Chelsea have been eliminated from the FA Cup, after falling to Manchester City by a 2-1 score. The Blues started the game very poorly, and 2-0 several minutes into the second half was probably a pretty fair score at that point.
As has been the case for the majority of the season, Chelsea picked things up and looked very good after falling behind. It was too little too late though, as they just couldn't find a way to put a pair in the City net. Chelsea were close but fell short in yet another competition, something that pretty much sums up Rafa Benitez's time in charge.
- There's really not much to say about the lineup selection today. The FA Cup is clearly a priority for the club, even with qualification for next season's Champions League still very much in doubt. With that in mind, this lineup is about as strong as any that Rafa could name.
- The first goal was a bit disappointing in the way it came about. Of late, Chelsea have been doing a nice job of staying compact while in possession, pushing their defensive line higher to compensate for the pivot midfielders also pushing higher up the pitch. Chelsea were playing deep and compact for the first 20 minutes, and when they finally began to start having long spells of possession the center backs continued to sit very deep. The buildup to the first goal was a perfect example of bad things happening when there is an acre between the lines for opposition to attack.
- It was nice to see Rafa make an early substitution and formation change today. I wish we would do so more often, as there have been plenty of games screaming for a tactical change at the hour mark since he took over.
- I really hope that the referee saw the second half incident between Kun Aguero and David Luiz and just decided not to take action. While seeing Aquero suspended for the bit of douchebaggery would be nice, seeing him have to sit out the game against Spurs wouldn't be.
- Speaking of the referee, he missed two pretty clear penalty shouts for Chelsea. I can see not giving the Torres shout, but there really wasn't much excuse not to award one when the keeper toppled Mata on the spot. All told, this was a pretty poorly officiated match, especially for one of this magnitude.
- Congratulations to Wigan Athletic, who will now be guaranteed a place in the Europa League next season. Hopefully they don't get relegated and have to sell off the bulk of their players this summer.
- This should pretty much end any reasonable human being from describing the Rafa Benitez era as a "success".