1 Leg On The Cup: Chelsea v Leicester City, Part 1
Our train leaves at 8.20, which is a bit more civilised than previous ‘cheap’ train trips to that London, and how different travelling is when you can look out of the window and actually see things rather than the blackness you get at 6.30am.
I have a new bag for the trip! A manbag if you will, i told my girlfriend that i needed a bag to carry all the stuff i take with me on match days so she got me a Paul Frank bag, quite trendy she tells me so i asked the big fella what he thought of it, “what d’ya think?” after giving it the once over he tossed it back at me saying “you know what Tony, for an older guy you’re a bit of a dick sometimes”
Answered my question i suppose? So i asked this Oriental-looking bloke to take a picture of us with my new gift, the guy then went on to give me a 20 minute lesson on how to use my own camera properly! I’m still clueless but i thanked him for trying.
So after a few games of ‘eye-spy’ and a conversation about what seats are better on a train, window or aisle? At 11am-ish we were back outside our favourite coffee shop. After a caffeine intake we went into the bowels of that London to criss-cross our way to Fulham Broadway, we’re old hands at this now – change at Victoria, then Earls Court for the horrible bit where you’re packed like the proverbial sardines for the last 2 stops!
Out into the daylight & there’s already plenty of people around, we’re making our way to a pub called the Malt House to meet the Chelsea Podcast guys who we should of met at Birmingham, it was only 5 minutes away and we found it quite easily so at 12 o’clock we were having our first pint of the day at £3.90 a pint!
Free Wi-Fi, was the sign on the door as we entered, so to save the life on the phones i ask the barmaid for the code so we can watch a bit of Sky sports on the ipod, she wasn’t sure what it was so went to ask someone, the Malt House seems to have a lot of different nationalities working there and a couple of minutes later a young barman comes over to us who spoke with very broken English & i was whiteness to one of the best conversations EVER! Barman – “you want wifi code?” Rhino – “yeah, please mate” Barman – “buy a drink” Rhino – “just bought 2 pints & we’ve already had 2 before that” Barman – “yeah i know, but you want wifi? buy a drink” as the big fella was turning even more purple with this ‘Fawlty Towers – train wreck’ of a conversation i finally stopped laughing to tell him the password was ‘buyadrink’ the landlord of this place obviously has a sense of humour lol lol
to bring some normality back to the chaos, Chidge turned up! This is the guy who fronts the Chelsea Fancast, it’s got to be the longest weekly podcast out there lasting well over 2 hours each week. I download & listen to lots of different podcasts every week & as the big fella has said to me on more than one occasion “you’re a sad bastard, get a life!” but it’s just the same as listening to talk sport only without meerkats or Gavin from AutoGlass popping up every 5 minutes! The Chelsea fancast also has a great website too, but it goes without saying it’s totally biased towards the blues but well worth a look even if you’re not a blue
After a few pints & a good bit of football story swapping we make our way down Fulham Rd. to the game, as we didn’t have anyone to take the photo of us with the Peter Osgood statue last time we were here we took full advantage of our new footy-friends this time. After a bit of confusion, mainly because i had had 1 too many & a steward sent us to the wrong gate, we took our seats just as Mr. Probert was blowing his whistle to get Step 14 underway!
We had great seats for the game thanks to the very helpful staff on the phones at Chelsea, we was sat right on the edge of a packed out Matthew harding upper tier while away to our right the 6000 Leicester fans were in fine voice filling the famous Chelsea shed end.
A quite lively opening 10 minutes from both sides and our player of the round nomination, Jermaine Beckford sent a shot just wide from outside the area. (for any late comers to the blog, if you Google-search ‘Budweiser player of the round’ you will find my claim to fame on the FA’s website ) on 12 minutes Gary Cahill was on the end of Mata’s corner to give the home side the lead 1-0. Cahill lifts his shirt during his celebration to reveal a message for his ex team mate Fabrice Muamba, the message read what EVERYONE was feeling at Stamford Bridge today.
City tried to respond when Souleymane Bamba had a shot blocked by Jose Bosingwa and the goal didn’t seem to be affecting the Leicester game plan. But just 5 minutes after the first goal Chelsea doubled their lead when some bloke called Fernando Torres played the perfect pass for Kalou to slot into the bottom left hand corner past the young Schmeichel. 2-0
City still wouldn’t roll over & their fantastic following support never stopped cheering them on. Paul Gallagher’s shot went just wide & Beckford tested Cech again. The game unfolding in front of the 38,000 crowd was turning out to be a cracker! A real cup-tie of a game with Leicester now going for it like you should when you’re behind in a one-off knockout game but this Torres bloke was beginning to shine & he even did his bit defending when he blocked a shot from Gallagher. The first half came to an end & it had flown by, everyone was on their feet as the whistle blew applauding & cheering both teams as they left the field. HT 2-0.
The big fella shot off for a quick pint or 2 at the break while i stayed put to sober up rest. I got talking to a few of the home faithful sat with us & the guy next to me was telling me that i was sat in the seat he has a season ticket for, £890 it costs for the 19 league games so i told him i would look after it & if i had to fart i would stand up first!
The Rhino re-appeared with that ‘i’ve had at least a couple of beers’ look on his dial & he also had a hot dog! I was somewhat confused by his choice of half time snack, “why have you got that instead of a pie?, could you get any more sauce & mustard on it? and where’s mine???” after swallowing his current mouthful he answered “i’ve already done the Chelsea pie review, condiments are free so i took full advantage & the people in front of you look like they don’t want you pukeing all over them!!!” but fear not avid pie readers! you will find this week’s pie review as ever on our pie-omiter page.
The second half starts with me desperately trying to remember what the guy on the train had told me about zooming in with my new camera, i spot my old mate Bob di Matteo on the far side of the pitch and give it a go… pretty cool eh? Wish i had this baby when the ex wife was at it years ago! Would of saved me a fortune in the divorce court! Anyway, on with the game. Malouda is on for Mata & has a pop at goal 5 minutes in but it was easily saved by Schmeichel.
More of the same we saw in the first half was coming from both sides with the home side just edging it for my money. Just past the hour and both sides make changes, Jeffery Schlupp comes on for Leicester replacing Sean St. Ledger & the home side send on Michael Essien for Kalou. But 5 minutes or so later, it happened! One of those ‘where were you’ moments people ask you about when JFK was shot or the 9/11 tragedy.
So on the 18th of March 2012 at 3.11-54pm where were you when Torres scored? Because we were there! Yes, me & the big fella were at Stamford Bridge to whiteness this little piece of history being made! (yeah, yeah i know i’m a piss taking _ _ _ _ ) i didn’t get my camera out for the actual goal (obviously didn’t think he was going to score) but i did get a bit of the celebrations afterwards, my camera hand is a bit shaky i’m afraid but it’s good enough. Apparently, on scoring this goal Torres lifted his shirt to reveal the message on his vest that read “Save the Chilean Miners” but i didn’t see it myself!