Sunday, May 31, 2009

Chelsea, happy ending to an unlucky season

Switching of managers, drought of form, poor refereeing, and the Golden touch... That was the season for Chelsea FC.

Luis Philippe Scolari took over from Avram Grant to give Chelsea a big start to the season, when Chelsea won the games in emphatic fashion. Nicolas Anelka was in good touch and had to operate in the absence of Drogba who injured himself in the Champs league tie against Cluj. Then the downfall started... Chelsea lost three games at home in a short span. One, to Liverpool in premiership that stopped the big home unbeaten run. Second, to Burnley in League Cup, and then to Arsenal in a very unlucky fashion. This triggered the poor luck that shadowed the side for most of the season to follow. Poor refereeing saw most games slip away from the blues. While ManU were just happy winning the games 1-0 and Van der Sar cling on the a long period of clean sheets, Chelsea just couldn't climb up on the table and were stranded on third spot, just matching the results of Liverpool, but not bettering them. Scolari got sacked, without much a surprise. The pace with which he started off was not maintained in the later stages and the Big Phil had no answer to the ill-struck form of the side. In came Guus Hiddinks, a thick friend of Roman Abramovic, as the temporary head coach of the side till the end of the season. And, his golden touch sparkled the side again. The poor refereeing continued but the blues did better than the opponents and referees put together to get good results, late though it may be. Terry, Malouda and Drogba sprung to form. Drogba's spirits were lifted by Guus after Drogba was kept on bench for most games by Phil. Chelsea was almost in the finals, but for Iniesta's killer equaliser to push Barcelona through to a finals meet with ManU, and eventually win it. But, even that game was a bit,err, hugely controversial. Boy! 4 penalties disallowed is no joke... Barca were playing basketball and volleyball and taekwondo inside the box, and the referee was happily dreaming of God knows what. he needed security to escort him to a 'secret, safe location' after the match. Had he not been given that, he would surely have been in deep trouble next day. Anyway, the luckless blues had only one thing left for them - the FA cup. And the club showed all its anger Wenger's Arsenal and proved that not even the referees can stop them from entering the finals. It was a finals meet with one of the finest clubs in EPL, Everton. This match would be Guus' last game in charge of Chelsea and the blues wanted to give him a fitting gift, the silverware. But, the start to the finals was a bit of a shock when Saha shot in a 26th second goal to give Everton the all important lead, though the goal was built on an uncalled offside! But then, Chelsea who have come all the way through the FA cup, winning from behind, did so once again through quality goals from Drogba and Lampard. (And a Malouda goal disallowed, but aren't we used to it???) And, the sesason ends with the all so very important FA Cup victory!!!!! :-)

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