Wednesday, January 28, 2009

EPL Liveblog: Chelsea v. Boro'

Ok folks it's a Bigus live blog extravaganza. Those of you interested in Wigan v. Liverpool can click on over to the other post where MORE live-bloggery is in action courtesy of Lingering Bursitis.

I had a choice of this game or Everton v. The Arse, but after Liverpool v. Everton on Sunday I have vowed never to watch the depressing Toffees again. Well not this season anyway, so that leaves Spartak London at home to the smoggies. Come join me for all the exciting action from the bridge.

Chelsea (from): Cech, Hilario, Taylor, A Cole, Ferreira, Bosingwa, Belletti, Terry, Ivanovic, Mancienne, Alex, Lampard, Ballack, Deco, Obi, Kalou, Malouda, Stoch, Anelka, Drogba, Kakuta.

Middlesbrough (from): Turnbull, Jones, Hoyte, McMahon, Pogatetz, Riggott, Wheater, Huth, Bates, Bennett, O'Neil, Arca, Shawky, Johnson, Downing, Porritt, King, Alves.

Excitement is building, will Big Phil start that lazy cheat Drogba? Will Downing look like he gives a shit. Will Chelsea stand statuesque for set pieces? Will Alves miss an open goal? I can't wait! I'll do my best to keep up but be warned I am watching my sick little girl also. Let's hope nap time holds eh?

Carvalho is out with a ropey hammy, but Terry is back and willing to shank any penalty Chelsea may win. Sorry Chelsea fans, that's getting a little tired now isn't it?

Match Fact: Chelsea are hoping to beat Middlesbrough for the fifth consecutive time in the Premier League. They have won the last four with an aggregate score of 11-0.

Chelsea haven't kept a clean sheet in 6 and Boro' have lost last 4 on the road.

Ok people. the team sheets are in.

Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, Ashley Cole, Mikel, Kalou, Ballack, Lampard, Malouda, Anelka.
Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Drogba, Ferreira, Deco, Mancienne, Stoch.

Middlesbrough: Turnbull, McMahon, Wheater, Riggott, Pogatetz, Adam Johnson, O'Neil, Shawky, Bates, Downing, King.
Subs: Jones, Taylor, Emnes, Alves, Huth, Sanli, Arca.

Chelsea stick with the one man up front routine with 14 goal leading scorer and king of the sulky babies Anelka. Terry and Alex form the CB partnership and Malouda gets a run out amid speculation of a bid from Juventus. Is he in the shop window tonight?

12 million pound man Alves is on the bench for Boro and Deco rides the wood too.

This is a must win game for Chelsea. A slip here and they can kiss any hope of the title goodbye for sure. The teams are in the tunnel. Lee Probert is the ref tonight..Gawd help us!

Boro look as if they are lining up to match Chelsea's five man midfield. Marlon King will lead the line for them after just signing on loan from Wigan.

.....and we are off!

3 mins: Chelsea are setting their stall out. Playing pretty deep and looking for access to the Boro box. Big Phil is looking relaxed tonight, legs crossed on the bench, maybe someone should get him an otterman. Boro haven't been in the Chelsea half thus far and are sat behind the ball. I fear they may resort to lining up along the goal.

7 mins: Lampard's free kick hits one of the many Boro bodies in the box but Boro fail to clear immediately as Chelsea bring the ball back for another go before the ball is hoofed clear. Marlon King is looking rather lonely up front on his own. Kalou runs into the box squeezing between Boro players but the ball slips away from him for a goal kick. One way traffic is an understatement.

12 mins: The Chelsea pressure is mounting. Boro's only outlet is King and he has touched the ball once in the first 12 mins. Bosingwa sends a long cross to the far post and Ashley Cole arrives for a free header but 120,000 a week buys you the side netting. Boro breathe a sigh of relief.

15 mins: Ballack's free kick is saved low by Turnbull. Boro have committed 5 fouls so far and in dangerous areas. Not a good idea! U75, I chose this one as watching Everton brings suicidal feelings.

