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.