed to a back eight that they offered at the Bridge. For our part, its Bridge and Alex in for Ash and Rickey, Drogs is on the bench but Joe Cole starts alongside Anelkea and Malouda.The opening exchanges are pretty equal but the Blues are shooting on site with Deco, Malouda and Lamps all going close in the first 20mins. Deco and Lamps combine nicely on 29mins and Lamps draws a good save from Doni with a swerving drive. But the opening goal goes to Roma on 36mins against the run of play. Deco gives away a free kick that is simply pushed wide for Cicinho to cross in to the box and Panucci just walked the ball past Cech. Now we have a real game on. Mikel releases Maoluda on 39mins with a pass that splits the Roma defence but his shot is high and wide when Lamps and Cole were better placed but Roma are playing better now and not sitting back at all. The half end 1 -0 to Roma and there's work to do !

Changes for the second half with Belletti and Drogs on for Malouda and Joe Cole (cant believe that - Anleka has done nothing so far) but it looks like 4-4-2 with Belletti on one side and Deco on the other. It makes no difference as within 3mins its 2-0 as Vucinic buries one past Cech from the edge of the box. Roma set up with two banks of four as they defend their lead but there's no need as, on 58mins, Mikel losses out to Vucinic who runs half the length of the pich and then strokes the ball past Cech. Its 3-0 and game over as the Blues press forward but they are leaving themselves open at the back. Baptiste comes on for Totti on the hour and Kalou replaces Bosingwa at wide right as Belletti goes to right back in a return to 4-3-3 but it makes little difference as Roma soak up the pressure and then look to break. On 75mins we get our frst lucky break as a Deco shot looks to bounce back off JT's arm but nothings given so JT passes it into an empty net for 3 -1, surely no heroic come back ? Well not at this rate as on 80mins the ref books Deco for a second time for taking a quick free kick even though no advantage was gained - absolute refereeing insanity ! and fortunately the last meaningfully action on an awful night for the Blues.

So much for booking hotels in Rome :-)