Saturday, 28 February 2009

Chelsea 2 - 1 Wigan

Down to earth with a bump after the Juventus game as we face Wigan at home. Mancienne comes in at right back for the suspended Bozzy but otherwise its Wednesdays team.

Its a really slow start from the Blues in a disappointing opening 15mins. The first clear chance of the game goes to Wigan as Scharner breaks free between Alex and Ash but his shot is screwed wide across Cech. Not good from the blues - we're clearly suffering from the midweek exertions. With 20mins on the clock Ash clears a Bramble header off the line and then JT blocks the follow up. Its all Wigan at the moment and Guss is rightly fuming. Finally a decent attacking spell when fisrt Drogba drives wide and from the resulting corner, Mikel tests Kirkland with a stinging volley from the edge of the box. That's got us going and on 25mins a lovely exchange of passes finds Lamps clear in the box, his cross is headed clear but only as far as JT who scissor kicks home a volley from the edge of the box. That's 1-0 and normal service is resumed. On 36mins Chelsea flood forward after a Wigan corner and a peach of a through ball from Kalou finds Lamps in the box but he delays his shot which is saved by Kirkland and Ballack is flagged offside when he heads the loose ball. Right on half time Drogba is fouled 25yrds out, picks himself up to take the kick, much to Ballacks displeasure, but his effort dips too late to trouble Kirkland so the half ends 1-0.

No changes at half time and Wigan start brightly again but on 50mins Lamps breaks free and slots Drogba through - his shot beats Kirkland but is cleared off the line by Bramble. Wigan wont lie down though and whilst its only 1-0 there's a nervy edge around the bridge. Ballack's done very little again and you have to think that Essien's imminent return will have to see him off. Bruce throws on Rodeaga in a move to 4-4-2 but immediately Lamps lifts a through ball for the Drog who feeds in Anelka but Bramble clears. With 15mins to go Belletti comes on for Kalou in what looks like our own version of 4-4-2 but again the Blues look like they're running out of steam. Guss makes another change with Queresma replacing Mancienne and Belletti slotting into right back but in the confusion a whipped cross from that side finds Kapo ahead of Anelka at the near post to head the equalizer. But wait for it, as the stadium announcer calls 3mins to go, Ballack heads on a hopeful hoof into the box and Lamps is on hand to head past Kirkland.

Relief all round the bridge but how many times will Lamps save our season ?

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Chelsea 1 - 0 Juventus

Big Guss gets his first home game and first taste of a European night at the bridge at the same time. Its the same team that beat the Villa apart from the return of Ash at left back. The Tinkerman gets a warm welcome back which is nice to hear.

The blues start brightly, as we did against Villa, and within 5mins Bozzy tests Buffon with a left-foot drive and 4mins later the Drog heads over from a Bozzy cross. On 12 mins, Kalou wriggles and then threads a ball through to the Drog who easily slots home. It should have been 2-0 just 3mins later when the Drog head wide from a Lamps corner when hitting the target looked much easier. Its all Chelsea but Cech is called into action to save from Del Piero with 22mins on the clock however on the half hour Ash tests Buffon with a 30-yard drive. The half ends 1-0.

No changes at half time but within 5mins Camoranesi goes off with what looks like a hamstring problem injury. On 53mis, the Drog is brought downb for what looks like a nailed on penalty but the ref waves away the protests. Its much the same as the first half with lots of nice football but few clear cut chances. An hour gone and a free-kick from Del Piero tests Cech and JT has to clear the fumble. Its all getting a bit scrappy now as time runs down but with 3 mins to go Anelka nearly doubles the lead with a 20-yard effort that is just inches wide. A big scare in stoppage time as Nedved shaves the post with Cech well beaten but it ends 1 - 0 to the mighty Blues.

Wigan at home next - slightly different challenge that one - Come on u Blues

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Villa 0 - 1 Chelsea

First games in charge dont get much togher than this - away to a resurgent Aston Villa but Guss goes with Anelka and the Drog but in a standard 4-3-3. No Ash through suspension so Ferreria slots in to left back.

Its a bright start and the Drog looks up for it as first Drogba and then Lamps threaten the Villa goal. Cech flaps at a Milner cross and the ball breaks to Heskey but his shot is high and wide and not too handsome. With 20mins on the clock, Lamps dances between Davies and Petrov before sliding a pass through to Anelka who lifts the ball over Friedel into the corner of the net. Its all Chelsea now and Friedel is called into action again to stop a thunderous header from JT connecting with a corner from Lamps. On 33mins a suspect freekick gives Ashley Young a chance to level things but his shot hits the bar and Heskey heads wide. The half ends 0 - 1 to the Blues.

Villa look more up for it as the second half gets underway but JT has the best chance of the opening minutes when he again connects with a corner from Lamps but Petrov clears off the line. On 54mins, Agbonlahor slips in behind Alex but Cech saves well from his cross come shot. Villa are much improved but much to O'Neils annoyance, the Blues keep slowing the game down to break up their rhythm. As the half draws to a close The Drog shoots over and a nice interchange between Bozzy and Drogba sets the defender free but Friedel saves from close range. So it ends 0 -1 to the Blues and Gus is off to a winning start. Now its just the small matter of Juventus on Wednesday.

Come on U Blues

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Watford 1 - 3 Chelsea (FA Cup 6th Rnd)

Ray Wilkins takes temporary charge for this FA Cup clash and its a pretty strange line up, even for a game against Watford. Not so much he choice of Drogba and Anelka up front (with Kalou) but its a back 4 that introduces Mancienne at left back (the boy's a centre half) with Alex and Ivanovich as the central two. At least Cech is back between the sticks and there's Quersma is on the bench.

