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Chelsea
Posted by David Kyle on 04/11/2011

The anticipation for the Champions League second leg against Manchester United has been building since the referee blew the full-time whistle last week, by the time of the same whistle on Tuesday night our season could be over - or could it just be beginning?







Passion is all I ask. And a win...
©Getty Images

I held off from posting on Thursday evening owing to the dour feeling I was still experiencing from the night before, at that point I was convinced that the tie was over.

Now the torment of a home loss has subsided, more and more of me is convinced that we can come away from Old Trafford with an incredibly famous comeback. A comeback from 1-0 down doesn't seem to be incredibly famous, however with history stacked against us, a result would be massive.

Only two teams in the history of the Champions' League have ever overturned a first leg deficit in the quarter final when they have lost the home leg. It is our job to make sure we are the third.

Sir Alex has been stating that Chelsea are obsessed with European victory and that the momentum is with United. Of course we are obsessed with European victory, it is the one trophy we have been seeking since grabbing the Premier League in 2005. It is the one trophy that we have experienced so much agony, and not as much ecstasy in too.

The Ramires non-penalty decision was symptomatic of what happens to Chelsea at this stage of the Champions' League. But that wasn't the cause of our loss, there were 90 minutes played before that and we cannot rest on refereeing decisions to make or break our chance of winning the cup - we have to earn the win, which we didn't in the home leg.

The midfield was as ever disappointing and the attack was once again lacking the sharpness to cause the threat that on paper it has.

I singled out Jose Bosingwa before the tie as being a risk, his hideous attempts at both attacking and defending vindicated my criticism - Chelsea just aren't as strong with him in the right back role ahead of Ivanovic.

If Abramovich does decide to sanction Ancelotti with the sack in the event of a defeat he needs to look closer to home, the decision not to replace Carvalho in the summer has left Chelsea bereft for half of a season in the league, and as was apparent last week - in the Champions' League.

What do we need to do to win on Tuesday?

Firstly we need to win the midfield battle, Giggs and Carrick had a quality partnership last week and Rooney tracked back so well to create chances further up the pitch.

In fact Rooney's performance last week makes me think that Anelka has to warrant a starting berth on Tuesday, he can do exactly the same job. Track back, get the ball and use his creativity to fashion some chances.

Next we need to take some risks. Last week we were nervous and tip-tapped our way around their half for the second forty-five minutes. Yes we had chances, but only 2 or 3 of any particular significance.

Taking risks on and off the pitch will be a necessity. We have it all to lose so will need to go for the game champing at the bit. The inclusion of Benayoun or Alex will be the sort of risks we need to take.

The only risk with Benayoun is his fitness, but Zhirkov can always be a replacement if Yossi doesn't make the full 90. In fact Zhirkov is far more of a threat from off the bench than at the starting whistle.

Alex is of course a much greater risk, a central defender not at full fitness can be prone to making mistakes. However a partially fit Alex over Bosingwa at right back again is a far more appealing situation for me.

On the pitch we need to be less nervous. I saw Frank Lampard last Wednesday behaving frantically and erratically at one point in the first half, he is supposed to be one of our leaders' and one of the more experienced of the squad. Perhaps this obsession has gotten to him too.

If we don't take advantage of a much weakened United team we only have ourselves to blame, United are in their worst state as a squad for years - and they came to Stamford Bridge and beat us. No doubts as a unit last week they worked very well, and they do have momentum on their side, something we have struggled with since the start of the season.

However we can look at on Tuesday as a cup final. We have to win no matter what, a 2-1 win isn't infeasible. It is what we achieved last season, we achieved that with hunger and drive.

Last season does seem echelons away though, Drogba is nowhere near the force he was. Lampard looks anonymous and Malouda is like a bad new signing again. The signs are worrying, and the odds are stacked against us.

In our favour is that we haven't had any major performances this season, every team has them. Last season the major performances were against United and Arsenal, this season we beat United with a good performance and got hammered at the Emirates. On Tuesday needs something special, and at least once a season you get that special performance.

On Tuesday we need to perform like the team under Ranieri against Arsenal in the Quarter Finals of the Champions' League. Arsenal had an away goal then, and in fact went in front in the second leg at Highbury. Wayne Bridge went on to get the winner late on, for a 2-1 victory. We would certainly take that all over again.

Before we start looking at a colourful unsuccessful history all over again, let's hope we can go out there and salvage something from this season. The script is calling for Torres to have the game of his life, my script is left blank at this time - I couldn't care less if we won off Edwin van der Sar's backside, just as long as we win.

No pressure!

Keep the Blue Flag Flying High (and try to keep it steady under the nerves!).

