21 May 2008

CHELSEA (Lampard 45)

Scholes and Brown pulled Lampard out of position after exchanging passes from a throw in deep in the Chelsea half, Brown floated a peach of cross to the back post and Ronaldo out jumped Essien with ease to direct his header inside Cech's right hand post. It took Chelsea 30 minutes to muster a shot on target, after they abandoned their pointless strategy of hitting long balls upto Drogba. Lampard out muscled Hargreaves on the left flank before cutting infield and lofting a cross towards Drogba at the back post, Drogba headed the ball across goal and Ferdinand, under pressure from Ballack, forced his goalkeeper into making a great one handed save. Rooney won the ball from the resulting corner and released Ronaldo with a glorious 60 yard crossfield pass, Ronaldo whipped a cross inside Ashley Cole towards Tevez, he headed straight at Cech who quickly got to his feet and denied Carrick on the follow-up with a fantastic two handed save. Chelsea equalised against the run of play. Essien's speculative shot took a couple of deflections before falling invitingly for Lampard to shoot past VDS.

Chelsea's superior midfield muscle told in the second half but the Man United defence repelled a string of corners and free kicks. Drogba took the defence out of the equation with a chilling strike from the edge of the box which thundered against the right post.

Kalou came on for Malouda at the start of the first period of extra time. He played back a throw-in to Ashley Cole, Cole dribbled into the box and passed to Ballack and as two Man United players ran in to tackle he quickly moved the ball onto Lampard who shot on the turn, the ball rebounded off the crossbar and big game bottler Joe Cole, Chelsea's player of the season my arse, volleyed into the athletics track. Nani, another extra time sub, ran onto a clearance, past Essien and Makelele and pulled the ball to Giggs forcing Terry into a neck breaking clearance.

The only notable incident in the second period of extra time was Drogba's dismissal, for pushing Vidic in the face when the ball was out of play.

Penalty-Shoot Out

Tevez drills a shot inside the right post

Ballack strikes a poor penalty, at the perfect height for a 'keeper but it has too much pace for VDS

Carrick is the first to go left, Cech dives the wrong way as he scores ITV commentator Clive Tyldesley shouts 'Yes'. So much for impartiality, the bastard.

Belletti is the third to go right sending VDS the wrong way

Ronaldo takes a few steps, puts on the breaks, continues his run up and Cech dives left to save

Lampard shots low to the right, VDS gets a touch but it's not enough

Hargreaves is only half English and learned his football in Germany so obviously he wasn't going to miss. Slammed high left and the best penalty of the night

Ashley Cole fires low right again. Obviously Chelsea see this as VDS' weakness. He gets a touch but can't stop the ball hitting the back of the net

Nani shoots, yes to the left, Cech just fails to get a touch

Terry slips as he strikes the ball and it crashes off the post as VDS celebrates

Anderson drives the ball just right of centre, Cech is too quick and misses

Kalou maintains the policy of shooting right and you'd think by now VDS would be wise to their ploy but dives in the opposite direction

Giggs breaks from the Man United tradition and shoots low into the bottom right corner

Anelka is the first Chelsea player to shoot left and VDS saves

Manchester United win 6-5 on penalties.

Attendance : 69,552
Red Card : Drogba 116 (Chelsea)
Assists : Brown, n/a