Season Review: Gary Cahill

Gary Cahill was one of two Chelsea signings in the January transfer window of 2012 (the other being Kevin De Bruyne). He joined the club from Bolton Wanderers for a fee that was around the region of £7M, following 2 weeks of negotiating personal terms.

Even though he was officially unveiled as a Chelsea player on 16 January 2012, Cahill made his debut against Manchester United on 5 February 2012. The match ended in a 3-3 draw & while Cahill had a pretty decent game, the match was marred by controversy as 2 debatable penalties were awarded to United by referee Howard Webb (who else could it have been?).

Gary Cahill was renowned for his goal-scoring prowess at former club Bolton, & it was only a matter of time before he scored his first Chelsea goal. The goal came against Leicester City in the FA Cup, when he headed home from a Juan Mata cross. The following League game against Manchester City, he netted his first League goal for Chelsea against Manchester City. The goal proved to be in vain, however, as Chelsea lost the match 2-1.

Cahill started the semi-final first leg match against Barcelona due to an injury picked up by David Luiz in Chelsea’s 5-1 victory in the FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham. The match was arguably Cahill’s best display in a Chelsea shirt. Alongside skipper John Terry in what was to be a dogged display, he made some crucial tackles during the match to ensure a 1-0 win for Chelsea & an aggregate lead to take into the second leg.

Cahill started the second leg semi-final vs. Barcelona, but had to be replaced in the 13th minute by Jose Bosingwa after he injured his hamstring. The match ended 2-2 (ensuring a 3-2 win on aggregate & a place in the CL final) but the injury ruled Gary Cahill out for 3 weeks. This was a cause for concern as both him & David Luiz were fighting to be fit for the CL final while John Terry & Branislav Ivanovic were ruled out of the final due to suspension. He managed to recover in time for the finals & was selected in the playing XI. Chelsea won the Champions League, & Cahill received some praise for his performance because he played at less than 100% fitness.
All in all, the season can be described as a one of contrasts for Gary Cahill. He joined Chelsea from a club that were fighting to stay in the Premier League. He ended the season with FA Cup & Champions League winners medals.

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