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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Terry's all gold

Well, Ronaldinho stated that no English side would progress into the QF, when in fact the one he faced did. Chelsea v Barcelona was the match to watch, being on ITV and following the comments from both camps in regard to the 2nd leg. Why is it that adults know better on how to behave yet, despite being people of good stature and maturity, still fail to do so, sometimes to their own peril.

The same cannot be said of Jose Moan-rinho. Complaining of Frank Rijkaard's presence in Anders Frisk's dressing room at half time in the Nou Camp, there was little complaining before the 2nd leg began. Good reason too. Barcelona are holding La Liga toransom yet played so defensively out of shape that a team like Chelsea, with attackers who think so quickly and move likewise, found it too simple to infiltrate. Chelsea's best player was the captain, but Joe Cole comes in for a mention of having played his best so far in a Blues top. Much better improvement by someone I criticise on occasion.

Chelsea displayed to Barcelona how Barcelona use to play. Lampard found Kezman on the right, Kezman passed a great pass across to Gudjohnsen, the Icelander controlled, like Henry tonight, left foot away from Gerard then the right to execute. And like a executioner, he did, nice finish. Then Cole goes on a run and shoots, it deflects and Valdez gets a palm to it but that smothers the sting out of the ball and places it in the path of Lampard, with no Barcelona player reacting even on instinct. But if that wasn't enough for the watching public, although it certainly was to carry Chelsea through, they added a third. Loe Cole again, on the run, half-volley pass finds the running Duff, Duff runs on and hits first time under Valdez. Where was Gerard? 3-0 in under 19mins, Barcelona should have pressed the self-destruct before Chelsea eventually blew them away themselves.

But then steps up World Player of the Year. Belletti crosses from their right, Ferreira jumps with Eto'o but isn't looking, his hand is out and the ball touches it. Penalty. Ronaldinho steps up like a peacock and just about scores, Cech agonisingly going the right way and getting a slight touch with both hands. And then Chelsea are embarassingly caught out by Ronaldinho. The ball is touched to him, he stands there, outside the box, twisting his right leg left and right as if he's about to do some breakdancing, Carvalho is between him and the goal, Cech waits, about three other Chelsea players wait surrounding him, a couple of Barcelona players making movements around him, and the Brazilian is still in one spot. Then before anyone could muster a move, he aims a shot with minimal backlift that finds the goal, Cech is rooted. Barcelona reduce the deficit to one, and they are currently going through, making Chelsea's 3 goals seem immaterial.

But come the second half, while Barcelona played as if they needed a goal, their defence was still not organised. They enjoyed the possession throughout the second half, but whenever Chelsea broke in attack, Chelsea came closer with 5 or 6 chances than Barcelona with their majority possession. Juliano Belletti forced a good save from Cech that saw the ball skimmer off the post, then Puyol rose to head what seemed a goal, only for the Czech keeper to stop on the line. Iniesta shot but it was tipped onto the post, Glen Johnson watched the ball go by him and Eto'o should have put the rebound on target but skied it.

With Chelsea progressing the better with their few breaks, they forced a corner with some 12-15mins to go, and had the Spanish side did their homework, they should have picked up on John Terry's knack for headers. They didn't, he headed and the goal was made near the far post. There seemed a case for Carvalho impeding Valdez but it was to no avail. Also, Barcelona defended the corner with no one on the far post.

Terry was my MOTM as he hardly put a foot wrong, whenever a ball came high and in, he would make it mostly and it was cleared. At one time, he was allowed to react to a high ball near his goal, Barcelona players waited for him to make a mistake but he simply watched the high ball and jumped to meet it towards Cech, simple defending and tidying up. Barcelona could have done with some of that via Marquez. He is in a different class to Terry but he is their best defender to rely on for tidying up.

Chelsea have shown they can defend well and stubbornly. As Arsenal lead in that deprtment through Campbell, Terry does as well for Chelsea, and whoever partners with him learns from him, likewise with Toure from Campbell. At the end, the camera turned to Ronaldinho, his face sternly focused somewhere off camera, and then we managed to see tension as Rijkaard is held by one steward, Ronaldinho is held by another, some Barcelona staff having their say. Eto'o alleged he was racially abused but it is suggested that one of Moan-rinho's management staff may have teased Rijkaard after the whistle. If so, again, there is little humility shown. Despite what has happened, they are professional, they are grown-up and they must show responsibility.

Teasing after the whistle is absurd, immature and unsporting. In the match, Chelsea showed they can defend well and attack with almost acute precision. They needed little from their few attacks while Barcelona could muster little from the majority of theirs. Where Moan-rinho is concerned, he is brazen to show his side play with passion, something he has clear confidence in. For Ronaldinho, the best place for dialogue in retort is on the pitch. He almost spoke twice but then allowed his emotions at the end to speak further. For the home fans, they were jubilant. Barcelon's showed their emotion after the commotion with their players and Chelsea's stewards. They rained bottles of water towards Moan-rinho and Abramovich as they walked off the pitch.



Blogger T said...

I agree with the analysis on Terry. He is Mr Chelsea, just as Tony Adams was Mr Arsenal. These are players who fully represent the club: take one away from the other and both will lose big time. Ask a Chelsea fan if he/she would be prepared to swap Ronaldinhio for Terry and the answer would most likely be no. This is how good Terry is.

3/16/2005 12:31 am


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