Bridge too far for Chelsea

Last updated : 27 February 2010 By Vishal Aeri

Vishal Aeri gives his view of the match that saw more attention to a handshake that to a goal.

Sometimes you wake up in the morning and you know its not going to be your day.

I wonder if John Terry felt like that on a day when a handshake threatened to steal the show from the football.
In reality the handshake did not take place as Bridge refused to shake hands with Terry at the traditional greeting before all matches.
Manchester City were boosted by the return of the talismanic Carlos Tevez and Chelsea were without their rock in goal Petr Cech, but would that have any bearing on the match?
The two richest clubs in the Premier League went head to head with some of the best players in the world, so as a fan you wouldn’t be wrong to be expecting a footballing spectacle.
 The first half turned out be a rather lack lusture affair. It was a half without any clear cut chances until the deadlock was broken close to the break.
Joe Cole was the man that found the key to unlock the door as he cut in from the right to slide a sublime ball to Frank Lampard who made an excellent sliding run off the back of the defender and with an instant snap shot from the right of the Manchester City area, he struck a shot that was placed in the inside of the far post to give Chelsea a goal lead.
Manchester City hit straight back. This was surprising  as they had not really had a sight of goal. But with a man like Tevez and his desire and work rate nothing is impossible.
John Terry has been looking rather shakey of late and again he was at fault. A long ball forward proved to be the undoing of the Chelsea defence as Tevez bulldozered his way through Terry, tricked Richardo Carvalho with a drop of the shoulder and hit a tame shot which should have been saved by Henrique Hilario.
After half time, Manchester City took charge of the game with Tevez and Craig Bellamy constantly threatening the Chelsea back line.
On 51 minutes, after Carvalho had bombed forward, Chelsea were caught on the break with a lighting fast Bellamy on the left flank surging towards goal in a one on one situation with Mikel.
Bellamy eased past Mikel  and released a shot from a tight angle.
 Hilario has spent all season on the bench and looked very out sorts again as he conceded a goal which he should have really saved.
Things went from bad to worse as Gareth Barry managed to get in behind the Chelsea right back Juliano Belletti only to be tripped by the former.
This left the referee no option but to award a penalty and send Belletti off for bringing down Barry when he was in on goal.  
As a result Carlos Tevez stepped up and placed his penalty confidently to Hilario’s right handside to send the visitors 3-1 up.
Chelsea were looking a very frustrated side and this was shown in the rash challenge that saw Michael Ballack see red for a second bookable offence which, on reflection, was a very petualant challenge.
The second sending off ended any chance of a Chelsea comeback.
Then in the 87th minute, the knockout punch was delivered. Chelsea were pushing forward chasing the game and were always likely to be caught on the break with their numerical disadvantage.
Former Chelsea player Shaun Wright-Phillips used is phenomenal speed to run down the right wing and produced an excellent low cross which found Bellamy who had open goal to place the ball into.
Chelsea did score a consolation goal via a penalty which was slotted away by Frank Lampard. Anelka had cut in from the right hand side only to be tripped in the area. The decision of the penalty was debatable but nevertheless it was given and Lampard slotted home to score his 13th of the season.
All in all this was day that Chelsea will want to forget and with all the media circus surrounding Wayne Bridge and Terry it is time to forget and focus on the next game.
This game may have been a result of physical and emotional efforts of mid week against Jose's Mourinho’s Inter Milan but one thing that is for sure is that Chelsea can ill afford to produce display like this again if they wish to stay head of Manchester United in the title race.