By Mark Fishburn, EPL Talk Correspondent
(who was at Stamford Bridge yesterday and filed this report from London)
I should have known when I was woken up at 5.30 am by the loudest clap of thunder, that the gods were in disharmony. Later this was evident on the field at Stamford Bridge. I’m not sure what game Mourinho was watching: “Chelsea played incredible attacking football:”
To be honest the game did have some moments. When Didier Drrrrrrrrrogbarrrrr bundled the ball into the net when the game was a couple of minutes old, my seat was so far up in west stand that I actually hit my head on the roof when I jumped up to celebrate. The goalkeeper was tentative and he was punished by Drogba. For the next twenty minutes Chelsea created chances against a truly abysmal Aston Villa side. Gradually, Chelsea started to play two touches where one would do and Aston Villa started getting some possession and creating chances. After 40 minutes however, Essien, Lampard and Shevchenko finally put together a slick move that only lacked a better final pass from Lampard.
Then on the scene came “Curse of the Wenger.” Ashley (bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep) C*l* had been tightly making the Villa right flanker from a distance of 30 yards and then flew in with a tackle and was skinned by Agbonlahor. Luckily a last minute tackle by Terry (maybe it was Carvalho) forced the corner, after which the same player headed the equalizer from 12 yards.
C*l* had another wretched game and I’m trying to start a rumor that he’s being put out on loan to a Nationwide team till he learns marking 101. What the TV doesn’t show is how far off his winger C*l* plays. In the second half he repeated the maneuver and jumped in late to be roasted again. Apparently Sheva overheard a similar loaner conversation in the tunnel at half time because for the next twenty five minutes he started to attack Villa with pace and had his best spell since joining Chelsea. Even so, most of the efforts petered out. Agbonlahor again influenced the play with an excellent tackle when Lampard was put through on the edge of the 10 yard box. Drogba battled with limited service and Essien was the best of the midfield.
If heaven is where the Germans are the engineers and the police are British, chefs French, etc, then yesterday, Chelsea was where the back passing was by Lampard, the forward passing was by Makelele, the mazy dribbling was by Geremi, the right footed crosses were by Robben and the penetrating wing runs were by C*l* stumbling into defenders. Maybe they were all woken up by the same thunderstorm and stumbled out the wrong side of bed.
Clumsy Kalou came on and played like he’d been drinking Kahlua. (Just like the other times he’s played). SWP also brought a couple of good runs but then couldn’t get any passes when unmarked and finally had a shot from a very acute angle that glance of the crossbar.
Aston Villa created a few threats near the end but it’s evident that they still have problems.
Best moment for me was when Sheva was unfairly tackled and lost his right shoe. He demonstrated to Graham Poll by taking the other shoe off.
If Chelsea had been able to string a few more passes together and Lampard had attacked the goal aggressively, then a 2-1 result would have been fair. But they didn’t. Hurry back Joe Cole and Wayne Bridge.
Editor’s Note: If you’re a Villa fan, listen to the interview with lifelong Villa fan and former World Cup commentator Seamus Malin, or listen to the interview with fellow lifelong Villa fan (and stadium author Simon Inglis). Both are available on the EPL Talk Podcast.