Blues have to make do with 1 – 1 draw at Tottenham
Well, it could have been worse. As the match commentators reminded us approximately one hundred times before kickoff, a loss would have certainly killed off the season for Chelsea. So the Blues’ title hopes are still alive – via life support to be certain – but alive nonetheless. If only those pesky Manchesters would help us out with some internal meltdowns or something, maybe we could make some headway in the league.
The Spurs game started ugly for Chelsea. Spurs were frighteningly dominant for the first ten minutes, making Chelsea look like a college team. Spurs were aggressive, fast, really going for the jugular, while Chelsea looked utterly lethargic. I actually began to wonder if Chelsea critics have been right all season – that maybe Chelsea is holding on to the past in its player selection, that perhaps they need a complete makeover. But then, midway through the first half, Ashley Cole slices a perfect cross through the box, which Sturridge calmly volleyed in to tie the game. That’s the second game in a row Cole’s pinpoint service has resulted in a goal. Just a few minutes later, Drogba smashed a half-volley into the post from a tough angle. I flailed and groaned from my living room perch. Somehow, Chelsea clawed their way back into the game and looked like the more threatening team.
Ivanovic had to leave the game with a tweaked hammy just after the half hour mark. I thought Chelsea was toast at that point. Bosingwa slid over to share center back duties with Terry, and who was that entering the game… Paulo Ferreira? Sorry Paulo, I almost forgot you were over there! It was his first Premier League game of the season. I fretted that Paulo’s lack of game time would spell rustiness and leaky defense. I was wrong. Paulo had a heck of a game, shutting down his wing corridor quite nicely.
To start the second half, Chelsea looked like a different team, suddenly dominating possession, and shooting at will. Only problem with the at-will shooting was that it was absolutely horrible and completely wasteful! Ferreira, Ramires, Meireles, and Sturridge all scattered useless blasts into the seats within a few minutes of each other.
Unfortunately, those early second half chances did not facilitate additional chances. The high-octane match slowed to a simmer after about seventy minutes. Torres replaced Drogba for the last fifteen minutes and was typically invisible. Man I wish he would snap out of it! I’m tired of the same old media commentary about Torres. He needs some starts and he needs to play ninety minutes. And he needs to be locked in a room daily with a top sports psychologist. This is looking increasingly like a rebuilding year for Chelsea, so AVB needs to get Torres in there and start assessing whether or not he’s going to be part of the Blues master plan moving forward. Speaking of the master plan, where was Lampard today? I disagree with him not starting. I’m growing skeptical of AVB’s choices lately. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for a few more games, but he definitely looks iffy at the moment.
So Chelsea just got a point for Christmas. Certainly better than the lump of coal a loss would have been, but not as merry and bright a holiday as Blues fans had hoped for. At least we won’t have to wait long for the next points opportunity – the day after Christmas it’s on against Fulham. I’ll be traveling for the holidays to visit family, and will be watching the game (on TV) with my brother who happens to be a Fulham fan. Good times. Family, food, and soccer – sounds like a pretty good holiday!
What do you think about Villas-Boas’ lineup choices recently?