As a fan of Arsenal, football was at cross roads as to which is the lesser evil; Chelsea winning would mean being at the eternal mercy of Chelsea fans who will do all they can to rub their Champions League in the face of Arsenal fans, or hope that they lose and allow the cockerel on a basketball, very noisy neighbours – Spurs – a chance at Champions League.
As it stands now, all four EPL teams will go into the group stages of next season’s Champions League to the detriment of Spurs, who will be plying their trade in the Europa League.
Truth be told, Chelsea should have been on their way home ever since the first leg against Napoli. How they managed to stumble and park the bus all through the quarters, semis and the final beggars belief. In all the games they played, from Napoli to Bayern, they were never the dominant team in terms of possession, but when the chances came their way, they made them count.
At first glance it seems the Chelsea set-up (4-4-2) played into the hands of Bayern, as Ryan Betrand and Salomon Kalou were given the task to nullify the threat of Bayern’s inverted wingers (Ribery & Robben) and avoid 1v1 situations with either Bosingwa or Ashley Cole.
The banks of four players tactic worked as Ribery, and most times, Robben were ushered to non threatening areas, and had Lampard and John Mikel playing real deep to pick up the runs of Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
While Mario Gomez was somewhat nullified throughout the game, Thomas Mueller was the most dangerous threat going forward, as his runs from deep were hard to pick up. He was virtually everywhere in the final third, be it the flanks or in the 18 yard box.
Ashley Cole was my choice for MOTM. He seems to thrive in games where Chelsea are playing with their backs to the wall. Always there to make the last ditch tackle or clearances off the line, he turned out to be a massive player.
Talking about football being funny, how do you explain the over 20 corner kicks for Bayern resulting in nothing and just one corner kick by Chelsea resulting in the equalizer by Didier Drogba?
Seems Di Matteo has a penchant for beating teams with their first letter as “B”: Blackburn, Benfica, Barcelona and Bayern. Guess he will need to share notes with a certain gaffer who seems to always have a hard time against teams that start with “B” . Yes, Sir Alex Ferguson, I’m talking to you as Benfica, Basel, Barca & Bilbao come readily to mind.
Now, Roman Abramovich has an interesting decision to make. Now that his 8 year chase for the Golden Fleece has come to an end, will he continue to splash the cash? It’s been rumoured that over 1 billion has been spent throughout the 8 year chase for the elusive Champions League.
The blonde bomber, Fernando “El Nino” Torres and David Luiz now have Champions League medals to add to their FA cup triumph. Not bad for the £50 million & £25 million pound January signings. Andy “The lumbering oaf of a striker” Carroll, we’re looking at you.
Published with permission from O-Posts.