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Monday, January 3, 2011

Chelsea 3 - 3 Aston Villa : Late Drama Robs Chelsea 3 points

Celebrations after Terry scores Chelsea's 3rd goal
CHELSEA: Cech, Ferreira, Bruma, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Anelka, Drogba, Malouda. Subs: Turnbull, Bosingwa, Kalou, Sturridge, Van Aanholt, McEachran, Mellis
ASTON VILLA: Friedel, Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, Clark, Ashley Young, Petrov, Reo-Coker, Downing, Heskey, Agbonlahor. Subs: Marshall, Pires, Albrighton, Delfouneso, Bannan, Lichaj, Herd.

Carlo must have had the worst headache in recent times before the game. Alex out with surgery, Ivanovic suspended for picking up five yellow cards,a leaky defence and a ‘SCARED’ attack, Carlo had no option left but to bring in young Jeffrey Bruma to partner Terry in the centre of defence. What he might have not expected was Chelsea scoring through a Lampard penalty on 23rd min after a soft tackle by James Collins on Malouda which by no means should have been a penalty. Villa got back when Essien knocked Reo-Cocker to the ground in the box after an error from Ferreira who should have cleared the ball quickly enough and Ashley Young sent Cech the wrong way to equalize. Aimless passing, not many chances created and two goals through penalties on either side summed up the first half. The only star of the half was referee Lee Mason who seemed to be enjoying the game by dishing out yellow cards as soon as he saw someone knocked to ground. He surpassed his own record of an average of 4.5 yellow cards per game by booking 9 players by the end of the game.

Second half seemed no different for Chelsea from the previous few games as they found themselves behind after Ashley Young’s cross to Downing was headed into the net by ‘The Gentle Giant’ Heskey. Chelsea got on Kalou and Sturridge for Ramires and Anelka as they forced themselves forward for an equalizer. It took them 39 minutes in the second half when a block by Friedel fell back to Drogba who cleverly evaded a defender and a powerful shot goes in off a Villa defender who was on the line. There was more twist to a so far boring game when a great save by Friedel off Drodba’s header lands at Terry’s feet and Chelsea’s brave captain made no mistake as he squeezed in a goal and 3 points for Chelsea. Wait! Was it 3 points gained or 3 points lost. And indeed it was 3 points lost for Chelsea as on 91st min Marc Albrighton lifts in a teasing cross to the far post and Ciaran Clark steers a header into the empty net or so you could call it as the Chelsea defence seemed to have disappeared but had eyes only towards the assistant referee for an offside which in reality looked to be mockery of a ‘SCARED’ Chelsea team. However it was great to see Villa’s American owner enjoying his football. Two minutes more and there it was, points shared by both teams which wouldn’t do much good for either side.

A win for Chelsea would have been unfair on the Villa team who were the better team for a greater part of the game. Friedel was tested for the entire 90 minutes and were it not for him Chelsea would have been out of sight by the time Clark scored Villa's late equalizer. Dunne returned to the squad maybe after owner Randy Lerner’s intervention and he certainly justified his presence. No idea how Ferriera is still a Chelsea player and £17m Ramires is still finding it difficult to adjust to the Premier league style of play which is costing Chelsea a great deal in midfield. Nicolas Anelka looks better off if he is shipped to the MLS if he EPL is not meeting his needs. Only Lampard looked like creating and providing chances and his saving grace was the penalty scored after he had missed his last three penalties. Chelsea will find it difficult to contest for the top spot after dropping 17 of the last available 24 points and Carlo will have his hands full to get this team up and running once again like the start of the season.

Transfer window couldn’t have come at a better time and Chelsea need to grab this opportunity to bolster their defence which looks no better than a big hole in a sinking ship in a big ocean. Hoping Roman has his cheque ready..

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