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Barnsley 1 - 0 Chelsea


BlueLion.

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Barnsley 1 - 0 Chelsea F.C.

March 8 2008, FA Cup Round 6, Oakwell, Barnsley

***Click on image to enlarge***
s-Oakwell.jpg

Kayode Odejayi's thumping header ensured Barnsley progressed to the FA Cup semi-finals at the expense of holders Chelsea.


The possibility of back-to-back FA Cups was shot down when Odejayi beat Carlo Cudicini in an aerial challenge to power the ball into the net. Chelsea were below par throughout the game and at times were second best to the Championship side who were excellent value for their visit to Wembley in a delicious semi-final tie. The Tykes have now disposed of the 2006 and 2007 cup winners - Liverpool and Chelsea - and after such battling performances against the two Premier League sides, Simon Davey's side now have a realistic chance of going the distance and lifting the FA Cup.

For the trip to Oakwell, Avram Grant decided to shuffle his pack, though the team selected would easily have graced the Champions League - Terry and Carvalho operated at centre-half with Wayne Bridge and Juliano Belletti recalled. Essien replaced Lampard whilst the in-form Salomon Kalou was dropped to the bench, Malouda favoured over the young Ivorian striker.

Barnsley's captain Brian Howard, once of Chelsea, set the early tone but his effort was wild and off-target, as Barnsley launched an opening salvo of attacks at the West London side. Nicolas Anelka was an isolated figure as widemen Malouda and Joe Cole were forced to track back and defend, whilst Odejayi was using the physical aspect of his game to upset both John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho. The big centre-forward was proving to be a nuisance for the visitor's defence - an indication that Alex da Costa would have been more suited to mark the Barnsley striker than the ex-Porto defender Ricardo Carvalho.

Cudicini was the more tested of the two goalkeepers, with Luke Steele - hero of Barnsley's epic win at Anfield in the last round - a mere spectator of the proceedings. The Italian was almost beaten when Ferenczi struck the frame of the goal before Odejayi broke free, only to see his shot from a tight angle blocked by the legs of Cudicini. It was a frenzied display by the home side who were showing no signs of respect for the Premiership big boys.

Robert Kozluk was in inspired form for the Tykes and was clearly enjoying his battle with Joe Cole. Kozluk had twice denied Cole shooting opportunities early on and was called into action a further two times to block efforts from the Chelsea number 10. The Blues were beginning to wake up but the smell of an upset was in the air.

The second half began as the first ended, with Chelsea dominating possession. However, the FA Cup holders were not able to carve open any serious scoring opportunities, though Joe Cole was once again denied by Robert Kozluk - this time the big defender making a wonderful last-ditch challenge to prevent the England winger from opening the scoring from eight yards out.

Chelsea were becoming desperate and wasted chances by Shaun Wright-Phillips and the anonymous Florent Malouda were beginning to show signs of anxiety from the Londoners. Avram Grant was in no mood for a replay, and decided to throw on the forward pairing of Pizarro and Kalou - whilst Kalou was in top form, the Peruvian had found life hard in the Premier League and was finding as little joy against a well-marshalled Barnsley backline.

Barnsley were defending admirably and breaking with pace, and the more Chelsea attacked the more Barnsley looked to exploit them. Knowing the home crowd were behind them, Devaney launched a beautiful pass into the penalty area where it was met by Odejayi. The big forward had failed to find the net since September, but he took the opportunity well and beat Cudicini in the air. The defending from Chelsea was appalling as they all stood motionless whilst Cudicini attempted to block a cross even Petr Cech would have struggled to reach. Oakwell erupted into a cauldron of emotion as the Tykes switched formation to nine defenders and just Odejayi up front - a tactic that would frustrate Chelsea for the remaining 25 minutes.

John Terry ballooned over from sixteen yards and Nicolas Anelka was being pushed further out wide with every passing moment. The lack of Didier Drogba's presence was obvious and Chelsea were missing Frank Lampard in midfield. The minutes passed like seconds as Chelsea pressed for an equaliser, but their day was epitomised when Wright-Phillips volleyed over in stoppage time. Cue the referee's whistle, cue the celebrations - Barnsley were going to Wembley for a FA Cup semi-final, Chelsea were going out.
______________________________________

Match Fact : Barnsley have only ever reached the FA Cup semi-finals on three occassions - in 1910 they were beaten finalists, in 1912 they won the competition and now in 2008.

Barnsley: Steele (6), Van Homoet (7), Foster (6), Souza (6), Kozluk (8), Campbell-Ryce (7), Hassell (6), Howard (6), Devaney (8) (Togwell (6)), Odejayi (8) (Coulson (6)), Ferenczi (6).

Booked: Kozluk.

Chelsea: Cudicini (4), Belletti (3) (Pizarro (5)), Terry (5), Carvalho (4), Bridge (4), Essien (4), Ballack (5), Malouda (1) (Kalou (5)), Wright-Phillips (3), Anelka (4), Joe Cole (6).

Booked: Carvalho.

Attendance: 22,410

Referee: Steve Bennett

Man of the Match : Kayode Odejayi

KayodeOdejayi.jpg

Edited by BlueLion
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Call me picky, but if people comment on one of them, say Member A comments on the match report for Wigan away in the FA Cup, it ruins the order of the reports :lol: So I just keep them open till the next one comes around, which will be tomorrow.

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