Chelsea played Manchester United for the second time this week on Wednesday, and this one took extra time to decide. That was just fine in my book, as this was one of the most thoroughly entertaining games I've watched in a very long time. Yesterday's Arsenal/Reading game was one of the more exciting games I've ever seen, but today was just as exciting and it was actually played well on top of it.
Chelsea won, and probably deserved to do so with the way they played today. They looked pretty strong in attack, although they did look vulnerable to quick counter-attacks. It's on to the quarterfinal round, and the draw will be taking place in the next few minutes. We'll have the result of that draw for you as soon as it happens.
Here are my initial thoughts in the aftermath of this one:
- David Luiz tipped what direction he was going on the penalty, but he hit it so hard it was going to be nearly impossible to stop anyway. If he's taking penalties and free kicks, he's going to be a smart guy to pick up for your fantasy team.
- Eden Hazard didn't tip his penalty at all, I think we've got a natural successor to Frank Lampard as our primary penalty taker.
- Today should really reinforce the idea that Lucas Piazon needs a loan spell somewhere. He's a great talent, but the jump from the U21 level to Chelsea is pretty huge.
- Victor Moses was just excellent. He's something a little different than what we have in the attacking band normally, and I really think he's quite capable of starting for any other team in the Premier League.
- I don't know how you don't award a penalty for that handball in the box on Juan Mata's shot in the 72nd minute. That's never a card in my book, but it certainly stopped a shot that looked to be going on target. The arm was well away from the body, that just has to be awarded.
- Once Roberto Di Matteo made his three substitutions, it was an awfully interesting lineup out on the pitch. You'd be hard pressed to get more attacking talent onto the pitch than that.
- Both United center backs should have seen red cards on Wednesday. This game was officiated very differently than Sunday, wasn't it?
- That game was very, very entertaining. So much for Chelsea being boring. Luckily for us, the non-boring core is young enough that we should be watching this type of play for the next ten years.