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Chelsea Win Cup

Becks2010-05-01 18:43:33 +0000 #1
Carling Cup Final : Chelsea 3 Liverpool 2

Sunday, Feb 27, 2005

The first trophy of the Mourinho and Abramovich era is on its way to the Chelsea trophy cabinet. After the worst possible start to the 2005 Carling Cup Final, hearts remained big, minds remained strong and skill remained high resulting in extra-time goals for Didier Drogba, Mateja Kezman and an initial an own-goal from Steven Gerrard. They were enough to win the day.

It needed character to triumph in Cardiff. After the set-backs against Newcastle and Barcelona during the past eight days, the last thing Chelsea needed was to go a goal down inside the first minute, but that was the big test we were presented with.

It took until 12 minutes from time to find the equalise and then it needed the fortunate intervention of a Gerrard wayward header but as the contest went into injury-time there only looked likely to be one winner. Not even Liverpool restoring the deficit to a single goal late on could alter that fact and under a roofed Millennium Stadium, noisy celebrations could begin.

The day began well for Chelsea when the one injury doubt, William Gallas, was able to take his place at left-back which meant just one change from the side that played in Barcelona. Jiri Jarošik was a pair of fresh legs brought into midfield in place of Tiago with Joe Cole continuing to be given a place in the three-man attack ahead of Eidur Gudjohnsen.

Harry Kewell, who only played his first game of 2005 midweek in the Champions League was preferred to Milan Baros as support to Fernando Morientes in Liverpool’s attack. Gerrard returned to their midfield after a European suspension.

Pre-match entertainment that included high-volume club anthems and balloon suspended-club badges was provided by the Carling Cup Final organisers leading up to kick-off but the Chelsea fans in the stadium were more distracted by the sight of Arjen Robben joining in a pre-game kick around with the other players not involved. Scott Parker and Robert Huth were also out there.

Carlo Cudicini, so sadly suspended from what was likely to be the biggest day of his season, was given the honour of leading the team out amongst the pyrotechnics.

Then the game was underway and before many had taken their seats or the first ‘One Man Went To Mow’ had echoed around the stadium, Chelsea were behind, paying a big price for loose marking on the flanks.

From a clutch of bodies on the edge of the area, the ball emerged to Morientes on the right who was allowed to hook it over the entire Chelsea defence to Riise, left all alone. The Norwegian, often a sweet striker of the ball caught his 12 yard volley perfectly, giving Cech no chance of keeping it out.

Just 45 seconds had passed and Middlesbrough’s record for the fastest League Cup Final goal, set only last season, had gone. It was another final involving Middlesbrough that all Chelsea supporters were thinking about at that precise moment!

Predictably, it took time to settle after such a body blow but José Mourinho’s side slowly began to gain the upperhand in possession, if not threaten the Liverpool goal.

Hyypia was booked for tripping Drogba as the Chelsea striker spun away from him and a Terry surge on 21 minutes won a free-kick 30 yards out, struck straight and true by Lampard but on this occasion, Dudek’s handling was secure.

Lampard then became the first Chelsea player to receive a yellow card, sliding in on Luis Garcia to much derision from the Liverpool fans, the injury to Xabi Alonso on New Year’s Day still fresh in their minds.

Just two minutes later came Chelsea’s best chance of the first-half, Cole sliding a pass through to Drogba whose shot was on target but clipped the underside of a fortunate Dudek and rolled wide. Lampard then looped a header towards goal after Terry had headed on the corner but Liverpool were able to hack clear.

The third booking was for Traore when he felled Ferriera as the right-back made his first determined run down the right. At last Chelsea were beginning to cause our opponents problems deep in their half.

Still behind at half-time, Mourinho made his first switch. An ineffective Jarošik was taken off, Cole dropped back into midfield to take his place with Gudjohnsen brought on up front.

Ten minutes into the second-half, Drogba dallied and failed to get his shot in after bringing down a wonderful Lampard pass and then Chelsea were denied by a double Dudek save. The first full-stretch stop was from Gudjohnsen’s well-placed header and then when the ball fell to Gallas, the Liverpool keeper was there to block the follow-up shot.

A worried Benitez decided it was time for switch of his own, withdrawing Kewell and bringing on Nunez in hope of bolstering a stretched midfield but by now Lampard was rampant, picking out his strikers’ runs time and time again.

However on 63 minutes, Liverpool finally broke their shackles, Luis Garcia finding space on the right and serving up the perfect ball in front of Hamann. Cech, one-handed, kept the shot out.

