We’re off! Step 11 gets underway and looking around the place there’s still a few pockets of empty seats & there was me panicking about not being able to get hold of tickets! The chap sat next to me told me that he had bought his the day before at about 2ish from the box office & there were still plenty left on open sale, still – cheers Pat, RIP x
Once again you don’t need a match report from an idiot like me but as expected, every time John Terry touched the ball it was like the biggest pantomime villain in the world had just stepped onto the field! Some pretty awful songs about the man were being sung throughout the first half but the Chelsea fans had just as many come-back songs to champion their skipper that amazingly, had both sets of supporters laughing & joking at the opposition’s songs! Great banter between two sets of bitter rival supporters, not so great if you’re John Terry, his mum, his dad or even his cat if the last song of that particular medley was to be believed!
However the football being played wasn’t as entertaining, a fairly dull first 45 with only a sprinkling of half chances from either side. This was the first time i had seen Chelsea in the flesh and as an avid watcher of any & all football on TV, the general opinion of the pundits is that David Luiz can’t defend, so i spent most of the first half watching him & his movements off the ball. I thought the guy played well, ok he’s got a mad hair cut but he played well, moved into space for Cech to use him if needed & followed JT’s instructions when told, it’s my own fault for believing Mark Lawrenson i suppose, The only thing he’s got right lately is shaving that stupid ‘tache of his face! HT 0-0
At last! A chance to stand up and see if i’ve wet myself or not because the feeling from the waist down has long since left me! after a quick check, i’m dry as a bone & in need of substance. The last time we were here we was invited into the media room where we were fed & watered by QPR, however the Rhino’s question to Mark Hughes about having his boots ready must have gone down the wrong way as there was no room at the inn, or media room in this case, however much i begged Mr. Taylor. So off to the tuck shop the big fella went to review the food on offer to the masses at the loft, his report & review can be found on our pie-ometer page.
The second half gets underway and the taunting of JT has a fresh approach from a new set of Rangers fans at the other end of the ground. This also meant i couldn’t scrutinise Luiz anymore so i turned my focus to Fernando Torres for much the same reason, what does a £50m man do when the camera is pointing elsewhere? Well, the guy is either unbelievably laid back or really lacking in confidence, the barrage of “what a waste of money” is blurted out at him wherever he goes & that can’t do your confidence any good but credit to the Chelsea fans as they do what i think supporters should do….. support! Singing his name & cheering his efforts regularly. Too many people turn on players when they’re not performing, the same players they were praising only a few weeks before. I think Torres needs a goal and needs one quickly.
Torres’ movement was good & he dragged defenders away when Sturridge was going through the middle but this didn’t happen that often as the second half was played much the same way as the first. Of course the turning point of the game was the penalty, with about an hour on the clock, Sturridge finds himself on the floor in the box for a second time in a matter of minutes courtesy of Clint Hill. Mr. Dean had waved away the appeals for the first incident but pointed to the spot on the second time of asking. I couldn’t really tell at the time but after watching a few replays i would use the word ‘harsh’ in describing Mr. Dean’s dissension. But cup tie’s are won & lost on moments like these and up stepped Juan Mata. The crowd surrounding us were already on their feet & the Rhino had taken full advantage of this and evicted himself to the staircase with camera in hand ready to take the video but i knew he was getting some feeling back into his legs! lol lol he captured the spot kick & left the camera running on the Chelsea fans celebrating for a few moments.
