March 7 2012
The message is clear!!! Sung by the massive Blue support at St Andrews last night, ‘Go Forth Benitez, We DON’T WANT YOU (Go Forth replaces the expletive, which we are unable to publish here). Even Di Matteo got a couple of verses, but the Special One was top of the pops, closely followed by Abramovich, ‘who can sack who he likes.’
The team didn’t perform as well as we know they can, but what the hell, enough effort was put in to satisfy the travellers and the result Chelsea came for was acheived.
The best result of the night was seeing ONE ENGLAND CAPTAIN JT recalled, after two weeks out, to warm the bench alongside Super Frank, Didier, Essien, Danny Sturridge, Hilario and Lukaku.
Ashley Cole your place is in doubt. Ryan Bertrand put in a tremendous shift. He kept things simple and didn’t put a left-back foot wrong all night.
Cech was back to his commanding best and in particular, brilliantly tipping over the giant Zigic’s header in the first-half. Had that gone in Di Matteo’s night could have turned seriously sour.
Mata opened the scoring with a toe-poke into the bottom right-hand corner after Irish jigging in the area trying to control the ball on a very bumpy and bobbly pitch and Chelsea’s second came minutes later from a Meireles pearler at the edge of the area.
The game should have been laid to rest when Torres went tumbling inside the area and Chelsea were awarded a penalty.
The hordes were chanting Torres to take it. Mata and I think Ivanovic were trying to persuade Torres to do so but in the end Mata stepped up and MISSED, just like he did in the first game.
The penalty miss galvanised the Brummie crowd who roared their heroes on and if it wasn’t for the bumpy, bobbly pitch Mutch may have caused Cech some serious problems, after running on for a superb ball from Burke, but he hit his shot over the bar, when clean through.
Birmingham City: Doyle, Spector, Davies, Pablo, N’Daw (King 72), Elliott, Mutch, Gomis, Redmond, Rooney (Burke 60), Zigic
Booked: Zigic, N’Daw
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Bertrand, Mikel, Meireles, Ramires (Lampard 75), Kalou (Sturridge 59), Mata (Essien 89), Torres.
Goals: Mata 54, Meireles 60
NEXT UP: Stoke City (H) Saturday 10th March 2012, K.O. 3pm