Chelsea make light work by beating Brentford 4-0 in FA Cup Fourth Round

Match Summary

A much-changed Chelsea side saw off Brentford 4-0 to progress to the FA Cup Fifth Round with ease.

Goals by Willian and Pedro set the tone inside the first 20 minutes, whilst Ivanovic and a Batshuayi penalty wrapped things up in the closing 20 minutes.

In the process was a chance for Conte to rest nine first-team regulars and blood the likes of Chalobah, Loftus-Cheek and the returning Ake, who simply had too much quality for the second-division side.

It means the Blues are into the competition’s Fifth Round for the 20th time in 24 years, where the opponents will be drawn on Monday evening.

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The last time these two sides met, Chelsea needed a replay to beat the Bees in the 2012/13 iteration of the competition, with today’s visitors not beating the hosts since 1939, and it did not look like this record was to be broken after just 14 minutes on the clock.

Pedro was blocked off by the Brentford defence and Michael Oliver signalled a free-kick from a promising position 20 yards out. Willian took a quick two-step run up before arrowing it perfectly into the Brentford goal past Bentley, to record his seventh goal of the season.

Seven minutes later and it was 2-0.

A beautiful counter-attack by Willian and then Batshuayi saw the Belgian try to feed Loftus-Cheek who was running in on goal. An astray pass to the Englishman turned into the perfect pass to the man running on the overlap, Pedro, who took the ball in his stride, cut back on his left foot and poked it between Bentley’s legs.

The Spaniard has now scored eight goals after just 24 appearances this season, matching the total number of goals he scored for all of last season (40 games).

The Blues were keen to seal the deal early, and Loftus-Cheek was enjoying his advanced left-wing role, firing a shot via a ricochet which forced Bentley into a good save.

Moments later, a corner by Fabregas saw Ake go just wide, whilst another set-piece opportunity later saw Terry climb highest, and when the ball fell kindly to Batshuayi, the Brentford defence somehow managed to clear the ball away from the goal, with the goal-line technology system in use to show the ball was scrambled away before it crossed the line.

The Blues then had the ball in the net twice in quick succession: firstly Fabregas found Pedro who just went a fraction too early, even if his square ball was tapped in by Batshuayi, and moments later it was a near-identical moment, with Pedro again not in-sync with Chalobah’s through-ball despite Batshuayi again supplying the end product.

Fabregas’ daisy-cutter was tipped away by Bentley as Chelsea were firing from all cylinders, including a pop at goal by Loftus-Cheek, but the youngster lacked conviction.

The second half brought about a resurgence in Brentford spirit, albeit short-lived. Two real opportunities to score were spurned, firstly when the Brentford attack got ahead of Zouma and Terry but could not outsmart Begovic, before a dangerous cross send the Chelsea defence into panic.

Willian was keen to get on the scoresheet from open play and cut in from the left in search of the angle to find his goal, but greedily blazed it wide with many colleagues in better positions.

Michael Oliver was clearly keen to let the game flow as much as possible, allowing as much advantage as possible, and it nearly worked in Chelsea’s favour when Willian skipped nearly four punishable tackles before feeding Loftus-Cheek, who sadly who only hit the top of the crossbar with his deft lob.

Woods then turned Terry and Azpilicueta but failed to beat Begovic, but the real opportunities continued to be at the other end. Ivanovic exchanged one-twos firstly with Zouma and then with Pedro before continuing his run and firing in Chelsea’s third.

The Serbian, who had only just come on for arguably one of his last Chelsea appearances, was then the provider of his side’s fourth, winning the penalty in the 81st minute. Batshuayi, for all his huffing and puffing and good movement, failed to find the goal and so all eyes were on him the the Belgian did not disappoint. It means Batshuayi has been involved in six goals in three starts at Stamford Bridge for Chelsea, and seals a comfortable day for Conte’s men.

What are your thoughts from the game? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below!

