A dour night in West London ended with the Welsh visitors taking hold of the first leg of the league cup semi final with an fortunate 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge. After Bradford City’s exploits the night before in beating Premier League whipping boys Aston Villa in the competitions other semi, all the talk was about the possibilities of another cup upset in what in truth, as been as strange old campaign in the Capital One Cup.
The Blues’ came out of the blocks quickly, with some decent play in the middle of the park and openings for Ramires and Mata in the first half an hour. But in what was an all too familiar story at the Bridge this season, the visitors sat back, played deep, countered and won.
A cringe worthy moment from Branislav Ivanovic would come in the 39th minute, with the home side well on top. Receiving a short pass from Ross Turnbull, replacing the injured Petr Cech, the Serb took his eye of the ball and was robbed by Swansea midfielder De Guzman, whom fed the ball to the onrushing Michu, who coolly dispatched against a stranded Turnbull.
The Spanish ‘bargain of the season’ seems to taunt the journey Chelsea have been on since Roman Abramovich walked into West London. We have spent a lot on great players, but probably more on crap ones. If only we’d struck gold with Enrique de Lucas…
The second half was a carbon copy of the first. We dominated, carved and cut, yet ultimately couldn’t get past Tremmel in the Swansea goal. And it was Ivanovic again who was the culprit for the second goal, giving the ball away and allowing Danny Graham to make it an uphill task at the Liberty Stadium in a fortnight’s time. Hopefully we will be out of this slump, with the arrival of Ba and a bit of business likely to be done in the next few weeks.
For those slating Branislav, have a word with yourselves. The man has been instrumental in the last few years and I for one can’t remember him putting a foot wrong in campaigns leading to league titles, domestic and European trophies. Torres will of course get the usual abuse, and time is running out for the Spaniard in every fan’s mind. It will be very interesting to see whether it will be Ba or Fernando who starts at Stoke this weekend. I can’t see Torres putting up much of a fight against Huth and Shawcross personally…
The night’s disappointment must subside, and there is no point being pessimistic going into the second leg and the second half of next season. I don’t need to remind you about turning things around. Keep the blue flag flying high.
Twitter – @easypeejy