Date:Thursday December 3 2009
With many writing Blackburn of, and tipping Chelsea to cruise into the Carling Cup Semi Final, a night of surprises lay ahead. Unfortunately, due to broadcasting rights, this match was not shown on television screens across the world, so we shall do our best by picking away at the minimal match highlights.
Mr Neil McDonald took the reigns again, after another phone call from Sam Allardyce. The line up was astonoshing. After playing a 4-5-1 formation against Stoke, Rovers switched to a 4-3-3 ala 4-3-1-2 Formation. Home town favourite David Dunn missed the tie due to an injury, whilst Gael Givet was dropped to the bench.
Rovers- Robinson, Salgado, Nelsen, Samba, Chimbonda, Nzonzi, Emerton, Gamst Pedersen, McCarthy, Roberts, Kalinic.....
Chelsea decided to rotate the squad as expected, resting Terry, Lampard and Anelka, whilst Drogba sat on the bench. However, Ballack, Kalou, Cole and Deco were on the pitch to pull the strings for the Blues....
In what could be described as an entertaining game of football, both teams were left to rue chances which really should of sealed the tie in 90 minutes. To be fair to Rovers, it was not all oneway traffice, as it was a few weeks back after a 5-0 Drubbing. In fact, many might say Blackburn went out and played football.....Im sure the London press wont, but heck, lets take it whilst we can!!!
Nikola Kalinic opened the scoring for Rovers on the 10th minute. A swift run down the left flank by Chimbonda ended with a delightful cross against the face of the goal, Kalinic pipping his marker and poking it into the net...1-0. Both teams then picked up their games, and it really was end to end action.
Kalou missed the best of Chelsea's opportunities, his diving header flashing wide of Robinsons far post. On the other end, Brett Emerton was in the firing mood, hitting a few 25 yarders which flew narrowly wide of the goal. Kalou continued to be the main threat for Chelsea, his pace and anticipation causing a touch of panic for Blackburn's defence. However, Samba and Nelsen were up to the task, shutting down Chelsea's attack....
Rovers pushed and pushed, however, they could not get the second goal the boys would of wanted heading into the break.... 1-0 Blackburn......
Mr Ancelotti decided to play all his cards at the break, bringing on Drogba, Kakuta and Bruma....
The changes paid instant dividends. Drogba positioned himself perfectly, and expertely slotted a header from the 12 yard spot into the top left corner of the net....1-1
Things went from bad to worse from the home side. Slagado was stripped of the ball, and a delightful throughball sent Kalou free, checking as he approached Robinson, and cooly slotting the ball into the bottom left corner of Robinsons net....2-1 Chelsea
Blackburn, pushed on though, and didnt let the setback affect them. Their cause was helped by a knock to Kalou, leaving Chelsea down to 10 men for the rest of the tie...... Blackburn made their numerical advantage count not long after....
Emerton Picked the ball up on the right flank, whipping a looping cross over. Everybody in the boxed missed it, Kalinic, McCarthy and most importantly for Rovers fans, Hilario, with the ball bouncing into the net....2-2
Blackburn introduced Grella and Hoillet, with the young Canadian having the best of chances to seal the tie in normal time.... The first was a one on one opportunity, which the young man slashed wide of the post, whilst the next, a tame effort straight at Hilario....
Blackburn were denied late in the game, this time by the assistants flag. A delicate throughball by Emerton found McCarthy, who finished it, however, was found half a yard offside.... Extra Time...
Van Heerden came on for Nzonzi, with Rovers reverting to a 4-4-2 formation. The tie took another twist within minutes, Hoillet was tumbled in the box, with Benni McCarthy stepping up for the spot kick....No Mistake, sending Hilario the wrong way, 3-2...
Blackburn pushed for a fourth, whilst Chelsea started to play a long ball game in attempt to hit Rovers at their own game....
The tie started to fizz out, until the very last minute of the second half. Robinsons rash attempt to clear the ball from a free kick forced the game into penalties, with Feriera getting a late, late equaliser.....Benni McCarthy almost tearing of the 3 remaining hairs on Robinsons skull...
Penalties it was...
McCarthy- Goal 1-0
Ballack- Saved 1-0
Emerton- Goal 2-0
Chelsea- Goal 2-1
Grella- Goal 3-1
Chelsea- Goal 3-2
Kalinic- Saved 3-2
Chelsea- Goal 3-3
Hoillet- Goal 4-3
Kakuta- Saved 4-3
ROVERS WIN ON PENALTY.....
Now I dont want to harp on it, but the magic balls which were drawn after 90 minutes, most likely in the anticipation of Chelsea winning, saw the winner of Blackburn Chelsea play Aston Villa, with the other tie being the Manchester Derby.... Looks like Blackburn and Villa will fight for the right to play one of the Manchesters.....
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Date:Thursday December 3 2009
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