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Man of the Match

pedro-thumbnailPEDRO: Michy Batshuayi deserves credit for leading the line professionally after an undoubtedly frustrating start to his Chelsea career trying to displace Costa, and many of Chelsea’s youngsters deserve applause for their role in this disciplined display, but the creative engine needs to be there and somehow this season it is Pedro. With Hazard benched and Willian also potent, Pedro has risen to another level and is surely one of the first names on the team-sheet for Conte now. 8/10

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Manager Reaction

Conte was pleased to progress in this competition: “When you win 4-0 it’s a good result, and when you score many goals and you don’t concede. I must be pleased because when you change nine players you can see all the players, all the squad are totally involved in our idea of football, our project. That’s very important. I’m very happy.”

Smith was noble in defeat: “It was always going to be tough but I didn’t want to come away from here without us asking a question. The fans were brilliant… it was a local derby and they wanted to see us in the FA Cup having a go. We did that in the second-half, not so much in the first-half.”

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Fan View

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Post written by Martin Li. Martin has had five years’ blogging experience, writing for the likes of Bleacher Report and SWOL. He runs his own Chelsea blog — The Chelsea Chronicle — which has match reaction and analysis from every Chelsea match. You can follow him on Twitter.

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© Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle, 2011-2016. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this Blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Chelsea start life post-Mourinho with 3-1 win against Sunderland

Match Summary

The Chelsea players put in the performance of a lifetime in one final act of betrayal to former manager Jose Mourinho, who was mercilessly sacked just 48 hours before kick-off.

The Blues’ players, who had suffered nine defeats in 16 Premier League matches, left their former manager to rot and, under the stewardship of Steve Holland in the very short-term, played with the hunger and passion they deliberately forgot about for Mourinho.

This act of betrayal did not go unnoticed inside a hostile Stamford Bridge atmosphere, with the Chelsea fans very much siding with the only man in the current set-up to truly bleed blue blood, and with every goal and substitution came raucous chants of “Jose Mourinho”.

In the end, whilst it would be difficult to justify sacking Mourinho on one showing, Roman Abramovich will at least be pleased to see his side back to winning ways, though once again it is short-termism over longevity.

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With Thursday’s firing of Mourinho, Steve Holland and Eddie Newton were drafted in as one-game wonders, and with Guus Hiddink appointed until the end of the season, Chelsea may as well announce they have sacked the next manager already.

But it is a penny for Mourinho’s thoughts, in Brighton to watch his friend Karanka and his Middlesbrough side take on Brighton, to see his former side switch on so instantly to score two goals in the opening 13 minutes.

There could not be a better showing of betrayal. The players, unfit to wear the shirt of even a League 2 side for many weeks had suddenly turned into world-beaters, with Oscar confidently trying rabonas and Costa showing some sort of effort.

It was another much-maligned individual who got the game’s first goal inside five minutes. Willian, who can escape criticism for not trying, swung in a corner and Ivanovic leapt like never before to head a quite superb goal into the top corner. It was his first goal of the season; if only he had such determination under his previous boss.

And what for Chelsea’s creative talents? Well, Pedro was next on the scoresheet, with Ivanovic’s cross finding Pedro to rifle home around the penalty area. It was his first goal at Stamford Bridge; if only he had such determination under his previous boss.

It was a turning into a case of how many. Matic all of a sudden became a footballer and his reverse pass nearly paid off for Willian.

Oscar should have scored when given acres of space but Pantilimon’s legs denied him a certain goal which his performance deserved.

He would get the opportunity early in the second half though. Pedro’s ball to Willian was good, as was the Brazilian’s control, but Pantilimon clattered the winger and the penalty, Chelsea’s first of the season, was awarded. All Mourinho’s complaints were being answered, but he was not here to see it. Oscar calmly tapped the ball into the net, again with more chants of Mourinho’s name.

There was no getting away from Chelsea’s defensive frailities, however, with Borini pulling a goal back moments later. Johnson’s free-kick found Kaboul who found Borini to bundle home.

Nerves crept into Steve Holland’s thinking and Mikel and Remy were the introductions. Damningly, it was two suspected “bad apples” who had to depart: Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa. The former went off to boos and Costa, who continued to be his usual self all match and a fraction off every ball, stormed down the tunnel to heart-felt chants of Mourinho’s name.