22 mins: More Chelsea dominance. Back to back corners fail to yield a goal although the second one bounced through the box begging to be smacked in. Matter of time before Chelsea score here. Downing must love having to stay at Boro, he has spent the game so far defending. Boro win their first free kick and launch a ball into the box which results in a throw in and the return of the ball to Chelsea.

25 mins: This game is as balanced as Russian election. I expected Chelsea to have a lot of possession but this is ridiculous. Boro have just parked the bus. When they do have the ball they pass sideways before deciding to pass backwards! King just pulled a rubicks cube from his left sock. Oh hold on..action. A corner to Boro! Will Chelsea go all zonal?

No. Ball cleared at the near post, a cross returns but Cech claims it.

27 mins: Come on Exeter! Yawnnnn.

30 mins: John Terry is so bored that he tries a run himself, getting to mid way in the Boro half before being dispossessed. King has finished his puzzle and is trying to coax Alex into a wrestling match on the side line. What is amazing is that for all Chelsea's dominance, Turnbull has only made 3 or for saves. And only one of those was a real chance for Chelsea.

33 mins: Lampard sends a free kick over the bar. Scolari just nodded off.

38 mins: Look, I know I'm not that good at this live blogging malarky and my spelling is dodgy, but quite frankly 17 comments on the other thread is just rude. Come on people. I am here for you! Boro are getting brave and starting to commit the odd body forward. There was actually 3 Boro players in the Chelsea half for a moment there.

King is fouled 30 yards out and he falls like he was shot from behind. Downing sends the resulting free kick into the wall.

40 mins: I am praying for half time at this point. I have some high hopes for the commercial break. I may get a Sham WOW commercial if I'm lucky. That will be exciting.

Half Time: Chelsea 0, Middlesbrough 0
Chelsea have probably shared 300 passes this half and only created one decent chance. Boro have come for a point and Southgate looked pretty happy as he hit the tunnel. Chelsea's fans were getting a little tetchy towards the end of the half and boooooooooed their team off. For all this possession Chelsea were crap. No bite, not finish.

Boro will look to see this one out in their own half I am sure. A point at Chelsea is in sight. Adam Johnson did have a chance for Boro at the end of the half as he tried the Ronaldo step over in the box a couple of times before sending a weak shot in the direction of Cech.

To summarize....This one is a snoozer. I'd actually like to take a nap but 2 people are actually reading this. Don't want to disappoint.

Back for the second half in a few, don't go away, either of you! I need to splash some water on my face and brew some coffee brb.

46 mins: Alright. We are off again. SUBSTITUTION: Moulada is off and Drogba is on.
Get ready for some second half diving action!

To answer Andrew's question....TEN.

47 mins: Chelsea have changed shape to a 4 3 3 and immediately Drogba gets a through ball at his feet into the box but he shanks that across the goal about 5 meters from the keeper. There seems a little urgency to Chelsea's play now. They are looking more direct and trying to come through the middle.

50 mins: This is more like it. Chelsea are looking direct, instead of probing around the box they are looking for one two's and players are actually starting to look for space behind the Boro backline. In return, Boro have decided to make a little bit of an effort on the counter attack.

53 mins: Downing makes a surging run down the left but his cross can only find Mikel and Chelsea pass out of trouble and race down the other end and win a corner via John Terry. That's right Terry is in the Boro box! Desperation is setting in for Chelsea. Lampard lifts a corner from the right into the box and Ballack's header is nodded on by Alex as Turnbull tips over.

57 mins: The crowd are up for it now and we have some end to end football. A Boro attack is broken up and Chelsea counter, winning a free kick 30 yards from goal. Alex strikes the ball against the wall and out for another corner.


Lampards corner inspires header tennis and the ball finally breaks at the edge of the box finding Kalou who smashes a right foot volley into the net.

Chelsea 1, Middlesbrough 0

60 mins: Half an hour to go and Alves is warming up. Boro's 12 million pound man has scored 4 in his last 4 which makes me ask myself...Why the f**k is he on the bench?

Drogba has certainly made a difference to Chelsea's attack. he has made runs in and around the box in an attempt to break up the mass of red bodies in there.