Inside 20secs Mancienne breaks forward and releases the Drog and his cross is just ahead of the on rushing Kalou. On 7mins, Lamps feeds the Drog this time and he rifles a shot that is palmed away for a corner. Its a bight start with lots of neat possession anmd 5mins later another free kick this time reaches Kalou completely unmarked as the Watford defence fail to get out as a unit but he heads behind both Ballack and the Drog. Half way through the half another Lamps free kick is palmed away by Loach in the Watford goal but thus far its all been set pieces or long range shots - there's no real penetration or anyone capable of getting round the back. As the half progresses Watford continue to grow in confidence and threaten a few times but it ends 0-0. Over to Ray to make some changes ? Doubt it

So no changes (and probably no plan B) as we start the second half. A superb long ball from Ivanovich finds the Drog on 48mins but his shot is well saved by Loach and 2mins later Lamps hits a swerving 25yrd shot just wide. An hour gone and a skewed cross from Kalou is headed back across the goal by Anelka only for Ballack to miss from 3 yrds out in even worse fashion that JT last week - pathetic. On 68mins the inevitable happens, everyone's up for our 13th corner and with people only trotting back, a lofted ball reaches Thomas Priskin who looks well offside but he runs on to chip over the advancing Cech. Wilkins' response is to take off Mikel and introduce Stoch - looks like its 4-4-2 but is it too little too late. Fortunately not, because its two Anelka goals in 80seconds; the first from from our 15th corner with and overhead kick from 5yrds out and the second being a nudged header from am Ashley Cole cross. With 8mins to go Belletti comes on to replace the hapless Ballack. On 90mins its almost all undone as Jobi McAnuff almost steers on past Cech but the Blues got straight up the other end for Anleka to squeeze home his hatrick.

Trailing with 15mins to go, it was quite an effort to turn this one around. Its Villa next week so come on U Blues !!

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Its so long Phil...... and welcome "the Dink".

So Guss is the man - at least until the end of the season - and despite the stories of player power and dressing room discontent perhaps he's a big enough character to grab them by the scruff of the neck turn things around.
We hope so - Come on U Blues

Monday, 9 February 2009

Scolari sacked - its deja vu at the bridge

OK, so the performances have been very poor but the injuries have conspired against him.

But hang on..... we were awesome at the start of the season ...... so what happened ? Steve Clarke left, that's what happened and as nice a Ray Wilkins is as a bloke who does a passable Uncle Fester impersonation, he lacks the training ground experience.

Its not Scolari's team (apart from Deco - remember that Bozzy was coming anyway), but clearly he's had problems in the dressing room and on the training ground. This is a huge mess and please tell me the rumours about Grant and Hiddink are just a joke.

Come on U Blues

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Chelsea 0 - 0 Hull City

A big home game this one after the disappointment of Sunday and it sees the debut of the on loan Queresma. Rickey is still out with a hamstring problem so Alex starts alongside JT but the worse news is that Cech is out with a back problem. So in comes Hilario (yes, that's right Hilario ,,,, because we gave Carlo to Tottenham ...... so we're left with a Calamity Jane and 12year old as cover).

It starts at a cracking pace with a chance falling to JT from a Lamps free kick in the opening minute but somehow he side foots over the bar from barely 3 yards out. Queresma is looking more lively in the first 15mins than Malouda has looked all season and the ball is being zipped around but as the half wears on Hull are starting to look more threatening and we're restricted to long range shots and free kicks - Ballack and Lamps go close .... but no cigar and the half ends 0-0 to mutters of discontent.

No changes at half time and a bright 10mins peters out and Hull nearly snatch a lead as Craig Fagin breaks clear but his shot is easily collected by Hilario. Scolari has seen enough so its Belletti coming on for the Jedi but Hull continue to grow in confidence - closing us down and moving the ball more effectively than we can. For the last 25mins it will be the Drog up front with Anelka as he replaces Queresma. It makes little difference and Dean Marney breaks free for the best chance of the game but his shot is driven wide. Kalou has a shot blocked by the hand of Andy Dawson - but a a clear penalty denied. Deco replaces Ballack as a last throw of the dice with 15mins to go. It would be harsh for Hull to not get anything from this as they've worked tirelessly to close down every inch of our possession. As we enter the last 10mins, Villa are still one up at Blackburn and if it stays like this we'll drop to 4th in the league. Kalou goes down on the edge of the "d" with 4mins to go but Drogba hits it wide. With 2mins to go Fagen and Marney break through for Hull but JT shepherds them away for a corner. Another scare survived and there are 3mins of added time but it comes to nothing. The game ends 0 - 0, boo's ring out around Stamford Bridge and we're down to 4th place.

What's going on !!

RIP John Martyn

Sometimes a song just resonates with you and that's how it was when I first heard "may you never" by John Martyn who sadly died in Ireland on 29 January 2009. I cant lay claim to being a big fan but the hairs on the back of my neck always stood up when I heard that song.

Paying tribute to Martyn, BBC Radio 2's folk presenter Mike Harding said: "John Martyn was a true original, one of the giants of the folk scene".

Strangely I always thought is needed a harmony vocal so i was pleasently surprised to find this on You Tube - Enjoy

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Liverpool 2 - 0 Chelsea (no small thanks to Mike Riley)

A game that look destined for a goalless draw turned on a ludicrous decision just after the hour from Mike Riley to "straight red" Lamps for a tackle that was like a foul on him by Alonso. Despite throwing on Deco and the Drog (for the largely ineffective Malouda and Anelka) to stem the inevitable red tide following the dismissal the Blues finally scummed to a couple of strikes from Torres in the final two minutes.

That's the title chase over and it'll be a fight with Villa to avoid 4th place.

See the BBC match report here <<<