The Guardian, David Hytner: “Having forged ahead through an own-goal from Deivid, [Chelsea] had a fistful of first-half chances to become unassailable. Yet dreams turned into nightmares in the second half as an equaliser from Kazim Kazim, better known to English audiences as Colin Kazim-Richards, formerly of Bury, Brighton and Sheffield United, was followed by a strike in a million from Deivid that more than made amends for his earlier aberration. As Carlo Cudicini clutched at thin air and felt the top corner of his net swell from 25 yards, Chelsea realised that next Tuesday’s return leg at Stamford Bridge will be fraught with peril.”
Daily Telegraph, John Ley: “Colin Kazim-Richards, known in Turkey as Kazim Kazim, came on in the 54th minute and, within 11 minutes, had given Fenerbahce hope of remaining in the competition. The story is an improbable one; he was signed by Brighton after a fan won a Coca-Cola-sponsored competition – he is known as the Coca-Cola Kid – to give the club £250,000 to buy a player.”
The Independent, Glenn Moore: “Chelsea’s apparently serene progress to the Champions League semi-finals was shaken up last night by the “Coca-Cola Kid”. Colin Kazim-Richards, who was once transferred as a result of a competition by the sponsor, last night wrote another chapter into his extraordinary journey from Leytonstone to the banks of the Bosphorus.”
The Times, Matt Hughes: “Roman Abramovich will live in hope that Avram Grant’s turbulent reign at Stamford Bridge has not found permanent expression in this second-half car crash. At the moment, it appears as though it is a fitting summary.”
Official Chelsea FC Website: “On the balance of chances created, Chelsea should be bringing a lead back to London but instead, we have suffered our first defeat in this season’s competition after letting a lead slip.”
We had the Fenerbahce team in a cage like eleven Turkeys off to the slaughter house at Christmas. The Turkeys were subdued and ready to accept their fate when someone let the latch slip and they escaped, running like crazy around the abattoir floor with Avram Grant chasing after them flapping his arms.
It should have been a night when we enjoyed Turkish Delight but unfortunately we over indulged and were left feeling sick.
For 65 minutes we were in total control and I was having thoughts like “can we play you every week”. We were 1-0 up via a wicked deflection from a Florent Malouda cross and by this point we should have been at least 3-0 ahead. Michael Essien had hit the bar, we’d made plenty of chances and the team looked completely different from the way we finished against Middlesbrough.
And then the Turkeys escaped. A ball flighted over our defence and Colin Kazim-Richards raced through to crash it home. From this point on Fenerbahce’s tails were up and we had no idea how to get them back in their cage.
Fifteen minutes later De Souza Deivid thumped a blistering shot from 30 yards, cutting through the air like a kebab skewer through succulent chunks of lamb.
Chelsea ended up being slaughtered by the Turkeys. We had no response and what should have been a comfortable journey concluded with a ride on the Midnight Express.
- Away goal.
- We showed for 70 minutes that we can completely outplay Fenerbahce.
- Team selection – putting eleven dishes on the table like a Turkish Meze might turn out to be a great meal but in this case the combinations didn’t work. Should have played a proper right-back and started with Nicolas Anelka.
- Lack of killer instinct and not taking our chances.
- Defensive capitulation.
- From a side view Grant does look like a Turkey and he may be roasted and on a platter sooner than he’s expecting.
The lambs to the slaughter
- Carlo Cudicini: Not much to do but could he have done anything with either shot? – 6/10.
- Michael Essien: Tried to get forward but still can’t understand why we don’t play a right-back at right-back – 6/10.
- John Terry: Part of the defence that conceded two goals – 6/10
- Ricardo Carvalho: Part of the defence that conceded two goals – 6/10.
- Ashley Cole: Steady – 6/10.
- Claude Makelele: Played well. We’re going to miss him when he gets too old – 7/10.
- Frank Lampard: Played well. Not sure if he was substituted because he was tired or whether Grant felt guilty about recently substituting Ballack so thought it must be Lampard’s turn – 7/10.
- Michael Ballack: Worked hard, distributed well and had a couple of good shots – 7/10.
- Joe Cole: Hard working if uninspiring. Hair too short – 7/10.
- Florent Malouda: Reasonable but final ball could have been better – 6/10.
- Didier Drogba: Bittersweet performance. General hold up play was good but he was hideously selfish on several occasions and spent his usual amount of time rolling around in agony – 6/10.
At half time I was on the National Rail web site looking up prices for a return to Liverpool. If I book now on a Saver Return the price is cheap but I won’t get a refund if I don’t travel. Despite tonight’s catastrophe I still think it’s worth buying a ticket.