Blaming Chris Foy is tempting. Certainly, envisioning him impaled on a rusty metal spike, alone and miserable, is a soothing, downright pleasant way to spend a few minutes. But losing 1-0 against Aston Villa, nine men or not, is not a result that we can pin entirely on the officials. If Chelsea slipped in the title race today, they did it to themselves, no matter whether Foy helped exacerbate the problem or not. Which, obviously, he did.
I'm a skeptic of our ability to win the Premier League this season. We don't have a reliable centre forward, and I still think our midfield needs help. But recently a great string of results has made the title feel within reach. I'd started to believe. So welcome back to reality, for me and the rest of you. Yes, we bore the brunt of a few highly questionable calls -- offside against Fernando Torres, handball against Nemanja Matic, I-don't-even-know-what-foul-that's-supposed-to-be against Willian -- but at the same time we play well enough to get three points.
Or even one point. With Chelsea at ten men, Fabian Delph struck the killer blow with a bizarre twisting backheel finish which Zlatan Ibrahimovic would have been proud of, and then a late implosion saw Ramires sent off for attacking Karim El Ahmadi and Jose Mourinho sent to the stands. And that was that.
In lieu of an extended match report which nobody wants to read, I'll leave you all with this. A year ago, we won at this ground thanks to Frank Lampard's 202nd and 203rd goals. It was a result which all but clinched a Champions League spot for us. This year, we lost an extraordinarily frustrating game and gave up ground in the title race. Things aren't all bad, are they?