Chelsea have done well at Villa Park in recent years. One man in particular has enjoyed these trips: Tore Andre Flo.

This made Vialli’s decision to play Chris Sutton instead of Flo even more infuriating. This was the worst tactical decision since the Trojans decided to wheel that wooden horse into town.

A muted crowd sat through a largely uneventful first half which was less inspiring than a wet haddock.

Chelsea blocked Villa’s best efforts while Weah created two chances for the Blues with some nifty foot-work but he scuffed both shots.

Hopes of a second half turn around were short lived. After another half-hour of football to snooze to, Vialli finally replaced Sutton and the out-of-sorts Poyet with Flo and Zola.

But only Dennis Wise breathed any life into the game with his combative attitude. He was the sole Chelsea player who never stopped trying.

Blues fans have not had to endure anything this turgid for a long time. It was something of a throwback to the bad old days when we were permanently pants.

It would have been unfair if Weah had scored either of his two last-ditch efforts, both saved by James, but it would have sent us home a lot happier.

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