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Comments

Posted by Wale on 04/11/2011

Nice article and you do know what you are talking about. I was worried about Bosignwa myself before an during the tie and behold, he makes a stupid mistake that put us in the position that we found ourselves. I cant wait till next season when we can play Ivanovic at right back and David Luiz in the center. Our defense will once again work as a unit.

Posted by mbuso on 04/11/2011

i felt disgusted by chelsea lucklustre display against united,i personally thnk that ancelotti is destroying chelsea now especialy with the torres saga because money does not score goals but a motivated drog score goals,king drogba has magic inside inside him and i believe that he,malouda and anelka should start if we are goin to have a chance,ancelotti can not change our season but a long injury to useless torres can.

Posted by KRS on 04/12/2011

You're right. Chelsea has indeed got history against them: The Red Devils have NEVER before lost a European Cup over two legs, when they have won the first leg away.

Posted by gautam on 04/12/2011

I don't care if Torres scores or david luiz or even yossi......all i care about is dat we score tonight...2 very crucial goals.Its make or break for us.

BLUE IS THE COLOUR!

Posted by morah Toochukwu on 04/12/2011

I am a blue fan.Be me,today's match will be another miracle for the Blues despite the all odds against the Blues in the Stamford Bridge.100%BLUEZ.

Posted by Eddy on 04/12/2011

You have just echoed my thoughts exactly.
United played well last week but Chelsea made it so easy for them to take the win. Our tactics were to obvious, our passes were predictable and the right side of our defense was our downfall.

Like you said we need to earn this win. We need to be dominating for the 1st whistle. Ancelotti needs to show the movie 300 to the team and then show it again.

Posted by Joz on 04/12/2011

time for a surprise !!!

its time for CHelsea to make some exceptional result to prove the rest!

Posted by George on 04/12/2011

GOOD LUCK CHELSEA!!!!

Posted by Zahid on 04/12/2011

You are right, no pressure united cannot keep us scoreless for 180. We need that early goal, a goal in the first half, one goal for them would not change anything, but one goal for us would change the world. If chelsea want to play four mids and two Fwds then let it be Ben Ayoun to start with lampard, essien and ramires.

Posted by Tim Caffrey on 04/12/2011

You shouldn't try to cram 600 big words into one sentence. This article could have been written with ten times the eloquence, and half the words.

Example-
"If Abramovich does decide to sanction Ancelotti with the sack in the event of a defeat he needs to look closer to home,"

Rewrite-

"If Chelsea lose, and Ancelotti is sacked, Abromovich will need to look closer to home."

Doesn't that sound nicer? Or if you want to keep using fancy words you could say-

"Should defeat ensue, and Ancelotti is sacked, Abromovich will need to look closer to home."

I could edit half of your article in similar fashion.

Not to mention that said sentence was followed by a sentence about not replacing Carvalho. WTF?!?! What does that have to do with replacing Ancelotti with an Englishman?!?!? Way to tie your points together in cogent and related facts.

I would expect nothing less from a Chelski supporter. We've won it three times. MUFC 4ever.

Posted by chuan on 04/12/2011

I'm a united fan but I concur with your well-thought through comments. I think Chelsea is in with a shout despite history being stacked against them. Hope it'll be a cracking game tonight and may the better teamn win!

Posted by Quasem Azam on 04/12/2011

The article is very well balanced. A fan and not a fanatic. The observation are very accurate and keen. I can read some more from the writer.

Posted by barcafan1 on 04/12/2011

I too think that Chelsea can more than overturn last week's result and be the team in the semis. What happened to the team that beat Wigan at the start of the season and then can barely get it done against same team on the weekend? The players need to start playing for each other and stop being upset about what's going on in admin or boardrooms. If they (the players) have any love for Chelsea that will be their main concern - do it now or our season is over.

Posted by Grandpa Simpson on 04/12/2011

Ancelotti can start packing right now and take Anelka, Malouda, Terry and (sadly) Lampard with him, and even though he's scored again 2nite Drogs has to go too, he is not the future. Nothing much wrong with Torres either for that matter, okay he is lacking a bit of self belief but the problem lies with the providers not doing their jobs. There is no creativity behind the front line anymore, hopefully a fit Yossi will give us that soon. If the battering ram doesn't work we have no keys to unlock a door. Torres will make all the doubters take note, but he has to still believe that himself. The season is over now and it should take some pressure off him, hopefully he'll score soon and be back to being the old Torres in time for the kick off in August.

Posted by JTsNaD on 04/13/2011

JT slept with the ref's wife and the ref found out right before the game.