Chelsea saw the game out and we will see the return of Hiddink on Boxing Day, but the suggestion Hiddink’s a better manager to ressurect Chelsea’s season than Mourinho is as laughable as it gets.

What are your thoughts from the game? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below!

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Man of the Match

oscar.thumbnailOSCAR: Chelsea’s best player of the game but there is an overwhelming sense of lack of effort under Mourinho. Oscar tried everything today and made himself look like Zico, with cute dribbles and rabona passes, and of course the goal. How frustrating it would be for Mourinho, who so often gave the Brazilian the freedom in the No.10 role, but rarely grasped the opportunity with both hands like today. 7/10

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Manager Reaction

Steve Holland was sad to see Mourinho depart, but was happy with the result: “[In] my role as a club man, you get close to the people you work with, and it’s sad when that changes, but we had an important game two days after and I had a responsibility to the fans and the club. I am happy with the result but it is raw. I feel the way I feel. In the end I thought they saw the game out fairly comfortably.”

Allardyce understood how hard it was come back when you concede two early goals: “We looked frightened of going out to play. When we gave them the first goal early it lifted the whole stadium. Right from the start we made life very difficult for ourselves. I was happy to get in at half-time just 2-0 down.”

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Post written by Martin Li. Martin has had four years’ blogging experience, writing for the likes of Bleacher Report and SWOL. He runs his own Chelsea blog — The Chelsea Chronicle — which has match reaction and analysis from every Chelsea match. You can follow him on Twitter.

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© Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle, 2011-2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this Blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Chelsea 1-1 Burnley: Match Reaction

Match Summary

Chelsea drop two points and, in more significant damage lose Matic for three games, after an ill-tempered affair against Burnley at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues, who had got in front thanks to another Ivanovic goal, were struggling to get through for a second insurance goal, and Burnley made them pay, through whatever illegal means it took. Mee headed home an equaliser late on from  a corner, but the real turning point was in the 70th minute.

Matic was sent off for reacting to a Barnes challenge, and whilst you typically associate Matic with being an ice-cool customer, it is easy to see why he reacted so angrily to Barnes’ leg-breaking challenge, which earned the Englishman absolutely no card at all. It means the Serbian will now miss next week’s all-important League Cup Final against Tottenham. Couple that with two stone-wall penalty appeals and it adds further fuel to Mourinho’s “campaign” suggestions.

It should have been a match were we were talking the joys out of another Serbian: Branislav Ivanovic. The right-back has been in prolific form of late, scoring four in a month and only one behind Fernando Torres in terms of Chelsea career goals. Hazard worked it well and Ivanovic was on hand to drive home.

But as the match wore on, Chelsea were not feeling the rhythm. Hazard and Cuadrado could not link up well but Chelsea should have had a penalty when Ivanovic’s cross hit Kightly’s outstretched hands in the box. It was a certain penalty; Atkinson saw differently.

As the first half drew to a close, it should have been another penalty. Costa was felled and, though contact was weak, it was more than a shoulder-to-shoulder barge so it should have been a spot-kick. Again, Atkinson saw differently.

But credit to Burnley where they deserved it. Courtois had to make fine saves, particularly against Barnes, but the Burnley striker was lucky to not even get a single card at any point during the match, for he made many similar tackles.

That would incense Mourinho but what may incense him more is his decision to not bring Cahill on before the corner Burnley equalised from. He had the option to, but Ramires was preferred to mark Mee, to much regret.

What are your thoughts from the game? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below!

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Man of the Match

branislav-ivanovic.thumbnailBRANISLAV IVANOVIC: He scored again. The man has given Chelsea seven years’ excellent service for £9 million. You will not find a more atypical right-back: right-backs tend to be good at crosses and useless at everything else. Ivanovic is a defensive and attacking machine — a defender-cum-striker — not your standard ‘failed right-winger put into right-back position’. Excellent stalwart. 7/10

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Manager Reaction

Mourinho wanted focus on four key points — two Barnes challenges and two blatant penalty appeals — before referring back to his ‘campaign’ suggestions: “There are four moment of the game where you can write the story. Minutes 30, 33, 43 and 69. Don’t ask me more questions. I am happy that I am not stupid. I understood everything a couple of months ago.”

