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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Beauty vs Boring

Barcelona 0-0 Chelsea, Champions League, Semi-Final, 1st Leg

pic: ©Getty Images, www.uefa.com

Watching Chelsea play is more boring than watching paint dry!
Watching Chelsea play is more boring than watching paint dry!
Watching Chelsea play is more boring than watching paint dry!
Watching Chelsea play is more boring than watching paint dry!

On the other hand, watching Barcelona play is pure joy. Even though Chelsea parked the bus in front of their goal, Barca still had chances to score a goal or two but failed to take their chances. Despite doing nothing all game, Chelsea did have a chance to steal an away goal when a defensive error by Barca allowed Drogba to race through on goal but Víctor Valdés saved Barca.

It was great when Claudio Ranieri was still at Chelsea as under him they played entertaining football. But then Jose Mourinho came along in the summer of 2004 and destroyed any hopes of decent football as he reduced Chelsea to play boring 1-0 matches. After Jose was fired, Avram Grant continued the trend of mind-numbing football and he was understandably gone at the end of last season. Big Phil was brought to Chelsea last summer so that he could make them play attractive and successful football. But none of the players understood his system as the players were probably hard wired to only defend. So out went Big Phil and in came Guus Hiddink. Chelsea have done well in the league churning out efficient wins but on Tuesday night they showed their true colours and did their best imitation of Bolton and Blackburn by defending in numbers. It is a shame really that with the players Chelsea have, their game plan was to sit back and defend. This is what happens when winning is the ultimate result.

And what was worse than watching negative tactics? Watching the drama queen that is Didier Drogba. There was a time when the Chelsea fans booed him because they were tired of his play acting. He threatened to leave England but stuck around and became a hit with the fans. But he is now back to his old tricks.

Still, with 0-0 anything can happen in the second leg. Chelsea have to score a goal to win and if Barca can get an away goal, then they could progress with a scoring draw. But if there are no goals next week in London, extra time and penalties could result. Although I don't think the second leg will end 0-0.

Meanwhile, Wednesday night's game between Man Utd and Arsenal will most certainly not be a 0-0 game as both teams like to attack and both have shown some defensive weakness recently, although it is Arsenal's defense that is the weaker of the two.

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