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Steven Naismith ruins Chelsea's weekend

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Barring a freak match last season, Goodison Park has been an unhappy ground for Chelsea. Matches here have a habit of going badly, which is apparently so deeply ingrained in my psyche that I have nightmares before we travel to Everton. At 7 am this morning, I woke up after seeing Dream-Steven Naismith put two past Asmir Begovic in the first half, putting Chelsea in an insurmountable hole and all but handing Everton the win.

His absence from the Toffee lineup instilled in me a sense of profound, almost religious relief. The Loxian vision of that goblin face screaming in delight could be safely put aside. Maybe I wasn't some sort of prophet. Maybe Chelsea had a chance.

[Fun] that, said football.

Roberto Martinez took advantage of the massive hole on Chelsea's right side by starting without a left winger, leaving Branislav Ivanovic even more confused than normal. The first time the hosts attacked him, however, it turned out badly for them, with Muhammed Besic injuring his hamstring after being challenged by Kurt Zouma. Forcing the Toffees into an early substitution could only be good for the Blues, right?

Wrong. Fourteen flashed up on the board. A killer stepped onto the turf. Chelsea were doomed. Somehow I'd Cassandra'd myself, refusing to believe what was right in front of me from the second I woke up this morning. Steven Naismith was going to ruin my day and nothing was going to alter his triumph.

* * *


Scene: Goodison Park, in England, before the goal of BEGOVIC.

(Enter NAISMITH from centre-ward, armed with the ball.)

Proud Chelsea, suffering long, think you your trials ended?
All Britain seeks vengeance for football's death!
Mourinho the cause, Mourinho the curse.
Zeus decrees an end.
Old glories will bind and shackle. Talent will wither and die.
And you, Mourinho, you shall answer for your crimes.
Let my body be the shield upon which your blows fall ineffectual.
Let my left boot be the spear of vengeance everlasting.
I come here to be light's champion.
Darkness shall be dispelled.

(Enter TERRY and ZOUMA from goalward)

What is this?

An end to you, however brave you be.

Zouma, end this upstart.

(Enter IVANOVIC from goalward. ZOUMA closes in on NAISMITH and falls)

Captain! I am slain; I pass to the house of Hades!

The gods smile upon your men no longer. I fear not the forces arrayed against me.


(Exit IVANOVIC centre-ward)

That man marches to his doom with dignity. To resist, he sees, is futile.

IVANOVIC (from off-stage)

I strike the first blow of your end!

(NAISMITH throws the ball up into the air and nods into goal)

This troubles me much. Have the gods withdrawn their favour?

Hey where the [fun] did Bran and Kurt go?

* * *


Scene: Goodison Park, in England, before the goal of BEGOVIC.

(Enter NAISMITH from centre-ward, armed with the ball. Enter IVANOVIC, from goalward.)

Friend Ivanovic. Mighty was your sword in the ancient tales.
But know that in your wrath Ares aided.
His favour departed, alone you cannot hold.
Your slain enemies return to life.
Conquered cities throw off their shackles.
Old man! Your time is ended! With sense, you will go gracefully.


(IVANOVIC stops moving.)

Your choice is wise, Friend Ivanovic. Abjure the struggle. Accept the end. Men might call you craven. They might call you weak. But your fall will be one of peace.

IVANOVIC (mournful)

(NAISMITH kicks ball into goal)

Why the [fun] is nobody doing anything? It's Steven [funning] Naismith for [fun's] sake!

* * *


Scene: Goodison Park, in England, before the goal of BEGOVIC. TERRY standing.

Though Naismith has cost us dearly, our forces regroup.
Under Mourinho's shield we've turned away sterner blows.
Victory is within sight, though still far off.
The future is yet unknown, but we fight to the end. Perhaps theirs. Perhaps ours. 
No matter. Let the ball fall as it may.

(Enter NAISMITH from centre-ward, armed with the ball)

Your counterstroke is mighty, yet still I here stand.
In years past all Hellas would buckle under such blows.
Yet now, with the shroud of darkness dispelled.
We throw off Hecate's witchcraft.
We bring ruinous battle to your home!

Enough! I have power yet to end you, Naismith, though Zeus himself be your protector.

(TERRY is struck by a bolt of lightning and explodes.)

Whom the gods seek to destroy, they first make proud. May I be spared the curse of arrogance.

(NAISMITH kicks ball into goal.)

Where did John go? What the hell is happening?

* * *

So this wasn't really a match report (the final score was 3-1, if you didn't already know), but I hope it at least conveys something of how it felt to watch Chelsea's second loss on the bounce. If nothing else, I hope it conveys the fact that STEVEN NAISMITH HAUNTS MY DREAMS.

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