Dyche was skipping around the point: “I am very pleased with the application and the quality we showed. The mentality is solid and they are a very good side.”

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Post written by Martin Li. Martin has had four years’ blogging experience, writing for the likes of Bleacher Report and SWOL. He runs his own Chelsea blog — The Chelsea Chronicle — which has match reaction and analysis from every Chelsea match. You can follow him on Twitter.

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© Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle, 2011-2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this Blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Chelsea: Match Reaction

Match Summary

Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain played out an enthralling 1-1 draw as the two sides could not be separated in Paris.

The opponents, who were playing in front of a star-studded audience, including David Beckham and Sir Alex Ferguson, fittingly matched that with a good game, with goals nine minutes either side of the half-time interval. It means now there is all to play for in the return leg in three weeks’ time.

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It was a start which belonged to neither side, with both hesitant to make a wrong move so early on. Chelsea edged it slightly but PSG were always there to counter, forcing Chelsea to take risk-averse action.

That changed in the 36th minute. A set-piece petered out but John Terry collected the ball and regathered momentum with a hopeful cross into the box. Cahill applied the perfect flick-on for Ivanovic to leap highest to score his 30th Chelsea goal. It was a quite brilliant goal from Chelsea’s back-line: who needs Hazard, Fabregas and Costa?

PSG, and Cavani, responded straight after the break with their own headed goal, though. The hosts had had a greater share of possession and chances and it was inevitable one would be converted. Cavani was found in acres of space and headed down and past Courtois.

It was not the only time Chelsea were shaky. Courtois had to be on hand to divert many downward-facing headers and it was the luck of a fortuitious Terry and Azpilicueta combination that stopped Lavezzi from putting PSG’s noses in front.

Ibrahimovic had a chance in the dying moments to head his side in front but Courtois was again on hand to divert the header away.

It was a game of many headers and many long balls, not allowing the creative sparks of Hazard and Willian, who love ball at feet, to really get into their rhythm, which suited PSG perfectly. We await the second-leg.

What are your thoughts from the game? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below!

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Man of the Match

thibaut-courtois.thumbnailTHIBAUT COURTOIS: Been harsh on this little lad for a while now, not because he has not done a good job on occasion, but because I am a Big Pete fan. But, emotional allegiances aside, the Belgian perhaps just shades my Man of the Match award tonight. None of his saves were extraordinary, but he needed to be there and read it well. No flapping at crosses at this time too. 7/10

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Manager Reaction

Mourinho was pleased with a draw: “We could have lost, so I think the result is a positive one. I don’t say very good because it depends on the result of the second leg but it is a positive result against a very good team with fantastic technical players. It was a difficult match.”

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Post written by Martin Li. Martin has had four years’ blogging experience, writing for the likes of Bleacher Report and SWOL. He runs his own Chelsea blog — The Chelsea Chronicle — which has match reaction and analysis from every Chelsea match. You can follow him on Twitter.

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© Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle, 2011-2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this Blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea: Match Reaction

Match Summary

Chelsea secured a vital win against Aston Villa as the Blues race into a seven-point lead at the top of the table.

Jose Mourinho, who has never won at Villa Park in five previous attempts, had Hazard and Ivanovic to thank as it was sixth time lucky, with the double bonus that Manchester City dropped two points too.

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It means Chelsea are firmly in the driving seat now, with closest rivals Manchester City suffering a mid-season crisis: out of both cups, with Barcelona to come in the Champions League, and a sizeable seven point gap away from the top of the table.

The hosts for today’s game was also in a spot of bother, with no Premier League goal scored all year. Chelsea were to give them a belated Christmas present, however.

