Tottenham 2 - 1 Chelsea

Starting Eleven:
Belletti, Carvalho, Terry, Bridge
Mikel, Lampard, Essien
Wright-Phillips, Drogba, Anelka
subs: Cudicini, Kalou, J.Cole, Ballack, Sidwell

Scorers: Drogba(37'), Berbatov(68'pen), Woodgate(3'ET)

It was a disappointing day for the Blue fans who are quite used to seeing their team take the silverware, once they reach the finals. All credits to Tottenham who gave a spirited performance though Chelsea were the favorites. They created the chances, and with a bit of luck, they took the cup to the other side of London.

Mourinho went and Grant came, and people asked what change was brought about in Stamford Bridge. Chelsea still plays the same style of football. Maybe Chelsea missed Jose yesterday, that extra motivation, that tactics, that 'killer instinct'. But we should take into account that Grant is no 'special one' and we should give him more time. One defeat and people start criticizing Grant for the tactics, the team selection, the timing of substitutions.. etc,etc.

Contrary to the media speculation, Grant selected both Lampard and Terry in the starting eleven. Anelka played to the left of Drogba and Wright-Phillips to the right. Mikel was in the holding midfielder role. Maybe Wright-Phillips was selected for his performance against Everton but this is a cup final and the best eleven should have played. So it beats me why Wright-Phillips was played instead of J.Cole.

Chelsea had a pretty ordinary start to the game and it was Tottenham who made the early inroads. Chimbonda hit the crossbar from a corner after 8 minutes. Most of the Spurs attack came from the right and Bridge was too busy with Lennon to make any attacking moves and link with Anelka. Lampard tried to control the game from the center and his one long ranger went wide after Malbranque failed to beat Cech in the other side of the pitch.

Following the Blues' adventure outside the Spurs 18 yard box we got two freekicks. Drogba curled one over the top of wall but failed to hit the target. But the star striker was not to miss the target the second time. He buried the ball low to the left of Robinson to celebrate another Cup final goal. Berbatov was slow to react when he got a chance after 43minutes and Essien made sure the Bulgarian didn't get another chance.

Chelsea went into the half-time with the lead and the last time we lost after leading at half time was back in November 2006. Tottenham knew it would be difficult to break the Chelsea defense in open play. For most of the first half, Tottenham couldn't find the space to attack.

On 68 minutes, Lennon crossed from right and under pressure from Huddlestone, Bridge handled as the ball dropped and bounced, the linesman giving the decision. Chelsea protested but it fell to deaf ears. Maybe the decision was harsh considering it wasn't intentional. Berbatov was the coolest man in London, as the commentators said and slotted the ball past a wrong-footed Cech. Soon Kalou came in for Wright-Phillips.

Cech saved after Zakora was one-on-one with the goalkeeper and then stopped a Berbatov shot later. Essien, who slipped and fell atleast 4 times during the match, thanks to the Wembley pitch, was replaced in the closing stages of regular time and Ballack replaced him. J.Cole who was warming up for almost an hour now, was still not allowed to play by the coach.

The match moved to extra-time. Cech punched the ball from a freekick only for the onrushing Woodgate to unknowingly head the ball into the empty net. Mikel, who got booked was replaced by J.Cole and Chelsea were on an all out attack in the second half of extra time. But Ramos shifted the defensive system to 5 defenders by bringing in Kaboul and shut out the Blues. When the whistle was blown, Kalou was through on goal from a Terry header, another mistake from the referee. He could have waited for a few seconds for the attack to subside. But it was over anyway.

Ledley King and Woodgate gave a solid performance at Spurs defense. Lennon was great in the second half. Chelsea never found their hold on the game and couldn't control the tempo of the match after they scored first. After playing all these extra matches for the League Cup and still not being able to win it is a sad thing. But their are other trophies too for the taking and all I have to say is...
Go Chelsea.....Go......



25 February 2008 at 23:27

damn...another stumbling block for Chelsea


26 February 2008 at 01:46

uhh... guys and soccer!