The Guardian, David Hytner: "Chelsea had this game and their qualification for the knock-out phase in the palm of their hands but after a stunning denouement they had to face up to the fact that they might need a win at home to Cluj in a fortnight’s time."
Daily Telegraph, John Ley: "Chelsea were second best for long spells but when Nicolas Anelka stole a 60th minute goal against the run of play it seemed the gloom had been lifted off Chelsea. Yet, with seven minutes remaining, Alou Diarra headed Bordeaux equalizer and, two minutes later, Lampard was shown a red card for fouling Fernando, meaning he will miss the visit of FC Cluj, a game they need to win to make certain of qualification."
The Times, Matt Hughes: "Luiz Felipe Scolari’s apprehension was well-founded. If the Chelsea manager was tetchy in the build-up to the match in Bordeaux last night, then pity his friends and family in the run-up to next month’s nail-biting encounter against CFR Cluj at Stamford Bridge, when Chelsea must win to make sure of qualification for the first knockout stage of the Champions League. Mr Grumpy may be here to stay."
The Independent, Sam Wallace: "Chelsea, who are now without an away win in Europe for a year, need to win at Stamford Bridge against the Romanian champions on 9 December to be sure but the way the boat is rocking at the moment nothing is completely certain for Scolari’s team."
Official Chelsea FC Website: "What looked a smash-and-grab Chelsea win against the run of play was spoiled by an 82nd minute Bordeaux equaliser, leaving plenty of work still to do in the final group stage game."
Sorry, no philosophy or wine references from me. What little talent I have for writing doesn’t stretch to comparing Friedrich Nietzsche’s Ubermensch concept to John Terry’s apparent indestructibleness.
Hold on. Can you philosophise dreams? Because Tuesday night I dreamt that we lost this game (probably something to do with the glass or three of dry white I quaffed before bedtime). I was playing at right-back (why right-back only my subconscious knows; I’ve always imagined myself playing in the hole). Ray Wilkins kept bollocking me for making too many forward runs and fluffing crosses. He didn’t seem to care that I was wearing my dead grandfather’s favourite pair of slippers, which made crossing quite difficult. Harsh I thought. I certainly played better than every member of the squad did last night.
Pick the philosophical bones out of that.
- Petr Cech. Kept us in it in the first half with three sharp, if routine saves. Came for and collected crosses and corners with authority. Let down by his defenders for the equaliser, which he couldn’t do anything about.
- Frank Lampard’s pass for Nicolas Anelka’s goal. Typical quick thinking from Lampard. It’s just a shame he had to go and spoil it by getting sent off.
- Nicolas Anelka’s goal. Brilliantly taken. He’s still one of the best finishers in the game.
- And that’s it.
- The first half. Frustrating to say the least. The fact that we didn’t have a single shot on goal says it all. Laurent Blanc’s side did an effective job of cutting off our attacking threat from full-back, closed us down all over the pitch, and generally looked more up for it. It was a repeat of the away performances against Roma and CFR Cluj. In one word: poor.
- The second half. Not much better. Our first shot of any kind resulted in a goal. We looked to be in control after Anelka scored as Bordeaux ran out of ideas, only for some sloppy defending to let them back in it. The marking at the corner from which Alou Diarra equalised was abysmal; John Terry has to take the blame I’m afraid.
- Frank Lampard’s sending off. Utter stupidity, which is rare for Lampard. Fernando wasn’t far from his own corner flag and Lampard didn’t need to lunge in like that, especially as he was already on a yellow card. What goes through a player’s mind in those situations? He will miss the final group game against Cluj at Stamford Bridge in a fortnight’s time.
- Our lack of ideas against better organised opposition. Scolari’s got a job on his hands. Talk of a crisis is premature, but he’s got to come up with a Plan B soon if we’re to progress further than the first knockout stage (we’ll definitely qualify. Famous last words).
Everyone gets a 4.5, bar Petr Cech who gets a 6 for keeping us in the game in the first half.
Man of the Match
If I have to name one, then Petr Cech.
No complaints about the result from me. We got what the performance deserved; a win would have been hard on Bordeaux.
We’ve never failed to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League, and I can’t see us failing this season. It’s just a case of where we finish in the group, top or second.
Roma have moved a point clear with one round of games to be played. Bordeaux travel to the Stadio Olimpico needing a win, while we also need three points to guarantee qualification. If Roma beat Bordeaux then the best we can finish is second (we could afford to lose to Cluj), which would result in a tougher draw. Inter Milan anyone?
Roll on Sunday.
I’m off to bed to dream of playing in the hole.