|Where was the lines man?|
Chelsea XI (4-2-3-1): Cech (c), Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole, Mikel, Ramires, Oscar, Hazard, Mata, Torres.
Scorers: Juan Mata, Ramires
Sent Off: Ivanovic, Torres
Robbed. To sum up the whole match in a word, we were robbed and in blinding daylight. To be frank, we did come out of the blocks a little late and were sloppy. United scored twice in under 15 minutes to run into a 2-0 lead. The first goal was one of the unluckiest ever, van Persie’s shot rebounding off the post onto a unassuming Luiz and into the net. The second one was a quick counter, and van Persie getting on target. But Chelsea soon got back into the game, with almost all of our midfield and Torres and even Luiz having shots on goal. After being brilliantly kept out by de Gea before, Mata got one back for us, on the stroke of halftime from a free kick after Hazard was brought down by Rooney. A fairly entertaining first half with Chelsea dominating possession and shots and United were *gasp* parking the bus!
We started off where we left, with Oscar and Hazard linking up beautifully. Mata kept in the ball from an impossible position and Oscar crossed for Ramires to equalize. Game on? Not really, thought Clattenburg. The referee who’s heart suddenly needed to express his love for United and the colour red, decided that Ivanovic’s last-gasp tackle on Young was worthy of a red card, though the challenge was not malicious in any sense of the word. A few minutes later and Clattenburg couldn’t bear to have not shown the card again in such a fixture. Torres was challenged by Evans who clearly clearly clearly had a leg in there – but guess what? Torres was given a second yellow for ‘diving’ and sent off. Cue slow-motion applause for the wonderful refereeing.
It was still too hard for Clattenburg. So, he coaxed his assistant into letting off an offside goal by Javier Hernandez and lo, United were in the lead again.
|errr…Dive? Look again|
But what really makes me proud to be a Chelsea fan follows that. The fact that we were down to 9 men and trailing. We could’ve sat back, defended, not let any more goals go in. Yet, we didn’t. We wanted to fight til the very end. Grit. It was shameful as a football fan to see 11-men United sitting back and wasting time against 9-man Chelsea.
We have a lot to take from this game. Our defence was cut open in the first 10 minutes and occassionally after too. And I do not blame United for the controversial decisions. Not much they can do to prevent decisions from going there away sometimes most of the time, but I do see why they’re one of the most hated teams.
I’d like to question the FA over the ineffeciency of their referees. We saw an offside goal being allowed in the Merseyside derby earlier too. We’ve seen plenty of controversial decisions, penalties ruled out, penalties being given too easily, diving instances and the referees have not been up to the mark.
We are still top of the table. So, United fans, don’t start soaring into the clouds. We’ll be back in the Capitol One Cup – with hopefully a better referee.