But it was a fast start that put Chelsea on their way. Drogba’s punt forward to Oscar was hopeful but the Brazilian controlled and laid the ball off to his compatriot, Willian. He then found Hazard who, on the run, swept the ball home.

The grumbles were audible from the home fans but, to their side’s credit, they did not crumble.

Chelsea were patient — perhaps too patient — and Ramires had chances, as too Drogba.

The half-time team-talk by Paul Lambert clearly reinvigorated a side with how confidence as Okore equalised. It was only their 12th goal of the season but the relief across the home crowd was palpable.

With so much at stake for both sides, we were in for an end-to-end conclusion. Ivanovic struck sweetly for Chelsea and, as time passed, it proved to be the winner.

But this was not without some new and old faces, with Cuadrado making his debut, and Joe Cole and Scott Sinclair lining up for Aston Villa against their former side. The Chelsea defence, with Gary Cahill back, held firm and Chelsea march on.

What are your thoughts from the game? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below!

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Man of the Match

branislav-ivanovic.thumbnailBRANISLAV IVANOVIC: It’s easy to just go for the player who scores the winner, and whilst that is the case here for Ivanovic, the Serbian most definitely deserves it today. A resolute defensive showing as Aston Villa were determined to be a threat towards the end, but it was a precision goal any striker would be proud of, with such technique with his left foot to fire home into the top corner. 8/10

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Manager Reaction

Mourinho was elated: “It is one more hurdle in the title race, but there are many more. It is possibly the only league in Europe where teams from the bottom can play against the top ones and not just make things difficult but win points. I like [that Man City lost] but that was not my concern today.”

Paul Lambert felt he could reflect positively from the performance: “We deserved something from the game, we played really well. We have top players. Our season will not be defined with what happened against Arsenal and Chelsea, it is about from now on in.”

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Post written by Martin Li. Martin has had four years’ blogging experience, writing for the likes of Bleacher Report and SWOL. He runs his own Chelsea blog — The Chelsea Chronicle — which has match reaction and analysis from every Chelsea match. You can follow him on Twitter.

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© Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle, 2011-2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this Blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool AET: Match Reaction

Match Summary

Chelsea are heading to Wembley to contest in the Capital One Cup final after a edging an enthralling tight encounter with Liverpool.

With the deadline unbroken at the end of 90 minutes, the Blues, whose away goal at Anfield last week would only become effective after the full 120 minutes, has Branislav Ivanovic to thank, as his thumping header secured Chelsea’s passage to Wembley.

It will be Chelsea’s first Capital One Cup final since 2007, and their opponents will either be Sheffield Wednesday, or more likely, Tottenham Hotspur, who emerged the victor in that 2007 show-piece.

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Regardless of the future, the present was very hard work. It was a valiant effort by arch-nemesis Liverpool, who came out in force, mainly through the excellent Raheem Sterling.

But the Chelsea spirit does not die.

The first half was your classic, cagey second-leg of a semi-final, trepidation with every move as there was much to lose, but it was not without its chances.

Willian was shut off from having a go by Lucas, whilst Costa was a constant menace. Zouma made, and then corrected, his potentially fatal error but stole the ball back with inch-perfect precision. It was vital that was clean.

The open-ended game would bring dramas and Costa and Skrtel were at the heart. The Chelsea striker felt he should have had a penalty after a scything lunge by the latter, and the replays would agree. Michael Oliver did not.

Courtois proved to be the busier of the two goalkeepers, stopping Moreno’s shot, who had found an alarming amount of space down the Chelsea right. Mourinho had his keeper to thank again as Coutinho ran clear of both Zouma and Terry. It should have been a certain goal.

But with the frustration growing from Liverpool, it played into Chelsea’s hands. That is exactly how they like it. Throw in a couple of injuries — in the form of Fabregas and Luis — and then you have a proper Chelsea victory.

Costa continued to be a presence, and should have settled things when he was one-on-one with Mignolet. A simple shot from five yards was deemed not sensible and instead the intracacy of rounding the keeper deemed more elegant, but Mignolet poked a toe at it. Costa’s most notable contribution would, however, come in the form of stamps on both of Can and Skrtel’s ankles. We await retrospective action.

