Sunday, January 22, 2006

Off the Marc

Chelsea 1 - 1 Charlton

On a normal weekend when Charlton are clinging on with 15 minutes to go, it’s very difficult to sit there and watch wave after wave of attack coming at you. Praying we survive the barrage.

So, the fact that I never particularly felt threatened in the last 20 minutes this afternoon against the Champions speaks volumes about the kind of performance the Addicks turned in today.

The side that started the game was Myhre, Young, Fortune, Hreidarsson, Powell, Rommedahl, Holland, Kishishev, Hughes, Ambrose, and D Bent. New signing Marcus Bent had to be content with a place on the bench.

Chelsea had the best of the opening half an hour, and when Gudjohnsen nudged over the line after Fortune lost Crespo in the six yard box, I got the feeling that perhaps it was just going to be one of those afternoons.

But as the game wore on, we came more and more into it.The defence looked as solid as it has done in 2 months, the midfield was hard working and combative, and although clear cut chances weren’t being created up front it was evident that we had weathered the initial storm, and Chelsea looked a gear or two below their efficient best.

Just prior to the break, Rommedahl suffered a back spasm and Marcus Bent came off the bench for his first taste of life in a Charlton shirt.

Chelsea have been specialists in getting the job done this season, but we presented them with a wall of solid resistance almost all the way through the second half, and we fully deserved out equaliser when it came.

Ambrose’s clipped reverse pass over the static blues defence was met by Marcus Bent, who had beautifully sprung the offside trap, and then simply guided the ball over the stranded Petr Cech to send the travelling Addicks into raptures.

This is where I thought the onslaught would begin. But it never really did.

Crespo obviously temporarily forgot how to stay onside, and the majority of the Blues attacking forays were disjointed, and easily dealt with. I don’t recall one heart-in-mouth moment.

In fact, we could even have gone on to win the match with 5 minutes to go. Sky’s man of the match Darren Ambrose toe poking straight at Cech when in honesty he should have done a little better.

Four minutes of stoppage time were seen off, Carvalho was sent off, and a point was won.

A point which I really didn’t think we had within us last night, so I am immensely proud of the boys this evening.
Lets steamroller the Orient next weekend and then really set about the second half of the season.


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