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FA Cup 6th Round: Chelsea 3-3 Tottenham


I have been to hell and back, I have been through the wringer and I thought that Chelsea's first-half performance against Arsenal in the Carling Cup final was RUBBISH, I thought Chelsea's first-half performance against Porto in the Champions League was RUBBISH but today's first-half performance against an in-form Tottenham side was PROBABLY the worst first-half performance since Jose Mourinho became our Special One.

Credit to Tottenham they came to play. They are after all the in-form team. Only on Thursday they played a European tie, not arriving back in London until 5pm Friday afternoon whereas Chelsea had two more days rest after the exertions against Porto on Tuesday night.

One question I asked myself when the teams were announced before the start of the game, why didn't Jose pick Khalid 'The Cannibal' to start in place of John Terry who was deemed still unfit, despite all media insistences that he was going to play today. Putting Boulahrouz in the middle of defence would have released the power of Essien, so sorely missing, by returning him to midfield.

Boy didn't Chelsea miss JT today and the presence of Boulahrouz. Jose has repeatedly told us that Boulahrouz can play anywhere in the back four, so why didn't he start today? Only Jose knows the answer to that question!!

Instead Jose went for a back-four of Ferreira, Carvalho, Essien and Ashley Cole and on five minutes Berbatov shot Tottenham ahead. 6,500 Tottenham fans in The Shed End went mad.

Lampard equalised by deflecting a Ballack shot in the 22nd minute and then it all went to pot as Chelsea gave away the next two Tottenham goals. Firstly Essien diverted a cross into his own net, after it was apparently clear that Cech was on his way to gather the ball. Then with three Chelsea players all waiting for each other to claim a header, up jumped Ghaly to win the header and run on to put Tottenham 3-1 up and all before half-time.

Chelsea were staring at their first domestic home defeat in normal time, under JM's tenureship for the first time in three years. Jose had seen enough as early as the 15th minute he replaced a sad looking Ferreira with Wright-Phillips.

To be honest half-time couldn't have come any quicker from the moment Tottenham's third goal went in. I was stunned. I couldn't believe it. Chelsea 3-1 down at half-time and at home to make it even worse.

What was to follow in the second-half? Firstly Cech made a double save to stop Chelsea going 4-1 behind. Boulahrouz came on as did Kalou as Chelsea went for broke and had only TWO recognised defenders, Ashley Cole and Diarra were the players removed.

Frank Lampard scored his second and then with less than five minutes to go, Salomon Kalou equalised with a fine volley from a Drogba headed knock-back.

Tottenham almost won it in the dying minutes when Defoe broke clear and rattled the crossbar in front of the Tottenham fans.

On reflection Chelsea were awful, especially in the first half, Tottenham were superb and with a whole host of bookings, the woodwork being hit, shots cleared off the line this game showed the world what English football is all about.

So off we go to White Hart Lane on Monday 19th March 2007 for the replay and if that game is as half as good as the one we witnessed today, then we will ALL be in for a great night.

When you have English Cup football of this quality, who needs Barcelona v Real Madrid?

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