Chelsea 1 Leicester 1
Sunday 18th August 2019 16:30
You’d have been forgiven for forgetting that there was a football game on today, and assuming that this was a vast gathering of the Super Frank Appreciation Society. Which is fine with me as a one-off.
In the News: F*cking VAR, VAR, VAR. The Virtual A*sehole Rampage. The first talking point for every Premier League game now is computers. Not the football. I’m all for things like the goal line technology. Did it cross the line or didn’t it. Simple. But this is an outrage. To quote someone slightly less sweary than me: “The refs or linesman didn’t always get it right but it was part of the game day experience and post match. Now like so much in society football is being “sanitised” to make it “too pc” like everything else in life. To err is human in any aspect of life FFS.” Amen. This f*ckwitted pursuit of perfection has fundamentally changed, nay, RUINED the league overnight.
It’s about how I react and keep my head up, said Tammy. Showing maturity beyond his years after his penalty miss. Same can’t be said for some of the a*seholes on social media. His girlfriend was eloquent too, although one of the technophobes being me asked today “what’s being a vlogger?” You make videos of yourself talking and put them on the internet. And if enough people give a sh*t someone might pay you.“ I get that much, he says, but what does it mean?” Honestly, I replied, it probably means she hasn’t got a real job and Tammy pays for everything. Jan Vertonghen dropped for a lack of fitness. Dick. And Sp*rs are trying to bribe Eriksen to stay for £200k a week. I wouldn’t spend my time in Seven Sisters for that. Additionally, Kolasinac and Ozil supposedly now caught up in all out gang warfare. North London never was a happy place. David Moyes says he would consider managing Beckham’s new side. Isn’t that big of him. He’d consider moving to Miami for an easy life after making a tit of himself all over Europe. I bet the other David is really excited. Wilfrid Bony is training with Newport because no club wants him, United still can’t find anyone that wants to give Sanchez £560k a week. “Paul can’t do everything at United” says his brother, as the European window drags on. They either misheard him and he said “anything” or his brother has been sniffing the same funny substance as his big-headed brother. Oh and Eden has spent £10m on the ugliest new age mansion you can imagine in Madrid. It looks like a Stasi holding pen from the outside and Dirk Diggler’s 70s porn hub within.
The Others: Pep VARdiola is outraged. Day that ends in a Y so Sp*rs must have been given something for nothing by some mug sitting at a computer in Stockley Park. The Scouse were PLUNGED into an injury crisis when one of their own fans invaded the pitch after penalties in Istanbul and broke Adrian. Little did they know they’d have been better off if they’d plunged him into the Mersey with rocks tied to his ankles themselves. Because he did play, and nearly gifted a spirited Southampton a way back into the game.
Us: I don’t have any problem with the ability of either Christensen or Zouma. Together, though, I’m not convinced. Leaders and followers, that’s what it’s about. There needs to be a gobby centre back in charge, the leader, and for me both of them are playing like followers, which makes us frail. Bound to be rotation after such a long midweek slog. Mount started, so did Kante. Bench for Kovacic and Willian.
Them: So blinded by their hideous kit I couldn’t tell you. Although I did chuckle at Vardy running about in it. I took pleasure in his pain.
The inevitable Frank love in; which was nice. A real buzz around the Bridge today before the game. It’s quite amusing to watch us lot wandering about wondering what to moan about, for we do love a good whinge. Here’s something: Card only at the Kiosks. All checked by VAR too says Boycie, too. Reckons he waited 25 minutes for them to confirm his coffee.
Fast start - so fast Pedro Unicorn had hit the side netting before a minute was up. Then we had a save from a Mount shot and a follow up from Pulisic that led to a corner. Behold, an open goal, but nobody was there to prod it in. Rabid atmosphere inside the ground, players fired up, fans fired up. At this point we’d come out and punched Leicester in the face. 99% possession They’d only managed to claw that back to 4% in their favour when Mason smashed home a goal six mins into his home debut. Not heard the Bridge this loud since Napoli at home in 2012. Pedro Unicorn had been like a train. We had been relentless for ten minutes before Leicester finally started to get into the game. As in touched the ball. Then it settled down, though we still had our chances.
Almost two for us on 20 when Mount had a free header, but he nutted it weakly and straight at Schmeichel; but doesn’t he always seem to be in the right place at the moment? Then the Kante twins came from nowhere like little roadrunners to stab it wide on 25. When are we going to take a decent corner? We’ve been asking for at least a decade. Now, is the answer, provided their are at the feet of Mason Mount. Back away, Willian. Back. Away. The fact that Zouma was playing left wing and taking three Powerpuff Girls at a time shows you how much defending he’s had to do. Not for want of trying, but Leicester had achieved nothing to far. On 27 Kante was away again but nobody managed to get a shot, then they may have got in. Kepa had a Courtoisesque brainfart on 29, but we got away with it and they still hadn’t managed to fashion a shot on target.
The way we are hurtling out of the blocks at the moment: If you can steal early goals it can cover a variety of deficiencies later on and change the way that opposition approach the game entirely. Smart. But you have to have made the most of the energy expenditure and we hadn’t. Naughty foul from Jorginho on 36. This is where VAR almost awarded Sp*rs a penalty. The free kick from them went unmolested across the face of the goal. 35 minutes in and they’d played their way fully into it. Curses. But still they hadn’t exactly missed any sitters and we’d defended solidly enough. Zouma in particular continued to build on his midweek performance. So. Let’s get in for half time without fucking it up. Corner for us to round things off thanks to some f*ckwttery from Schmeichel, but the shot from Jorginho that we eventually got was way over. That’ll do. But work to do in the second half.