Posted by sony on 04/13/2011

I think Ancelotti has a problem, with some of the players for example why remove Drogba? in the first leg at home, when he was the only force against united defense. why leave Remires on the pitch when he was on yellow card,all he had do was withdraw replace with benayoun. or Bring in Mikel to place in the middle of park(infront of the defense) and allow michael essien freedom.What was Lampard doing on the pitch?

Posted by Red Army on 04/14/2011

Actually who is chelsea ?? to compare with ManUtd FC..! Everyone knows chelsea,just because when Ambramovich take over and spend hundreds millions pounds for chelsea,then everything was change and then everyone knows chelsea is a strongest team,join with his rival others 3 big team. Last 15 yrs or over,all of us know chelsea only seems like newcastle who try to bring a big name like zola,vialli,gullit n others,but they still very far to compare with ManUtd or Liverpool during that time and arsenal was totally change during a.wenger take over. I'm fed up with chelsea fans seems like forgot about that,they thinks there are great team,but NOTHING AT ALL to compare ManUtd n Lvrpool GREAT HISTORY at EPL,uefa cup etc. Chelsea same like ManCity right now,because $$$ attract star players. John Terry said world against us,that is bullshit n u knows what,why chelsea cannot conquer at champ league,because of over confidence,talk to much,under estimate ur opponent,include ur fans feel like thats!!

Posted by AARON MARK HENDRIX on 04/15/2011

I guess it NOTHING then ehh? hahahahaha

Posted by sly on 04/16/2011

If i tell you that i am not disapointed with Anceloti style of coaching i will be lying.
Please can somebody tell me why Lampard can not be changed even when he is making grave and stupid mistakes?
How can the coach change Anelka and leave Drogba at the bench in a crucial match against the Man U.
Torres is not for Chelsea.......

Posted by FlyingBlues on 04/17/2011

@Tim Caffrey, Dude you are a loser.. First of all u come all the way to the blog and wrote some STUPID comment that does not even make sense.
1. Do you think that MU won the game by their play? If yes, then SMD. It was Evra's ungiven faul and resulting penulty that won you the game. And if you are comparing that to the Luiz fouls on 1st march. Then heres my argument 3 fouls in the middle of the field and 1 on a clear cut scoring chance inside the box are 2 different things.
2. Here is what I feel about you suckers.. Now already you are out of FA cup by the hands of MCFC ,there is no way you can get past FCB, RMFC to win the UCL and even after being a HardCore CFC fan I wish that arsenal beats you, Chelsea beats you in the coming fixtures and then we ll see if you go around correcting peoples comments.
3. david, why would you even accept such foolish comments and believe me I suppressed every word that originally came to my mind while cursing in this entry.

Posted by FlyingBlues on 04/17/2011

In the 2 legs

1 starting TORRES.. Hugh mistake. We would have been much menacing, had drogba started.

2. Lampard verdict: What can I say, I am blaming him partially for the loss. It was his awful performance made Carrick (Probably worst MU player of the Season) look good

3. Ramires.. Poor lad.. Missed a glorious chance in the first leg, penalty not given and sent off in the 2nd leg. But he certainly played his heart out.

4 defence.. Terry, Bosingwa, Alex.. Disappointed and need a lot of improvement. ivano and Cole were good but not to the mark. Definitely missed LUIZ

5.. Midfield.. Essien and Molouda need a lot of improvement. I certainly feel that either Zhirkov/Kolou deserved a chance.

6 Strikers.. Dont wanna talk about Torres. Drogba should have started in the 2nd leg.

7. It is more frustratin that it is 2 defeats against MU. The most difficult thing to digest.

Posted by mournho on 04/20/2011

lucky mikel didnt play if not we might have bigger loss

Posted by pageosky on 04/23/2011

torres @ last congratulations

Posted by alpha on 04/28/2011

finally torres ive been waitin for this goal and i no its just the begining of goals to come for chelsea

Posted by richard t sigholz on 05/23/2011

yes iam a fan of all the British teams but would have to say that my fav. is Manchester United .

Posted by Tilly on 05/24/2011

That's way more clveer than I was expecting. Thanks!

Posted by mariaa9710 on 08/31/2011

Chelsea will own this season!! The Blues have got nothing to lose!! Torres will do better this season. He has already scored one goal.

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About
Phil Lythell Phil Lythell is a Chelsea season ticket holder and lifelong Blues supporter stretching back to the sepia-tinted days of Kerry Dixon and Pat Nevin. Author of Chelsea-centric blog ShoutyandSpitty.com, Phil has spent his entire life living within a 20 minute walk of Stamford Bridge which has cost him a fortune but has also kept him from those interminable queues outside Fulham Broadway Station giving him more time in the pub to discuss the latest glorious/calamitous/insipid match.

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