Frustrating sums up my feelings on this game.
If Folan or Windass had been up front instead of the lightweight and ineffectual McPhee, supported by a creaking and unfit Henrik Pedersen, then I feel the one of the three clear cut chances we created would have been taken to either take the lead, or restore parity.
Then Delaney chose the presence of Sky and the football media to have an absolute stinker. Firstly he rushed out and over ran a Chelsea runner on the right flank, who then had an age to pick out the impressive Scott Sinclair, and the youngster finished with a perfectly placed first time shot.
Just after the break Chelsea killed the game as a contest when Delaney switched off for a split second to allow Kalou to get in front of him. The Irishman, attempting to clear, could only steer a header past Myhill.
Chelsea did enough and their quality on the ball was the difference, as no one needed a second touch and when in possession the Cup holders were always in control and had options for a pass.
I very much enjoyed shouting mindless abuse at Ashley Cole, an activity to be abhorred under normal conditions, but I was more than happy to make an exception. The guy is pond life for reasons that would take all day to explain.
Here is a flavour;
“The phone rang. It was my agent. When he told me that Arsenal were only prepared to offer me a contract worth £60,000 a week, I had to pull the car over. I was shaking with rage at such a derisory offer”.
Where to even start with that one?
Former Gooner Steve Sidwell, who left with the good will of everyone at the Club impressed in midfield for Chelsea, and although he was only up against the likes of Ashbee, he completely ran the show and possesses and excellent football brain, completing a dominating performance with a superb drive for the third goal creating power with hardly any back lift. Great technique and whilst I understand Wenger‘s reasoning it‘s shame he never got a real opportunity for the Gunners.
Okocha produced a wonderfully struck free kick near the end, but flitted in and out of the game and crucially for me, he offered not one sign of leadership to the rest of his colleagues. Silly little flicks please the crowd but produce nothing, and if he persists someone will break his leg for such misplaced arrogance.
Overall Chelsea were there for the taking given all the strife at Stamford Bridge, a sell out vociferous crowd and a filthy North Sea wind, but the lack of confidence and quality allied to poor tactics (McPhee and Pedersen should have swapped places in attack) meant that City never really came close to the upset that caused this game to be the fixture if the round.
City Line Up.
Myhill, Ricketts, Turner, Brown, Delaney (Dawson 53), Okocha, Ashbee, Livermore, Elliott (Garcia 53), McPhee, Pedersen (Featherstone 73).
Subs Not Used: Woodhead, Hughes. Att: 23,543