Leicester threw the kitchen sink at us as soon as the whistle went for the second half. And effectively. Some timely defending to back up Kepa on 49 kept them out, just, but the fact that we let ourselves get into that position was stupid. If Vardy wasn’t a cockwomble they could have scored by now. He squandered many a gilt-edged chance today. Five minutes in and they’d got a bit of an inkling about what might happen if possession turned over with them so high up, i.e. they’d get mauled like we did at Old Trafford. I appreciated Zouma out sprinting ratface. That was satisfying. Good to see him stretch his legs like that and get there first, for I still remember the scream when he went down with that knee injury. Speaking of, a break for the Unicorn to get some treatment. During which, even Maddison had to laugh when we were singing Who's the w*nker in the pink, at him as he waited to take a corner, and Your kit is sh*t. Good job they’ve got a sense of humour about it, because they will get that abuse at 18 other away games this season. And deservedly so. Choudhury looked like a Neapolitan ice cream when you added his big, luxuriant chocolate afro and his yellow boots. Wolf whistles abounded all afternoon.
Half an hour to go and it was going to be time for Tammy. Different prospect for the defenders. Huge reception for him as expected. Another shocking effort from them on 60. It had more chance of going in the net at Craven Cottage. Tammy had got straight into the game with a very determined look on his face. Already we were creating more, and on 63 the Kante twins broke through, but we faffed trying to get a shot it of it. Then we had some neat interplay between Tammy, Mason Mount and Emerson to break out on 64, before it bounced off the striker’s foot at the other end and went haywire. But still we looked fragile, and our whole defence was stationary for their goal. Free header for a dodo. That’s what auto spell does to Ndidi’s name and I can live with that. To be honest it had been coming for a while. Over to you, Frank. Plenty of time to fix this, but we looked like a team that played 120 minutes three days ago. Obviously not as tired as the poor Scouse though. A shocking miss from Maddison on 72 when he should have given them the lead, but it was all a bit shambolic from us. Some very tired legs out there and after Kovacic and Willian replaced Jorginho and Pulisic, Pedro Pony and Dave were going to have to last the 90 when they already looked utterly w*nkered.
Another criminal miss from Vardy this time as they played Christensen out of it with ease. Ref/Varwatch: Jesus wept. Look at what football has become. In the quest for perfection, which Chelsea fans alone have lived without for 114 years, the game has lost the plot and VAR has become a weekly inclusion. It was going to be Graham Scott on the pitch, but he got lost, or wanted to watch the cricket and didn’t turn up till kick off, so it was Oliver Langfield. Whoever he is. Doesn’t know what a foul is. Cards are evidently still in Scott’s pocket because he couldn’t find them. VAR was led by Mike Dean and thankfully did nothing to f*ck up the game, for once. 76 Willian was in, but hit the side netting. Any result was possible at this point, because the ball was just up and down the pitch. The fresh legs perked us up, but we would have needed three more pairs of them to really replace everyone who was lagging. Another excellent ball was squandered by Dave, who was one of them. Off we went up the other end, and then it was our turn to attack again. Both teams were riddled with silly mistakes at this point.
A free kick from Mount well over on 82, and our attacking intent was now well and truly back, but it had been lacking for too large a portion of this game. Leathered by Mason on 84 and that was as close as we came to the win, but it deflected out as it headed for the top corner. Dear Leicester. His name might be Mount but it’s not a f*cking invitation. Stop climbing all over him. Great stop by Kepa on 88, Zouma wasn’t far off moments later, but he shouldn’t really have had a go. There were better options. As four minutes of injury time started, Tammy did really well but it came off his foot all wrong. Not impressed with Willian giving it away and then standing there while Mount tracked back like a beast to win it back for him. Wake up Willy. By this time Dave was so bollocksed he couldn’t even jog the length of the pitch, and we were lucky it didn’t cost us. Vardy kicked the ball away like the petulant twat he is at the last, and that was that.
So: Welcome to our reality this season. Leicester were never going to be pushovers. We have exactly the same points from these two fixtures as we got out of them last season. There was no utter capitulation, more a general degradation of what we were trying to do as the game went on and the almost-heroics of Istanbul caught up with too many players. The opening spell was brilliant, and we need to get better at not tapering off. When you have got someone so void of ideas as Sarri, there is no hope. Frank is full of ideas, but lacking in experience, and needs time to establish which of them work best. So there is always hope. Unless he turns into a dribbling lunatic like Chequebook Pulis and starts sleeping in laundry hampers and chucking his pet chihuahua over the garden wall. Individually Pedro Pony’s effort was commendable. Ran his legs off.
Mount refuses to be bullied off the ball, and his delivery into the box on set plays is also arguably the best we’ve had for a long while. More good signs from Pulisic, who already looks to be settling in with far more ease than the likes of Ramires ever did. Zouma was excellent today for the most part. He improved again after Turkey, and dare I say looked more like a leader. Lots of pivotal interventions today but the burst of speed against a half-whippet (explains the nose) like Vardy was extremely encouraging. A couple of days off now, I imagine, and a chance to recharge again before we really will be looking for three points up at Norwich.
Many thanks to all those who contributed to the summer party at the domestic violence refuge this week - it was a huge success. Unless you were one of the mums who had to clean up after it. The generosity of our Chelsea family (and beyond) continues to astound all involved. We’ve also provided a new bike for one of the kids who had his stolen, some free professional tax advice for one mum and are looking at some vocational training for another. Not long till I start hounding you all for their Christmas present money!
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