I was expecting QPR to give it the ‘shit-or-bust’ approach as the game was coming to an end but they still seemed reluctant to go for it in a way cup football demands? The R’s were doing their best to encourage a forward momentum from their team & were becoming a little irate by the lack of effort. Even when the 4th official held up the board with 7 minutes on it after the game had been stopped for some time with the injury to Ramires, QPR still wasn’t throwing caution to the wind hunting down an equaliser. Cech finally had to make a scrambling save in the last few moments but when Shaun Wright-Philips blazed over with virtually the last kick of the game, we knew we would be with Chelsea for the next round. FT 0-1
As we make our way out of the ground we get text’s from a few Man. U friends who are at Anfield telling us that if Chelsea are drawn at Old Trafford in the next round they are going to point us out in the ‘away end’ at the game and inform everyone at the ground we are from Manchester! lol lol and i’m calling these people friends of mine!?!? It was 1-1 at Liverpool but we were more bothered about getting back to the tube station as soon as poss. Lee, who we had met before kick off in the pub had told us to get out of the area as soon as after the game as it was more than likely to ‘go off’ between the fans! Sound advice… and we took it. the Rhino had to bite his lip as we walked back past the pub as he knew it was open even though it looked shut lol.
We set off from White City & the train was packed with both sets of supporters but everything seemed ok if anything it was too quiet. Not wanting to get involved in any sort of nonsense we bailed at Oxford Circus & decided to get a pint or 2 somewhere and watch the first half scores coming in from the other ties kicking off at 3. We walk into an Irish pub in the middle of that London & it’s packed out with Man. U. fans! Amazing lol. we quickly find out that Liverpool have scored in the last couple of minutes and United are out. Lots of inquisitive eyes are peering at us from behind pint pots as we reach the bar. The big fella, realising all is not well then turns to me & in a louder than normal voice says “never been the same since Roy Keane left… best midfielder in the world Kean-o” Brilliant, i thought to myself, could you say anything better than that in a maybe-hostile, United-friendly, Irish pub? Within about 10 minutes we were like part of the furniture as we relayed over again who, why & what we were and why we wasn’t at Anfield. Kudos – the big man!
After making a few new friends including 2 shamus’s & 3 Patricks we’re back on the tube to Euston. The only problem with these cheap tickets is you get one train & one train only! Our return journey was leaving at 5pm which would have us back in Manc-land for just after 7. If we would have booked earlier i would of had more choice of trains to go back on or even the next day but all the Sunday trains had been booked up while i was still looking for match tickets. £2.80 a can on the train or 4 for £10 made the cheap tickets a bit dearer but i’ll know better next time Mr. Branson! But apart from the expensive shite beer, had the train been the cheaper option? Up to now on this journey we have used a 2ltr turbo diesel & the price of fuel isn’t cheap and today has cost us £57 each to get there & back plus unlimited tube travel if we wanted it. if was certainly quicker and we could both have a drink at any point without worrying about driving.
We was back in the Sweaty Spaniard in Droylsden for about 8 o’clock and the staff there were very surprised to see us as we normally stay over when we go to that London. We spend the rest of the night flicking through the teams left in the competition and talk about where we would end up going next with Chelsea.
Next day we’re in the Pig & Ball Bearing and one by one the ‘not so gobby’ United fans are coming in lol lol i really am running out of friends fast now! we enlist the help of Nathan – a random drunk & Aaron the Blue or @aaronpayt to help us with the now infamous Good, Bad & Ugly list. This is the list in which we go through each team and decide if it will be a good, bad or ugly place for us to visit. In the past we have dedicated this list to a few things and this one was no exception, it was the Italia 90 list. Good = Schillaci after the Italian wizard who came out of nowhere to be the star of the tournament. Bad = José Roberto Wright the Brazilian referee who booked Gazza in the semi denying him a place in the final if we won. Ugly = Peter Beardsley, poor Peter was voted the ugliest man at the world cup by an Italian magazine.
Number 5 is plucked out and Jim Rosenthal says “Chelsea will be at home to…………… Birmingham City” so we’re off to that London once again! Chelsea were in the José section because we wanted to go up North, the furthest North we’ve been on this adventure is Chadderton! Our very first game & it’s about 5 mile away! so i’ll wait until the TV people have finished messing about with the fixtures before i book anything lol lol anybody else in Manchester still on a cup run????? lol lol lol thought not.