Champions League: Chelsea Fail To Turn Up In Rome

Well the hacks at The Sun will no doubt have been wanking themselves silly over this one.

Having put out some ridiculous story yesterday about how Chelsea had already ‘booked themselves into a hotel’ ahead of next year’s Champions League final – such is their ‘arrogance’ – they then got a real excuse to have a go at us.

Of course the hotel ‘story’ was the usual rubbish, borne out of Scolari jokingly answering questions designed with the specific intention of ‘proving’ how cocky Chelsea are these days. And yet ironically, the way they played last night, showed anything but a desire to actually need a hotel booking in the first place.

A minimal amount of early pressure from Chelsea, a couple of shots from distance, and that appeared to be as much effort as we were going to put in for the night – who’d have thought a 2 hour flight over to Italy could be so draining?

Harsh maybe? Not really, considering the amount of movement in defending the first goal – although even the word ‘defending’ here is generous in the extreme. So that was that then, or at least it was as far as we were concerned. I mean, why bother playing now we’d conceded our first Champions League goal of the campaign? They obviously thought they might as well concede two or three, because that’s exactly what they did while they sat back and took a bit of a battering.

It was like Avram Grant revisited as total amnesia set in where playing football was concerned. Then finally, two Lord’s Prayer’s and three Hail Mary’s later, John Terry popped up to pull one back. Although even then, it raised not even a single, solitary eyebrow, because in all honestly, even the most optimistic of supporters knew there was never going to be a way back into this game the way we’d played it. Somehow, even John Terry’s customary rallying cry as he headed back to the centre-circle had much less conviction about it on a night where we being described as ‘average’ could only be taken as a compliment.

Of course it’s not all over for us – unless you happen to read The Sun that is – we still top the group, albeit by the narrowest of margins now. But Deco’s second yellow card and resulting red won’t have helped our cause, and whilst it might have been a nonsense, if the first midfielder hadn’t picked up an unnecessary yellow to start with then he wouldn’t even have been in that position.

But anyway, it’s done now and there can be no excuses. Chelsea simply didn’t perform and they got punished for it – and the hacks haven’t even started yet.

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