'Arry, this is not the Lane. This is Wembley. There are no rules.
Ah, The Big Lebowski. Who would have ever thought that such a timeless film would one day find itself referenced alongside the wretchedness that is the Football Association? Not this man.
Don't be fatuous.
Yes, for most of Britain and indeed the world, this game will not be remembered for the result. Chelsea fans surely will file away this victory in the mental Rolodex, but the rest of the world will likely choose not to remember the power, grace and precision of a Chelsea legend who knows nothing of age, and the restriction that is supposed to accompany it. These people won't be the least interested in relishing the right old battering Chelsea dished out over the final 20 minutes.
No, the majority will look toward a ball that almost crossed the line. Almost, but not quite.
Juan Mata's now infamous ghost goal - a goal that gave Chelsea a 2-0 lead early in the second half - has once again sent the talking heads, and of course those that enjoy flipping through the rags like myself into a tizzy. But then again, I'm a Chelsea supporter so the only tizzy I'm having at the moment is one of sheer joy.
Controversy, injustice and the like - it's everywhere. See?
Was it a poor decision? Oh yeah. Had John Terry clotheslined all 11 Spurs players, including goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, in the lead-up to the goal? Most definitely. Did the incident affect the match in such a way that Spurs should feel aggrieved about the result? Hell no.
Graham of We Ain't Got No History, using his famed win probability formula, determined that Martin Atkinson's idiocy cost Tottenham about a 15 percent chance of victory, maybe 20 if the parameters are changed to suit Harry's men. The rest of the game was flushed out thanks to, wait for it, actual football. And on that front, aside from a solid half of the first half from Spurs, we were by far the better side trotting about at New Wembley.
There are also those that love to deal in hypotheticals. They suggest that if we hadn't been awarded the second goal the game would have ended differently. How do you know? How do you know that our second goal didn't spur Spurs (see what I did there) into scoring their only goal of the day? This, my friends, is all bullshit. You can't look at a match from any perspective except the real one. Reality tells us that Chelsea romped.
Enough with the so-called ghost goal. What about the handful of legitimate ones we managed?
After a cagey opening 30 or so minutes (I'm being kind), the match awoke in epic fashion two minutes from the end of the first half when Didier Drogba, for the most part bottled up to that point, once again rolled back the years and produced one of the finest goals ever scored at Wembley. It was so simple, the Ivorian picking up a long ball up field from Frank Lampard before, with his back to goal, simultaneously flicking the ball around and rolling a helpless William Gallas. The rest was just as stunning, the shot from 18 or so yards steaming past Cudicini at his near post before he could even react. Gallas, the poor sap, went on to be assaulted throughout.
It was The Mighty One's seventh goal at the stadium. He is truly the King of Wembley.
Mata's tally followed and then came Gareth Bale's lifeline for Spurs. There has been talk of a red card for Petr Cech, but it's all quite ridiculous considering play was waved on after his foul on Emmanuel Adebayor, thus negating the ability for Atkinson to reward a red for anything but malicious play. Cech's foul was never malicious.
Anyway. At 2-1, it looked as if Chelsea was heading down this season's all too familiar path. How many times have we collapsed in similar situations? This time, however, we opted rather to figuratively thrust a 30-foot trident into the collective heart of Spurs - and it was fun to watch.
Wee Juan Mata, no doubt running on adrenaline and little else, unveiled his wand and began to weave magic all over the Wembley pitch. The first to benefit was Ramires, who took a lovely pass from the Mata and lifted it over Cudicini to send the whole of our support into a sigh of relief. Lampard took to the stage next, unleashing an unstoppable - and unforgettable - 30-plus yard free kick looping over the opposition wall and past Cudicini, the former Chelsea keeper, at his far post. The deadball required multiple viewings to believe. And no, it didn't take a deflection off Scott Parker.
We weren't done, either. Florent Malouda, who wrote his own pink slip a few moments earlier with an incomprehensible piece of play on the left side of the box in which he could easily have set up Fernando Torres for a tap-in, latched onto another sublime pass from Mata to side-foot past Cudicini. Call it a parting gift from the Frenchman if you will.
Five goals? Shit man. Who the hell saw that coming? Not me.
The win sets up a final date alongside Liverpool. What a highly marketable affair for the FA, one soaked with storylines. Excuse me while I vomit in preparation for all the Torres talk.
That's a few weeks away, though. In the immediate we have a small, insignificant Champions League semifinal tie with Barcelona to navigate. Did today's performance leave me feeling better about the coming week's contest at Stamford Bridge? Not exactly. It did keep me, the realist, from completely writing us off, however. After all, you never know what to expect on these warm European nights. One or two pieces of individual brilliance from Drogba, like what we saw today, and I'm eyeing Munich.
One thing of serious note: There is the not-so-small problem of soldiering on without David Luiz. The Brazilian was stretchered off in the aftermath of Bale's goal with what appears to be a hamstring injury. I reckon he's definitely out for Wednesday's match, and is likely going to miss Arsenal on the weekend and the return leg at Nou Camp as well. This, as you know, is a massive blow. Oh well, there's nothing we can do about it. I guess it's time for Gary Cahill to reach a new level of performance. I figure he'll have Leo in his pocket.
On to Wednesday then. Carefree, bitches.