Chelsea out of League Cup as pens do us again!!!

Well that was unexpected wasn't it! In my preview of the game tonight I honestly couldn't see us losing the game so as Kakuta too...

Well that was unexpected wasn't it! In my preview of the game tonight I honestly couldn't see us losing the game so as Kakuta took the final pen and it was saved by Robinson I was gutted like the rest of you!. I am sitting here with a feeling of one that got away as far as the League Cup is concerned. The thing is it could of been so different if we had taken our chances and finished the game with 11 men and not 10 after Kalou had to go off injured.

But for me, its nights like tonight where questions have to be asked about the team Carlo selected, the way we played and what the hell is it with us the bloody League Cup and penalty shootouts!!

As the team was announced I thought that there would be changes to the side that beat Arsenal last Sunday. Carlo decided to make eight changes to the side and it was only Ivanovic, Joe Cole and Mikel that kept their place in the starting eleven. Cech, Ash Cole, Carvalho, Terry, Essien, Lampard, Anelka were given complete rest. Didier Drogba was put on the bench next to Bruma, Kakuta, Borini, Matic, Turnbull and Sam Hutchinson.

We started with Hilario in goal, Belletti at right back, Ferreira and Ivanovic in the middle at the back with Zhirkov at left back. Mikel kept his place in the holding role, Deco and Ballack came into the middle with Joe Cole & Malouda with Kalou up front. The formation we looked to of adopted was the Christmas tree formation 4-2-3-1 with Kalou as the lone striker. Ballack was to play sitting next to Mikel to allow Deco, Joe Cole and Malouda to get forward to support Kalou.

We conceded early and you have to say the defending was awful. Ferreira was caught out of position, Belletti slipped which allowed Chimbonda time and space to get free and slide a cross low to Kalinic who slotted home in front of Zhirkov who fell asleep and got caught on the backfoot. Despite stretching out a leg he couldn't do anything to stop Kalinic. 1-0 Blackburn.

I find myself frustrated with Kalou more and more. I know he scored our second goal which I will discuss later on but he had a great chance in the first half to pull us level from a header about eight yards out, put on a plate for him by a wonderful cross from Belletti, but once again, he miss-times his header and heads wide with just Robinson who was left standing like a statue on his line!!!. HOW MANY TIMES KALOU!!!

The play was back and forth and Ballack had a good chance on the volley coming onto a cross from the left hand side just outside the back post, but he vollyed into the side netting. Joe Cole made Robinson work with a shot hard a low down but was comfortable in the end. Blackburn had their chances but shot wide a few times. So we went in at half time 1-0 down.

It was at half time when Carlo rang the changes. Belletti, Deco and Joe Cole came off for Bruma, Drogba and Kakuta. Within minutes of the re-start a Malouda cross found Drogba in the box who held of his marker and headed into the far corner. 1-1. Again, minutes later our midfield broke up Blackburn possession and Zhirkov plays a great ball through to Kalou who after a couple of touches is one on one through on goal with Robinson. He composes himself and slots past Robinson. Within the space of 7 minutes of the restart its now Chelsea 2-1.

By now like me, you probably think game over, but to their credit Blackburn came back into the game and what a nightmare of a goal that Hilario will want to forget. Deflected cross from the right hand side loops up towards the corner of the six yard box by Hilario's near post, Kalinic makes a run and takes Hilario's eyes off the ball as he expects him to make contact with the ball. Kalinic misses it, Hilario is too late to react, the ball takes a bounce low at his feet and goes past him into the roof of the net 2-2. Nightmare!

What makes it worse is that in the second half Kalou has yet another chance to score from a header once more from close range and AGAIN he buggers it up and heads straight, this time, to Robinson from 6 yards when its easier to score!!!!. He later suffers a thigh strain and has to go off the pitch. So now we are screwed. All three subs had been made, so we are faced with approx 30 mins with 10 men.

Chelsea dig in, Hilario makes a great save, Drogba gets brought down in the box, was it a pen?.. but nothing given. Blackburn have a couple of chances but nothing of real note. So we move to Extra time. Blackburn start the better and then it happens. Zhirkov slides in, inside the box, takes the forwards legs away and the ref has no choice but to give a penalty which Benny McCarthy scores 3-2 Blackburn. Stupid tackle!!!

So as its looking more and more like we are out I am beginning to feel gutted. I know that Carlo wants to rest players for the Champs League and Premier League which is fair enough but we all thought we would go there tonight and win. On paper it was a cert. So as we look as though we are heading out I am praying for Drogba to come up with something to keep us in the game. I don't wanna go out to Blackburn for god sake!

Then it happens, it happens once every three years. Ferriera gets on the scoresheet. Cross comes over, Robinson who traditionally once a game, flaps at the ball under pressure, it comes down to Ferreira who as calm as you like from a tight angle scores with 1 minute of additional time left at the end of extra-time. Players go potty, Chelsea fans go mad and here we go, we have penalties!!!

So now I am back thinking, we are still in this. I know it ain't a real priority this season, but still, we can't lose to Blackburn!!

So penalties it is. They score their first, Hilario no chance, and Mr Reliable Ballack steps up. So you are thinking the German machine will put us level! BUT HE MISSES!!! f'ing great!!!

They step again and score, Drogba scores with a "Dwight Yorke" chip down the middle as Robinson sprawls to his left hand side. They step up again and score, Malouda steps up and scores to make it 3-2 on pens after 3 each. Then Kalinic steps up and Hilario saves the pen and let's face it!, it was crap anyway!. Zhirkov steps up and scores to make it 3-3 after 4 pens each. Back on level terms with one pen each to go. Once more feeling that I would now be gutted if we let this slip. Their youngster steps up and scores, Kakuta steps up and goes for power and not placement, blasts it straight at Robinson who hasn't even dived but makes the save and they win 4-3 on pens and we are out again.

It will be a tough lesson for Kakuta maybe but I think he will be better for it. But still doesn't take away the fact that we have lost to Blackburn and yes I am gutted!!

So we all now wonder, should we of picked a stronger side? Gone for it early doors then taken the likes of Lampard off?. But then again we did have our chances KALOU!!. Even still, I know changes were made but our defending for their first two goals was a joke and we should of done better. So do we have ourselves to blame or would it of been alot different on another day?

I don't care about another day anyway as I am gutted and after seeing the draw for the semi finals and a chance to have our revenge on Villa for what they did to us the other week, its made me feel even worse! Bloody Kalou!!!!!

KTBFFH & Carefree everyone!!......

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