With Duff operating dangerously down the right, a second Liverpool sub saw left-back Traore off with Riise dropping back and Biscan entering the action. It didn’t prevent further sustained pressure and a passage of crisp passing ended with Riise heading Gallas’ ambitious attempt out from under the crossbar.

With just over 15 minutes remaining, both teams made one more change. Gallas was sacrificed to allow Kezman on with the defence, in which John Terry was at his very best, switching to a three. Liverpool made a more direct swap, Baros on for Morientes up front. This time the Spaniard had failed to put Chelsea to the sword.

Immediately after those changes Liverpool had a chance, Gerrard in front of goal sliding the ball wide under a determined challenge from Ferreira. How he was to wish he missed the net just a few minutes later.

Hamann was booked for a calculated foul on Lampard, still dominating. Chelsea were clearly the better side but time was running out.

Blessed relief came on 78 minutes. Ferreira floated a free-kick into the box where Gerrard rose above a group of bodies but only succeeded in flicking the ball behind him where it bounced off the post and in with Dudek rooted. Chelsea had the platform from which to go on and win.

Kezman was booked for dissent as the incident became non-stop. Duff picked up yet another great Lampard pass and burst through Carragher’s tackle but Dudek saved with his feet, suffering an injury in the process.

Then Kezman on the right drove a shot over which was greeted by the now traditional ‘Come On Kezman’ chant. With a minute of normal time to go, a blistering Duff shot was deflected wide with Dudek off-balance.

The multiple substitutions and the Dudek injury meant six minutes added time and the start of it was marked by a Lampard shot not too far off target. It ended with a chance for Liverpool when Baros burst through but a strong touch gave him a tough task and his shot flew wide.

Chelsea’s team talk before the start of extra-time was carried out by assistant manager Steve Clarke, Mourinho having been asked to watch the game from a TV room after an altercation with the Liverpool fans nearby, soon after Chelsea’s goal.

Extra-time began as normal time had ended with Chelsea on top and within two minutes we had struck an upright, Drogba unlucky with a header after Duff had stood the ball up at the near-post.

The other good chance of the first period was at the other end, with much relief as Biscan headed over after Hamann’s crafty free-kick gave Baros the chance to cross.

So it was still all-square when the second 15 minute period began but it only took a minute to change that. This time it was a Chelsea last touch that found the net, Drogba bundling the ball in from a yard out having collected Johnson’s long throw. He was booked for a shirt-off celebration - but who cared?

Five minutes later it was 3-1 and once again Chelsea proved deadly from a yard. The danger began when Dudek beat out a Lampard free-kick but when he pushed out a follow-up Gudjohnsen effort from the other side, Kezman reacted quickest to finish. They were hardly the most spectacular three goals to win a final, but once again, who cares?!

Chelsea had Liverpool down but not out. With seven minute remaining, Luis Garcia floated a ball over and with Cech blocked from gathering, Nunez reached it first to head in. Duff was booked for complaining and there were still nervous minutes ahead.

Carragher completed the card count, dissent again the offence and it was Liverpool who had the final chance of the game. Fortunately, Cech who had been a model of safe-handling throughout was equal to task of saving Biscan’s far-post header.

After the final whistle the Chelsea fans cruelly sang ‘One Stevie Gerrard’ as the Liverpool captain stood with his head bowed. Mourinho, now back inside the arena went across for a consoling handshake with him, and the other Liverpool players.

The Liverpool fans had by then largely left the stadium. The Chelsea fans of course remained to see John Terry lift his first silverware as Chelsea captain and the club’s first since the year 2000

serb012010-05-01 18:55:27 +0000 #2
im only happy that kezman scored
Chelsea_Smile2010-05-01 19:00:54 +0000 #3

did u notice the top kezman was wearing in the photo taking and cup presentation after the win from chelsea? SRBIJA!!!!

Marko_c2010-05-01 19:39:58 +0000 #4
ya...his classic scoreing shirt......i know the shirt....but i didnt c wat was written on it does ne one know?
Chelsea_Smile2010-05-01 20:14:05 +0000 #5
I only caught the SRBIJA word, and the backwards N we have in cerilic (cerilicu) !
Highway Penguin2010-05-01 19:59:27 +0000 #6

That's all it was.

Gerrard scoring the own goal was unpredictable.

Good stuff though guys....
porkster1042010-05-01 21:39:44 +0000 #7
Congrats to Chelsea! It was a good match but Gerrard scoring the own goal was unexpected. It seems as though he single-handedly gave Chelsea the Carling Cup!
Becks2010-05-01 21:27:21 +0000 #8
It did. It was very sad to watch.



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