Chelsea 2 Hull City 0
Sunday 22nd January 2017
It's possible I have drunk too much gin for this to make sense...
In the News: We’ve been exposed to endless cartoons of the new Shite Hart Lane, endless punditting about how this Sp*rs side are the most awesome thing since someone invented gin, and tonic, and lime, and put them all in one glass this week. As it went on, as well as wanting to be sick in my mouth, there was a tiny part of me that was sucked in by all of this propaganda and ended up terrified that their time is coming. It cannot be allowed to happen. For the sake of humanity. We are John McLean and they are Hans Gruber. No, wait a minute, Hans Gruber was cool. They are the weird naked yoga man in the sh*t Die Hard with Samuel L Jackson. Anyway… After laughing at their draw with City I quickly got over such fears. Anyway I digress... oh look... more gin...
*Ten minutes later*
Apparently the Chinese are trying to buy all our refs to the tune of £1m a year. Can I be the first to say that for half that and the cost of a bottle of chloroform, I can have most of the twats in crates and on an unregistered tanker inside a week. Seriously you can have them.
The Others: Let's all just pause a moment, and laugh at Sam Allardyce...
Sp*rs or the Scouse up our arse. Its like having to choose between death by drowning or being burned alive if one of them is to go past us. Arsenal are hypothermia, agonising and clearly something you’d not want to happen to you under any circumstances, but you can think of slightly worse things that could occur. Just.
Can I be there first to say that I have always held Kevin Friend in the greatest esteem, and that just because he can’t spot a foul, or a penalty, or any basic infringement of the rules, and is a bellend, doesn’t mean he isn’t a valuable addition to the ranks of Premier League officials? Last time Kevin took charge at Anfi*ld, the mugs lost 3-0 and had a man sent off. And until yesterday, he hadn’t been allowed back by the FA for a year and a half. Well done that man. And well done Swansea, in particular all of those people that went up to the land of Scouse expecting to get smashed and instead came away having witnessed their team put a smile on the face of anyone with an inkling of taste, or a soul.
I was hoping that Joe Allen (who looks like a wino hobbit) could do something against United. He is the Welsh Messi after all. Apparently. But this proved slightly futile. Still, I’m glad they were all so chuffed at having got a point out of Stoke. I sh*t you not - on Gillette Soccer Saturday, Charlie Nicholas referred to a defender being incapable of keeping hold of someone on a set play and faffing around like the sugar plum fairy as having “a Pogba moment.” Hilarious.
Thus by Saturday evening the Premier League had a touch of the Chelsea mafia about it. Paul Clement and Claude Makalele beat the Scouse, Mata’s own goal at Stoke. And we could have been as many as ten points clear by the time we finished playing today (I might have made this up. if so, the gin made me do it) At the Etihad, Marriner should be ashamed of himself for not punishing what is one of the most blatant examples of cheating I have seen in a long time. But if I was Andre Marriner I’d be basically ashamed of life in general so I doubt he is losing any sleep over this small transgression.
Our Game: After so much entertainment seeing how much Minion cake could be shoved in Mowgli's (special alias) face at once had by self, Lew Zealand, Beaker (muppet aliases) and Jumbo (sitcom aliases - he was Del Boys Australian mate) at The Elk this afternoon, this match was going to have a lot to live up to. Nathan Ake made his return following his shortened loan spell with a spot on the bench, whilst on the pitch it was as you were with Conte’s favoured XI after the (made up) drama of last weekend.
Diego could have scored in the first ten seconds, which would have been the ultimate f*ck you to the press, but sadly it was no to be. We started well, playing with pace but not creating anything special. Hull had a shot in the ninth minute, but it was tamely wide. A long break came after our first corner, when Cahill and Ryan Mason went for the same ball and you heard the crack in the stands. It killed the atmosphere but gave us an opportunity for a bit of a love-in with Costa. Mason has suffered a fractured skull, which is obviously a f*cking sickening way to end the day when you set out to play a game of football. He is apparently in a stable condition though, having undergone surgery. God speed little black and orange man.
