Jump to content

Blues secure second despite disappointing draw


Recommended Posts

Chelsea 2-2 Newcastle

Sunday 15 May 2011 - Stamford Bridge

24140118191505201115184.jpg Goals from Branislav Ivanovic and Alex gave Chelsea the point they needed to ensure a second-placed finish in the Premier League.

Serbian defender Ivanovic set the Blues on their way when he volleyed home a flicked-on Frank Lampard corner inside two minutes, but Newcastle equalised shortly later through a deflected Ryan Taylor free-kick which fortuitously hit Jonas Gutierrez before trickling over the line. Alex then looked to have won the game for Chelsea when he headed home another Lampard delivery with just seven minutes remaining, but Steven Taylor scored his second goal in as many games to justify his selection and earn the visitors a point they perhaps just about warranted.

Chelsea fans may have expected more than a draw against Alan Pardew's side, but credit where it is due - despite their obvious good fortune, Newcastle showed great character to twice come from behind despite a number of players missing through injury, and the Magpies will take great pride in a mid-table finish on their return to the Premier League following promotion. However, in what may well prove to be Carlo Ancelotti's last home match in charge of the Blues, it was certainly not the climax to the season the Italian would have been looking for if this was indeed to be his Stamford Bridge farewell.

It was a game that personified the sort of end-of-season clashes with little riding on them that are inevitably conjured up by the fixture computer - with Chelsea firmly out of the title race after Manchester United barely managed the point they needed at Ewood Park and Newcastle comfortably mid-table, this was an opportunity for both managers to make a number of changes, and Carlo Ancelotti duly obliged by making a whole host of changes to the side that lost to Manchester United last weekend. Drafted in were Yossi Benayoun, Josh McEachran, Ramires, Nicolas Anelka, Alex and Fernando Torres as the Italian looked to shuffle his pack.

The match itself was a relatively dull affair that, through a cruel sense of irony, characterised Chelsea's season - an excellent start followed by a stuttering middle and a strong yet-still-disappointing climax. With the hosts scoring inside just two minutes and Newcastle equalising shortly after, the story of this game saw the action limited to its bookends, with relatively little incident occurring in between.

Chelsea opened the scoring when Ivanovic volleyed home his sixth goal from close range with barely two minutes on the clock as Fernando Torres flicked on Frank Lampard's wicked delivery to give the Blues an ideal start. Ryan Taylor put paid to that, however, when his free-kick was deflected in off team-mate Jonas Gutierrez, leaving the already-committed Petr Cech no chance. Yet besides a number of meaty challenges and the occasional display of the exhibition football the Stamford Bridge faithful were expecting, it was hardly the first half performance that was desired with second place still to play for.

As lucky as it was, it was without question that the quickfire Newcastle response had knocked Chelsea down a gear or two - having looked rampant inside the first ten minutes, Chelsea were suddenly paying Newcastle a little more respect after the Magpies sought to make amends for their disastrous start. Encouraged to push on by their equaliser, the promising creativity of the Blues' midfield triumvirate of McEachran, Lampard and Ramires was being thwarted by a resolute Newcastle rearguard, and with the bit firmly between the teeth, the visitors were not without a threat of their own as they looked to utilise the pace of young winger Shane Ferguson.

Yet either side of the interval, the game declined to a lull that most supporters will have been thankful the half-time break had temporarily abated. Nevertheless, there was an obvious lethargy about the Chelsea performance, with fans inside Stamford Bridge craving for an allotment of goalmouth action, let alone a winning goal. Much like how the first half's entertainment had been supplied within the opening exchanges, it was this time the final ten minutes which offered an entertaining climax to a game that barely deserved the positive complexion usually associated with a 2-2 scoreline.

First, Lampard's freekick was headed home by Alex when Tim Krul came to collect - instead, he was gathering the ball out of the back of his net as the Brazilian converted for his second goal of the season. But instead of that proving to be the winner that the occasion moreso than the performance deserved, Steven Taylor levelled in the second minute of stoppage time when, unmarked, he headed past Petr Cech to send the away fans into ecstasy. It was a warranted leveller for Pardew's men, who, despite playing a side unrecognisable to their early season heroics, had come to Stamford Bridge and competed superbly.

It was not the result - nor the showing - that Chelsea fans would have wanted to finish a season underlined by frequent feelings of disappointment, but with Aston Villa winning 2-1 at the Emirates thanks to two Darren Bent goals, the Blues had successfully guaranteed second-place behind winners Manchester United with a game to spare, meaning that Chelsea can go to Goodison Park next season without the weight of expectation as the last page on a proud chapter in Chelsea's history comes to an end. Memories of the Reebok Stadium on April 30 2005, last season's stunning Double and reaching the Champions League final in 2008 are all obvious highlights of the most glorious era in the illustrious history of this football club.

A new period of prosperity, perhaps, is soon to begin...


Chelsea (4-3-2-1): Cech, Ivanovic, Alex, Terry ©, Cole; Ramires (Malouda 64), McEachran (Essien 64), Lampard; Benayoun (Drogba 64), Anelka; Torres.

Newcastle (4-4-1-1): Krul; Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, José Enrique; Lövenkrands (Samuel Ameobi 82), R Taylor, Barton ©, Ferguson (Kazenga LuaLua 69); Gutiérrez (Ranger 75); Ameobi.

The TalkChelsea.net man of the match was Chelsea's number 2, Branislav Ivanovic- on a day where Chelsea's forwards seemed determined to defy their job titles and offer as little attacking intent as possible, it was left to Ivanovic to inspire his team, and he successfully did so with a goal and a personally resolute performance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 6
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Days

Top Posters In This Topic

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • 0 members are here!

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

talk chelse forums

We get it, advertisements are annoying!
Talk Chelsea relies on revenue to pay for hosting and upgrades. While we try to keep adverts as unobtrusive as possible, we need to run ad's to make sure we can stay online because over the years costs have become very high.

Could you please allow adverts on this website and help us by switching your ad blocker off.

Thank You