When QPR was happy time-wasting for the last half hour despite the two-man advantage at home, you’d get the measure of Chelsea’s performance today. When you realise that Chelsea had 60% possession in the second half despite playing with 9 men at Loftus Road, you’d see the kind of shift the team put in. I’ve never seen a team with 9 men play with such conviction and attitude as we did today. Hats off to the boys!
Yeah we lost a game on a day when we should have taken advantage of Man Utd’s annihilation at Old Trafford. It almost feels cheap to take about the result when we’ve produced such an outstanding effort. To play with 10 men in an away game is terrible. To have that man sent off in the first half is even worse. To have two men sent off in the first half of an away game is like suicide.
With a referee who came into the pitch with a determination of ‘let’s see how Chelsea gets a point today’, Chelsea could have easily shut up shop looking for the counter attacking opportunities. With nine men, it’s impossible for any team to dictate the game as you’re not going to see the ball. Chelsea though, took the game to QPR. They cared a damn about QPR’s referee, they didn’t bother how many players were on the pitch or where they were playing. They played like champions. They wanted to win this game. The result is a shame but football is known to be unfair, time to time.
Andre Villas Boas: When players play poorly or carelessly, I tend to blame the manager as his players normally reflect him and his expectations. On the same logic, my unreserved praise for Andre Villas Boas for the way Chelsea played today. I thought he made the correct substitutions and at the right times. Chelsea played with a great team ethic and the credit should go to AVB.
The whole Chelsea team: They simply rocked! They were unlucky. I’m so proud to be a Chelsea fan. This is one of the reasons which attracted me to Chelsea back in those days. We simply never give up. We give it our best shot. We win and lose as a team. We play like champions.
Man Utd getting schooled at Old Trafford: I knew City could win this match but what I saw today was total annihilation and humiliation. Here are the defending champions, conceding six goals at home to a fierce city rival. Utd’s run of luck had to stop and it bloody well did.
Refereeing: “WHY ALWAYS US?”. What’s with Chelsea and horrible refereeing? I mean, this was truly horrible. That was no penalty and Bosingwa was not a red card. Drogba’s was a sending off but I’d argue that if the penalty and Bosingwa’s sending off did not happen, Drogba wouldn’t have gone for that challenge in frustration. Chris Foy could very well have printed the team sheet and stuck it in his evil notebook. The only reason why I’m not going mental is that I hope and expect that it all gets rounded off in the course of the season. We will get our good times.
Anelka’s performance: Given the circumstances, we were not going to get too many opportunities. We had to make our chances count. Anelka in his 45 mins could have scored a brace and won the game for us, if he had finished better or if his decision making was better. While the tired Chelsea legs around him were playing like their life depended on this game, second half sub Anelka was losing possession like that’s why he came in for. Attrocious.
I really don’t know. I don’t want to single out anyone as that would be a disservice for the other players. Great team effort, particularly by the defenders.
WHAT THE BOSS SAID:
AVB was terribly upset and it showed in his post-match conference:
I am very proud of the team. I don’t have a problem with discipline, I have a problem with referees applying discipline. Penalties can be given or not given, but if he gives a soft penalty like that he has to give soft penalties in the box in our chances on the opposite side as well. I don’t know what is the difference. If you give a penalty like that, if there is a shove or something like that, he has to concede a lot in the opposite box, so there is a difference of criteria there which doesn’t [make] us happy. The judgment used was not the same.
I have nothing to say about Didier’s sending off because it seems fair to me, but it doesn’t seem fair to me that Bosingwa was sent off because JT was in a position of cover and I think a yellow card should have been applied. Further to that I do not know, I cannot understand the difference of judgment from the referee, not only the major decisions but the fouls, the throw-ins. I just cannot understand it. Maybe I can be proven wrong but I have to share my disappointment from what I see.
I was aggressive to him [Chris Foy] but I think I have to be. I don’t care if he is okay or not, everybody can have a bad day, but this was not a bad day for us, it was a good day for us but it was a bad day for the referee. It is not a conspiracy theory, they take us into bands and [being called] cry babies. We are not cry babies; we are tough people like we showed today… but at the moment this pattern is happening. We are showing commitment and strength in depth to react to it and hopefully things will eventually go our way. On a normal situation with a normal referee with good judgement towards both games we win the game.
He just nailed it, I must say.
Now, we’re 6 points off Man City. As mentioned in my tweets, I do think that Man City’s mediocre run of form should start shortly. By beating Man Utd 6-1 at Old Trafford, they have really reached the pinnacle of this season. There’s not going to be a better day for them in this season than today. I expect them to take their foot off the pedal at this point. All they need is one bad defeat and we will see the real test of their character.
Now we have a mid-week league cup match. I’m sure we have some really tired players who need rest so they can be ready to hammer the goners. For the next premier league match, Fernando Torres will be back and Ivanovic will play right back with Alex back in the mix. For the league cup game though, we should look to field the ones that didn’t have to put in the double shift today. Hoping to see the likes of Josh, Romeu, Lukaku etc.
That’s it for now. This could have been a much better day but you know what, today’s performance has filled me with so much pride and confidence that I don’t care about the result. Media might have handed over the premier league title to Manchester City but I have this crystal ball that shows some wild celebrations on the last day of the premier league by AVB and his boys. When are we playing Man City?