Chelsea 2 Manchester City 1
Wednesday 5th April 2017 20:00
In the News: Apart from the bit in Anchorman where Jack Black kicks Will Ferrell's dog off the bridge, I can't think of anything funnier in the world than Arsenal fans punching each other in the face. Well, not so much punching as girly slapping each other. It was a close run thing between them and David Moyes though, who was surprised to find a woman had escaped her kitchen and was brandishing a microphone in his face. In his defence, his accent makes everything sound like a threat. Even if he had said "Come 'ere wee lassie and give us a cuddle" he might as well have been waving a meat cleaver in her face.
The Others: HWWNBN is running out of players to blame for United's endless draws. I'd hate to be the player in charge of the collection for his birthday. You'd get a better yield out of investing all of your money in the Greek economy. Has any team looked so dull going twenty games unbeaten in the history of football? I'd rather sit through a three hour lecture by Michael Owen on his cheese label collection than even watch the MOTD's Stasi-like propaganda highlights of one of their games. Half the ground had one eye on Swansea tonight. So near, and yet so far. Talksport are waffling about the Sp*ds like they are about to make a charge for the title like Andy Carroll lolloping towards a nosebag. Because they scraped past Swansea.
Our Game: Providence (I'm not giving Fat Sam any credit) robbed us of three points on Saturday, I maintained that if we created that many chances against a Guardiola defence, we would come good. Also, in their last 19 visits to us, City had won twice. That said, last season they beat us by a long way (along with half the league) Brave selection from Conte. Fabregas over Matic and Zouma got a start so that Dave could push out to fill the void left by Moses, who is still nursing a toe injury.
In faithful midweek fixture fashion, dinner consisted of three shots of gin and a mango health bar as I rushed to the Bridge. So I may have been slightly hallucinating about how bad it was, but I'd be doing tonight a disservice if I didn't mock that God awful kit. Gonzo (muppet alias) and I decided that it looked like those horrific hyper-colour t-shirts that changed with your body heat that we were all guilty of owning in the nineties. Patsy (sitcom alias) went one better. "Bruised oompah loompahs." Either way, just when you thought it couldn't get any more obscene, Sterling comes on having accessorised it with yellow boots. He looked like a fruit salad chew.
The blinding kit and the dual glare coming off the luminous scalps of both Pep and Caballero might have been a plausible explanation as to why City were all over the place as soon as we got into their box. Their defending for the opening goal was atrocious. I think I counted seven men in the box, and not one of them marking the best player in the league. I hereby dub this faffing cluelessly in the box as "Pep-ing about." We could have had another shortly afterwards, but it was David Silva (I always forget how much I dislike that little rat until I see him the flesh) of all people who came back to make the tackle. City then came into the game. It wasn't exactly backs to the wall stuff, but frustrating. Not as frustrating and the flight of f*ckwit fancy that overcame our goalkeeper to let them back into the game. I typed that it was a clanger. Autocorrect changed in to flanger. I'm claiming this as a word of my own invention, when a clanger is such that it becomes a "f*cking clanger" but you are too angry to separate out the words. Which brings me to Refwatch: Just like the phrase "oh no, Victor Moses is injured" is something that you never envisaged saying, so too is the sentiment: Thank God it's Mike Dean. I was all ready at half time to be positive about a referee. I thought he was balanced, but in some cases it let players from both sides off the hook. As the game went on though, there were a few frustrating decisions that made me question whether Dean had left his cards at home. Or understood the rules of football. Nonetheless that was probably the least incompetent showing we have seen in a while. Needless to say my impression of him was helped not only by letting Cesc get away with a rotten tackle on Silva (probably because he deserved it) but by the awarding of our penalty just after the half hour. Bruised oompah loompah completely suckered into making the foul. Eden's spot kit was horrific, but happily for us so was Caballero's attempt at saving it, which left the Belgian with a sitter that he duly tucked away.
Zouma didn't return for the second half. We were pretty sure it had to be forced, but if you think about it, Silva was rampant and bossing the midfield. That couldn't go on, but you don't want to lose the creativity of Fabregas or Pesto (blah blah auto-spell, whatever) either, so, as solid as he was on his return, and because likewise you just don't remove Dave unless you a gibbering lunatic, it's not that surprising that Kurt made way. The only down side? Pesto is back out on the right where the positioning just baffled him against Palace. The third quarter of the game was trying. We couldn't get Eden into the game, in retaining the ball we were frequently inept, which meant that we could get no momentum going. We were into the 67th minute before we mustered another shot. An effort agonisingly went over the bar, but although they failed to create any stunning chances, City were in control of the game. Boycie Jr. was already in full meltdown mode long before the news came in via Bet365 that Sp*rs had started scoring. Remember everything I said about Palace wasting time on Saturday? F*ck it. Get in on that action. People were pouring out of the ground as we reached three minutes of injury time with our lead intact. When your time comes may you suffer death at the hands of a thousand paper cuts.
Man of the Match? Gonzo. His berating of Pep was worth three points alone, though let it be noted that he was only that gobby because his mum wasn't there. Luiz needs little motivation to up his game whenever he catches a whiff of Aguero. After a couple of lacklustre performances he looked much more like himself. I thought Cahill was excellent, a few last ditch interventions timed to perfection and at one point he was dribbling upfield like Sheffield's answer to Messi. Diego is clearly not at his best, but I will point out that though his he did not take his chances, he spent most of the game drawing off the two, even three men on him and making space for his teammates. And another selfless outing for Pesto. The effort is there, so is the creativity, but he's not a happy, basil-scented little bunny in the right wingback role.
Listening to a City fan complaining about not buying enough players on the radio. And moaning about Pep's coaching pedigree. Glorious. El Sobrevalorado has now lost more games in a season than in any other in his career. Only one team has ever done the double over him in a season. Chelsea. And we're not done yet. My blood pressure resembles a thirty stone man trying to chase down Hazard after tonight, but we remain seven points clear and in the words of a very wise chap on Monday's Fancast, I refuse to be afraid of a Sp*rs side half made up of mediocre England players. That said, there are an increasing number of Blues planning a swan dive at Beachy Head if the unthinkable happens. ABS.
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and the end of season review (expanded version of all that’s been online) is available for pre-order. As discussed on the Fancast - get on there and order it because by some massive cockup, Bog-Eyes Ozil currently tops the Chelsea chart! Follow the link below: (There will be a paperback version available too)
Picture of our players rubbing City’s faces in it comes from the official Chelsea website