The Guardian, Kevin McCarra: “All Chelsea could take from this draw was a reminder that the return of the Premier League title will only be achieved with difficulty. Against opponents from the relegation zone, they needed a Didier Drogba equaliser merely to increase their lead over Manchester United to two points at the head of the table.”
Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: “Hull were well worth their point, exploiting more unease in Chelsea’s defence at a set-piece with Steven Mouyokolo’s header from Stephen Hunt’s corner. Chelsea equalised through Didier Drogba’s free-kick but never looked a cohesive, consistently threatening unit.”
The Times, Matt Hughes: “Chelsea extended their lead over Manchester United at the top to two points, but Carlo Ancelotti, the manager, will view the result as a missed opportunity.”
Official Chelsea FC Website: “Despite creating far more chances than our hosts, Chelsea had to settle for a point after falling behind at Hull.”
This report is free from all references, innuendos and double entendres relating to the off field activities of players, coaching staff and directors past or present associated with Chelsea Football Club.
This report represents the personal opinions of the reporter, is totally subjective and based loosely on events seen on an Italian satellite transmission in a pub. Player ratings are not based on any statistical method. This report implies no fitness for purpose, should not be relied upon and acts merely as a filler for the page header for subsequent attachment of user comments discussing the personal hurt suffered by Wayne Bridge.
It was tricky finding a local pub screening this game since most were showing the FA Cup tie of Crystal Palace v Wolverhampton Wanderers. Obviously I would have preferred to have travelled to the game but after I discovered that the bus journey from Stamford Bridge was more than the 45 minutes I realised this was a Bridge too far.
We were poor. Very poor.
Lots of poor passes, bad decision making and the concession of unnecessary fouls. Stephen Hunt set about being his usual irritable self and this evening decided to pick a fight with Ivanovic. If I was going to pick a fight I’d choose Deco but eventually Hunt succeeded in winding up Ivanovic to the point where his retaliation got him booked.
Lots of scrappy play from both sides for the first half hour but then came a Hull corner and we succumbed to our Achilles heel of conceding from a set play. We never score from corners so the questions to be asked are:
- Are we crap at corners?
- Is everyone else great at defending corners?
- Are we crap at defending corners?
- Is everyone else great at taking corners?
I’ll go for options 1 and 3. Hull floated in a corner, Cech gave the impression that he was going to come for it and then decided to stay rooted to his line as Mouyokolo headed in unchallenged from six yards.
For several spells we had plenty of possession but poor movement and lack of an incisive pass meant we were going nowhere. Just before half time we won a free kick on the left edge of the Hull box. Drogba stepped up to place a decent free kick inches inside the upright to equalise.
Second half saw a couple of chances but was mostly a blur of pointless triangles interrupted by tedious booing each time JT got the ball. Hull themselves had a few chances and we did succeed in making them look half decent. Towards the end the recently introduced Sturridge had a good shoot from outside the box well saved by Myhill.
Hull is the only UK city to have white telephone boxes because their local exchange is privatised. Using phones as the scoring theme…
Satellite phone (best), Smartphone (including Blackberry), Landline (average), Red Telephone Box, White Telephone Box (completely out of place)
- Cech – Red Telephone Box – causing too much uncertainty
- Ivanovic – Landline – strong and forceful at times, wasteful at others
- Carvalho – Red Telephone Box – if it’s not Cech to blame at the corners it’s got to be him
- Terry – Landline – steady and got on with it
- Lampard – Landline – ok but a few passes that caused the pub crowd to groan
- Ballack – Landline – worked hard
- Malouda – Red Telephone Box – going through the motions
- Zhirkov – Landline – got his head down and got on with it without complaint (but that could be because he can’t speak English)
- Deco – Red Telephone Box – too many poor passes
- Drogba – Landline – but only because he scored otherwise pretty hopeless
- Anelka – Red Telephone Box – was he miffed that Drogba has returned. Transformed from his recent sparkling form back to le sulk
Man of the Match
Are you serious?
Having seen Rooney score at Arsenal on Sunday followed by this evening’s performance I must now brace myself for an agonising finale to the season but as a lifelong Chelsea fan what’s new? Sorry to interrupt, you may now continue discussing Wayne’s emotional state.