Sure, it was a great match. A classic? Maybe. But get real. It was a loss, even if we still walked away with a point.
Chelsea's dramatic 4-4 draw with Tottenham yesterday at Brett Hart Lane had it all -- and by all I mean goals. The Blues blew 3-1 and 4-3 leads, dropping a pair of valuable points heading into our war with Wenger and his merry band of foreigners at the weekend.
The muppet once again showed his managerial class with a pair of egregious decisions during the second half. First, Grant, with a 3-1 lead, decided to pull off forward/winger Kalou for central defender Alex. So, instead of moving into a 4-4-2 and packing the midfield with someone like Ballack, Grant decides to invite more attacking pressure ... BRILLIANT. Of course, the lead soon evaporates as Berbatov beats Terry to make it 3-2. Then, Grant pulls our best player on the night (by far), Joe Cole, for Ballack. Instead of allowing Cole to continue causing problems, Grant elects to go even more defensive. Of course, Tottenham find an equalizer. Sure, Robbie Keane's goal was a piece of brilliance filled with luck -- come on, the ball bounced of Ricky's back?! -- but if we had chosen to remain a threat offensively, he probably would have never gotten the opportunity.
Not that our defending on the whole wasn't atrocious, but we were particularly poor on set pieces. Terry, usually a bull in the air, was consistently beaten. We looked tentative as a whole, really. I guess it doesn't help that Cudicini doesn't instill the backline with the confidence that Cech does. This season alone, 13 of our 34 goals conceded have come on set pieces. Personally, I think this boils down to management. Proper work in training should elinimate problems on match days. This is an issue we've had for a year-plus now, making it further worrying as we enter the final stretch.
I'm not holding out much hope for a Prem title. Still, we're certainly not out of it by any stretch. A win on Sunday, coupled with a Liverpool win (can't believe I'm saying that), would have us just two points behind United with a visit to Stamford Bridge still on the cards for Sir Alex. I'll take that anyday.