Saturday, 3 April 2010

The comeback is on

Due to moving house I missed my first trip to Old Trafford for several years. The last few visits had been fairly painful under the stewardship of Scolari and Grant so I was not optimistic until I saw the team sheet today. What an awful game to watch - not in terms of the way Chelsea played, but in terms of sheer stress. For the first time ever I had to walk out from where I was watching the match with fifteen minutes to go because my heart could not take it any more. I can't ever remember a run-in being so tight and with so much at stake. At the time the score was one nil and had I been there for the last few minutes when United pulled one back then I think I would be on a slab in the coroners'.
I never lost faith in the players - only the manager... but in recent weeks Carlo has suddenly realised that one up front with Cole on the right and Malouda on the left is the best system to play. His subsititutions when the team was tiring were spot on too, injecting pace up front and replacing tiring limbs at the right time. We made United look very ordinary and you wonder how far ahead in the league we would be by now if he had played this system earlier.
Chelsea were superb and dominated the first half. Ferreira had lots of space to attack, our midfield dominated them and Joe Cole scored a magnificent, cheeky goal. Paulo should have put the game beyond reach in the second half but misqueued under pressure.
Even though Drogba's second goal was offside there was no mention of the blatant penalty Chelsea should have been awarded in the first half when Anelka was taken out my Neville. Nor was there any comment on how Scholes was lucky not to be sent off (again!) Lot of mentions in the Sky commentary about Rooney being missed - but didn't Berbatov cost £30 mio? If Chelsea had such an expensive striker up front who failed to score we would have been ridiculed for weeks. In terms of pride this was a huge win and a big V-sign to all the supposed neutral Chelsea detractors in the media.
There are plenty of tough games ahead - esepcially away from home. A win at Spurs and Liverpool are tall orders but doable. Today's magnificent result and performance proves to me that not only do Chelsea possess the best players but the best team spirit in English football. To be top after all that has happened to them in terms of injuries, woeful refereeing decisions against them and off the field antics this season is simply astounding, and if Carlo continues to learn from his mistakes from earlier on this season then I will gladly eat humble pie and even maybe join in with the awful Ancelotti song they sing in the Shed Upper!