Henderson himself was lucky not to be sent off as he ought to have picked up a second yellow for a stray arm, as was Lucas, but the night belonged to Chelsea anyway.

It must be said Chelsea’s best threat continues to be set-pieces and when you get a good delivery, a la Willian’s in the fourth minute of extra-time, you usually get a good connection with it, a la Ivanovic’s thump into the back of the net.

Stamford Bridge erupted.

What are your thoughts from the game? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below!

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Man of the Match

thibaut-courtois.thumbnailTHIBAUT COURTOIS: I’ve been hard on this fella namely because I’m a big fan of Big Pete, but you cannot deny he kept Chelsea in the match with a string of saves in both legs. Perhaps there was no amazingly extraordinary save, but he was a constant presence, claiming high balls from Liverpool set pieces, or reacting so quickly to open balls before Sterling could latch on. Fine concentration demonstrated. 8/10

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Manager Reaction

Mourinho was appreciated of the whole Chelsea approach: “The most important thing is that we won, the group is happy and the supporters were absolutely wonderful. The final at Wembley always means a lot. Wembley has history and the fans they want to go, they pushed us.”

Rodgers agreed with my Man of the Match: “I thought we had a number of opportunities. If you assess it over two legs their goalkeeper has won them the tie. He is a world-class keeper.”

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Post written by Martin Li. Martin has had four years’ blogging experience, writing for the likes of Bleacher Report and SWOL. He runs his own Chelsea blog — The Chelsea Chronicle — which has match reaction and analysis from every Chelsea match. You can follow him on Twitter.

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© Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle, 2011-2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this Blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Everton 3-6 Chelsea: Match Reaction

Match Summary

Chelsea and Everton served out a nine-goal thriller as this classic match was ironically helped by some shocking officiating.

The likes of Diego Costa, Ramires, Matic and Ivanovic all were on the score-sheet for the Blues, whilst ex-Blue Samuel Eto’o scored on his debut.

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The Londoners started with immense power: Costa slided the ball home after 35 seconds after great work by Fabregas.

But then the dodgy officiating kicked in. Ivanovic was a leg’s width offside whrn he doubled Chelsea’s lead within minutes. Referee Moss should then have sent off Howard for handling outside the box, and failed to make amends even when he later headbutted Azpilicueta.

Thankfully, the sheer number of goals should take the headlines, for it was that sort of yo-yo game.

Mirallas’ delightful header just before half-time made it game on, but a Coleman own goal early in the second looked to settle things.

Everton had other ideas as Chelsea became complacent. Naismith toe poked home, but Chelsea restored their two goal lead through Matic.

That was halved — again — through a sublime Eto’o header, but no-one could control anything as Ramires slid one home just a minute later.

Ten minutes of protective Chelsea play then allowed for Costa to grab his brace in injury time.

It makes it three wins from three, but it could have been much easier.

What are your thoughts from the game? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below!

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Man of the Match

diego-costa.thumbnail DIEGO COSTA: Such a high-scoring game and Matic and Cahill can be proud of their defensive efforts despite the score-line painting a very different picture, but Costa has to be praised for starting and ending the rout. Effortless commitment and tireless approach, but must cut out the petulance because he is waiting for a red card if he keeps falling for opponents’ smart provocation. 8/10

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Manager Reaction

Mourinho was unhappy with aspects his side’s performance: “It was wonderful for everyone at the stadium and watching television around the world — but not for me. We are improving in other areas but not keeping the balance in defence. Wednesday afternoon we spent 90 minutes defending corners and free-kicks but today we conceded from a free-kick so I cannot be happy with the ridiculous goal we conceded.”

Martinez was likewise disappointed: “We started too slow. But even then I felt we showed great character and great belief and I felt we were getting back into it, but every time we did we were dealt a sucker punch. Our defending was not as good as it should be.”

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© Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle, 2011-2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this Blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Martin Li and The Chelsea Chronicle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.