Monday, September 24, 2007

The Normal One and his ordinary team

Harsh or not, Chelsea were never really in it and were never going after more than a draw anyway. Manchester United beat them solidly and the red card did nothing more than distract from the inevitable result anyway: Chelsea fought but in the end were ordinary.

The first 20 minutes saw some amazing technical football. Pinpoint 50 yard passes, excellent movement, trickery; it all made for a tempting encounter. But soon after the game began to grind as it became clear that United were getting the better of the rub. Slowly, and red card aside, Chelsea began to retreat into a shell and as the minutes passes play more and more for a draw.

The crowd said it all as they began to sign their favorite Mourinho song and call the team “Steve Clark’s Blue and White Army”. Why wasn’t Clark, a man more than capable, given his chance? I can guarantee the players would have reacted better.

Jon Obi Mikel’s red card was used as a talking point for the disappointing result, but it was just a way to deflect the barbs. Chelsea went down a goal on the stroke of half time and spend the first 25 minutes of the second half swimming around the pitch soaking up United’s pressure and not even looking like getting in a scoring position. The funny thing is that Chelsea were already starting to do that before the red card.

I’ll give the Chelsea players some credit, they came out fighting. Even Andiry Shevchenko (who had more to prove than anyone) and his worn out legs gave it a go but it never jelled, did it? He got no support as Essien and the rest of midfield kept their distance from the front man, guess the only support he has is in the directors box, maybe Ballack will support him when he returns. For the rest of the players, I am sure they would have traded the billions for Mourinho in a second.

The stats tell it all: United were ahead on possession, shots on target, and corners were 10-1. And they were ahead in all these categories before the red card. The most telling stat, Chelsea had one single shot on target, can anyone remember who it was?

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Blogger tayga said...

You must have watched a different game from the one I saw. Prior to Chelsea being reduced to 10 men, the teams took turns at dominating territory and possession. After the red card, Chelsea were definitely on the back foot.

However, without a dodgy red card and poor time-keeping from the ref, along with him being suckered by Saha's dive, would ManU have won? I don't think they would.

I predicted a 1-0 ManU win for this match but they weren't as good as I expected and Chelsea weren't as bad. Arsenal don't have anything to worry about just yet.

9/24/2007 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Makalele with the shot on target? If you can call it a shot.

9/24/2007 3:23 PM  
Blogger Brizoe said...

Its hard to play against 12 men, the ref has proberly got his season ticket now for man u,
as for chelsea well didnt they do well 10 men most of the game and held man u all game and as for the goals they got in EXTRA EXTRA time and saha's dive, Man u the better side with there 12 players or chelsea with what they done with 10, well done boys

9/24/2007 6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh..glory hunters..I admit it wasn't necessary for Saha to dive but there was still contact anyways and it would have been a penalty. The red card was justified. Mikel made a two-footed lunge dangerously.

9/25/2007 3:20 PM  
Blogger Rio said...

I have to agree with Tayga on this. ManU seemed really wanted to come out and pwn Chelsea at home, beat the dog while it's wet you know, but didn't look all that impressive. And Chelski post JM looked more offensive. Once you're 10 men there isn't much choice but to bunker, but before that they looked dangerous, and that's without Drogba diving for deadballs.

I don't know what's the deal with Shev man. Is he out of shape or just old?

9/27/2007 2:12 PM  

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