64 mins: SUBSTITUTIONS: Alves is coming on for Shawky and Tuncay is coming on for King. So 2 forwards on and a forward and a midfielder off. Tuncay likes to play in the hole and he should slot in behind Alves.

Anelka breaks into the box but is muscled off the ball as he shoots weakly at Turnbull from the right hand side of the box.

68 mins: Boro are actually enjoying some possession and passing the ball into forward areas in an attempt to pressure the Chelsea deffence. Downing finds Alves on the edge of the box but his shot is weak and wide.

Oh lordy...Lampard misses a sitter. Anelka surges down the right and into the box, he squares the ball across to Lampard for a free shot, just the keeper to beat. Pick a spot Franky boy......But Lampard uses his left peg to shoot embarrassingly wide.

74 mins: It's an open game now. Boro want back into this and Chelsea are trying to exploit the space. I say 'trying' as they are not committing enough bodies into forward areas. Lampard strikes a free kick from 30 yards and Turnbull spills it to Kalou who can only fall over and fail to find Anelka in front of an empty net.

76 mins: Thank you for your concern Andrew. The first half was painful but at least its openning up a bit now.

Chelsea should be 2 up by now but I feel they are hanging back and trying to walk off with the one goal. Thats a dangerous game to play. Drogba has made the difference but he is not finding the support he wants once he gets into a good position with the ball. Lampard shoots from 20 yards with his left and the ball goes narrowly wide.


A Lampard corner finds Kalou all on his own 6 yards from goal and he heads into the empty net.

Everyone was crowding at the near post and Kalou stood alone.

Chelsea 2, Middlesbrough 0

Kalou is rewarded for his double haul by being immediately substituted for Deco.

86 mins: Huge cheers at Stamford Bridge as the scoreboard shows news from Wigan. Oh dear poor Liverpool.

Chelsea have been better in the last 10 mins, playing some nice football. Passing with purpose and not just passing back and fourth. Still, they have not created much today and look a shadow of the Chelsea that made the final of the CL and competed for the Premiership title last year. They look old, and exhausted of genuine ideas.

They have certainly made hard work of this one.

89 mins: Chelsea probing for a third and they may get it. Bosingwa and Cole are finally getting forward down the flanks and sending crosses in. Boro look dodgy at the back.

SUB: Anelka is off and Miroslav Stoch is on. The young forward will get a run out as the punters head for the exits.

93 mins: Mr Probert puckers up and blows his whistle. This one is done. Chelsea didn't really start playing football until 20 mins from the end. With the possession they enjoyed they really should have buried this one much earlier. They seemed content to just keep the ball. Sorry Chelsea fans, based on this performance I'd be worrying about 3rd and 4th place. Forget the title, you just are not good enough. Better teams would have made you pay for your reluctance to create chances tonight.

FULL TIME: Chelsea 2, Middlesbrough 0

Ok...I'm out. until next time.....



ü75 said...

I can't believe you chose this one. Yuck.

Andrew said...

I applaud your decision. Quick run for food and I'll return. Come on Boro!

Spectator said...

Hi Bigus. In much more important news, Exeter 1 Chesterfield 0. A win and we just barely stay in the promotion race.

The Fan's Attic said...

Hoping for a Lampard goal (for fantasy purposes) and a Boro win or draw.

Spectator said...

I guess you should've gone with Arsenal-Everton, Bigus. Although sounds like that's a snoozefest too.

Andrew said...

It is a snooze fest. The pitch is tiny and almost fogged in. The beautiful game it is decidedly not.

Andrew said...

I fail to believe Denilson is actually Brazilian.

Spectator said...

"Let me tell you about my love affair with Proactiv....."

Spectator said...

Bolton now up 2-0 on Blackburn. As awful as some teams are in the EPL, seems like WBA, Stoke and Blackburn are the ones that really want to be relegated.

Andrew said...

Chelsea are old. They looked old against ManPoo, and seem older today against a poor 'Boro side.

How many men is Boro playing behind the ball?

ü75 said...

Given the first half, at what point does Bendtner come on to save Arsenal again?

Andrew said...