After the enforced break Hull kept the ball better, and a headed shot on 25, although comfortably saved by Courtois, meant that we'd had less opportunities than them at that point. Things picked up as we reached the half-hour. A great chance put in by Alonso deflected slightly and Jakupovic just tipped onto the roof of the net. How that wasn't a penalty on Pesto (f*ck off autospell) just baffles me, unless sitting on someone's face is now within the rules of the game. Shortly afterwards, Hazard received a great ball out on the left but when he cut in he lost his footing and went down like Slippy G watching Demba Ba run away with his title dreams. From my vantage point (with Alf Garnett's arm in my face) I swore on my cat's life (I swore a lot, actually) that Costa wasn't offside as he approached 45 minutes and he had one chalked off. Finally, the ball went right across the face of goal on 42 and there was no blue shirt there to meet it as another half chance went begging. It seemed we were going to go into half time having fired more blanks than Henry VIII, but there was a long period of injury time to come.
Gonzo trotted off with a spring in his step at all the prospects of all that extra Singha that could be had with nine whole minutes of added time, leaving the rest of us to deal with the hilarity of the Shed Upper locals without him. Now, either the guy at the back has a rabid, undiagnosed form of BSE that means he moos very loudly at random intervals as if someone is waving a steak in his face and saying “YOU’RE NEXT!" Or he is quite uncreative and is trying to say "MOVE" every time someone gets the ball. In which case, they've clearly sussed that much as professional footballers. So shush.
It suddenly appeared to occur to our team at the onset of injury time that nothing that they had put into the box in the air had been reached by anything but a Hull player, and that if we wanted any joy it should come across the floor. Suddenly they were all over this. Five minutes into time added on, Alonso, who was having another good game, put it across the face of the goal again but Kante just failed to get on the end of it. The breakthrough came moments later though, when Moses played in Costa. The original ball out to the wing was a really well placed one from Alonso, but Hull could have done better. Five of their defenders were goal side of Diego when he put it in the back of the net.
Not bad, but equally nothing special in the first half, mainly down to Hull’s work rate and discipline. I couldn’t help thinking that we should have started with the flair of Fabregas and that it might have made for an easier afternoon. Matic and Kante at home to Hull? Not sure I would have opted for that, but I understand why Conte did. Also, he earns a fortune in football and I write about a hundred year old war for next to nothing, so I will let him have this one.
We didn't exactly explode out of the blocks in the second half. “ENOUGH OF THE TIKI TAKA ARSENAL CRAP!” Shouted Alf Garnett at one point. We rode our luck a bit when Alonso spent about a minute fouling everyone he touched like Fellaini with a hangover and got away with it on account of the Lino on the West Stand side being about as useful as a book without pictures in in the hands of Harry F*cking Kane. (Try saying his name without swearing, it’s impossible) Meyler forced a save from Courtois in what was probably their best effort, but still the visitors, for all their industry had not got that close to scoring.
Ref watch: Swarbrick again today - he let the game flow which I liked, but he let a lot go on Hazard, (at one point Boycie pointed out that he’d have had more luck getting something out of a whorehouse at the wrong time of the month) but on the whole it was one of the best officialing performances we’ve had in a while. If we’d hoped that Hull would fade, it was the opposite. An hour in and their stripy tails were up. We'd got very deep, especially after introduction of Niasse who, despite the fact he’s got the build of a darts player can’t ‘arf shift. Despite about five knocks to the head today, it was Cahill who secured the points. He was completely unmarked and free to lollop about in the box with impunity to get on the end of the header that led to our second. Hull will be furious with themselves when they see that played back after all the hard work they put in today.
Astute of Conte to take off Costa and let him milk the adulation of the crowd. Still want to go to China? (If indeed this wasn't complete fabrication) Where the crowds are eleven jobseekers and a goat? And the accolades are worth less than a Donald Trump election pledge? (Looking forward to seeing this wall) The zip went out of Hull after the second goal, and the clock was run down. We were forced to make our own entertainment. Boycie discovered a new use for his hand warmer by using it to heat up his gonads, but forgot it was wedged in their when he jumped up to celebrate, which could have ended badly.
So: Full credit to Hull today. At no point did they park the bus. They worked bloody hard and had more of a go than some of the supposedly better teams that turn up at the Bridge and refuse to play. Much of it stemmed from Harry Maguire at the back, where they were controlled for pretty much the whole game. If they play like that the rest of the season they won’t be going down. There are going to be no easy games now, because we're there to be shot at, and seeing as everyone else had gifted us results it was understandably a bit of a nervous performance. When all is said and done we just had to do our job and win against opposition we shouldn't have been dropping points against. And we did, which is more than can be said for the Scouse this weekend. So far so good.
If you have any need to indulge in more of my senseless drunken ramblings, I shall be joining the Fancast chaps on Monday @ChelseaFanCast
*Pervy picture of Cahill's nut sack taken from Chelsea's official Instagram page.