Chelsea Crash Out Of FA Cup

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Brendan Taylor

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  • Chelsea Crash Out Of FA Cup

Chelsea Crash Out Of FA Cup

Chelsea faced Everton at Goodison Park in their tie for the FA Cup third round. The Blues needed a late equaliser from Salomon Kalou in order to get a draw and force a replay of the tie at Stamford Bridge. The second tie was played on Saturday in Chelsea’s own fortress. However, the Toffees held on to their nerves and took the match into a penalty shootout. In the end, Chelsea was knocked out of the tournament as the Toffees won the shootout by 4-3.

Despite the recent dominance of Chelsea, Everton has shown a great record against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. In their last six meetings, Chelsea has been able to win only one match against the Toffees. Both the teams came into the match with poor form in the English Premier League. Chelsea failed to score in their last two matches while Everton lost against Bolton Wanderers, a defeat which was termed as the worst of his career by Everton’s coach David Moyes.

The match was controlled by Chelsea from the beginning but the finishing was once again a problem. Fernando Torres was missing because of fitness issues and Didier Drogba got a start. The Ivorian striker, however, had to take treatment on the sidelines after a rough challenge by Phil Jagielka. In the 20th minute, Jagielka came close to putting the ball in his own net on Frank Lampard’s free-kick. However, the ball hit the post and the rebound was shot wildly off the target by John Terry.

Tim Howard remained the busiest of the players from the visiting side. First, he saved the ball from going to Florent Malouda after great work from Salomon Kalou. Then, Drogba played a great through ball to the Frenchman, whose chip shot was once again saved by the feet of Everton’s goalkeeper. At the half time interval, Carlo Ancelotti brought in Michael Essien for John Obi Mikel when he felt that Chelsea needed a much stronger presence in the midfield.

Chelsea players seemed desperate in the second half as they searched for the goal. However, it was Everton that found the goal through Marouane Fellaini after Petr Cech failed to clear a shot from Baines. However, the goal was ruled out because of an offside and the game went into extra time as both teams were still square after the 90 minute mark.

In the extra period, Chelsea brought in Nicolas Anelka in place of Florent Malouda while Everton replaced Leon Osman with John Heitinga. Anelka was involved in the first goal as his cross fell into the feet of Frank Lampard, who made no mistake in firing the shot home. Chelsea seemed to have won the match but with a couple of minutes on the clock Everton equalised through Baines. The midfielder took a great free-kick from 25 yards out and placed it neatly in the top corner. The match went to penalties as both teams remained level on scores after two hours of football.

Leighton Baines did well to find the net from 25 yards but he missed the first penalty shot for Everton. Chelsea went ahead as Lampard and Drogba both scored from the opening penalties. However, Anelka tried to beat Howard with a chip which could not find the back of the net and the visitors were once again level on score. Ashley Cole missed the fifth penalty as well when he shot over the target. Phil Neville stepped up for the visitors to score the final penalty of the game. Everton went through while the defending champions were thrown out of the tournament.

With this defeat the woes of Chelsea continue to grow in the domestic competitions. Now, the only hope is the UEFA Champions League and if Ancelotti fails to deliver on that front, he would face the axe as well.  



 

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