RVP is that douche in college who had all the skill on the field, all the skill in the bar, but was such a complete ass that no dude could stand him. But he did manage to get all the high-class trim he wanted.

Andrew said...

@Umlaut: He should've started on the right wing, Diaby should've been in the middle, and Denilson should've started on the bench.

The game is tight and there's no room. Not sure Bendtner would excel in such conditions.

Andrew said...

"Robinho denies sex assault allegations." No shit, Soccernet. What else is he gonna do? Accept responsibility at a press conference?

Goat said...

It seems that my preferred choice for live Prem feeds of dubious legality has had legal proceedings filed against it.

Goat said...

Can anyone suggest an Arse feed?

Lingering Bursitis said...

try looking for goals in Iraq, or try searching for some sports on something called a laptop?

Spectator said...

Well with that goal and Chelski's inevitable win, I'm heading to the gym and home early. Good luck, Bigus! I'll read the rest of the liveblog later. :)

Andrew said...

Goat: Iraq has some Goals and they seem to work.

Spectator said...

Crapcakes, I just saw that Chesterfield equalized against Exeter. The dream of League One might have to wait another year because we are quite adrift.

Andrew said...

I was hoping Boro would be up for it today.

ü75 said...

Not sure why you would want to watch that one Goat. It pretty much blows.

Goat said...

Thanks much, fellas. At least something good came of this fucked up war.

Goat said...

This one seems like a barn-burner.

ü75 said...

Great job, Denilson. Why can't RvP pass earlier to a guy in a better position?

Andrew said...

I second that Umlaut. Its poor.

Clichy and RVP make some nice moves, bring the ball down, pass it off to Denilson who FUCKS IT UP COMPLETELY. He is not Brazilian.

Goat said...

Maybe he was hoping Timmy would lose sight of the ball in the fog. Although I guess that would only actually work if the shot was on goal.

Andrew said...

Bigus: how are ya? I appreciate your determination and perseverance in live-bloggin Chelsea/Boro. At least that game has, y'know, goals.

Andrew said...

Get Denilson off the pitch. Now. Just do it. Put Bendtner on in his position. Fuck sakes, Arsene.

It just hit me that I want Bendtner brought on for Denilson. This isn't my undergrad's Arsenal.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Both our games have one goal. We're almost spoiled by the EPL's bounty.

Sam said...

Final prediction
1-0 Everton
90' Gallas OG :P

Goat said...

Agreed, Andrew. This seems like the type of game tailor made for his late game heroics.

Andrew said...

It's like trying to find rice in Ethiopia or Biafra in the 1970s.

Goat said...


Sam said...

Deserved goal for Everton - they have been pressing all game

Andrew said...

Hey Sam, who invited you?

Fuckity fuck. Fuck. Tim Cahill. Of course. And we're stuck with Denilson and his Rambling Band of Leadfoot Midfielders. Goodnigt, CL.

ü75 said...

I invited Sam. He was stuck in the other thread. If I had known he was a Man U supporter, then I may have kept my mouth shut. Oh well, live and let live, as they say in the Bond movie.

Andrew said...

Wenger, do something. Don't sit there, get something done. Make changes. Go to the 4-2-4, with Nasri and Bendtner on the wings.

Sam said...

I honestly wouldn't blame it on Denilson, he is a quality squad player. The problem is the fact that you lot have to rely on him as first choice.

Goat said...

...and Song, and Diaby.

Goat said...

You got your wish, Andrew. BTW, Mido with an 82nd penalty for Wigan.

ü75 said...

I want 2005 back. This sucks

ü75 said...

Thank fuck. 1 point.

hockalees said...


Goat said...

They decided to play in the 90th minute. It looked like nobody wanted to win before that.

Andrew said...

Ok, so I lost my feed and then had to grab coffee with a friend and the whole time I didn't care about the convo, I wanted to know if Gunners had come back. And they did.

All for one simple point. Wish I could've remained on the thread.

@Sam: yeah, its bad when Denilson is not only our best option, but it seems our only option. This is why ManU can do what they do, and we have to fight for fifth.