Chelsea 4-1 Cardiff: The Second half was the difference!

Chelsea 4-1 Cardiff. FA Cup Fifth Round Stamford Bridge. For a second there it looked a bit ropey in the first half, but we came out secon...

Chelsea 4-1 Cardiff. FA Cup Fifth Round Stamford Bridge.

For a second there it looked a bit ropey in the first half, but we came out second half and Cardiff had no answer. We scored three and won 4-1 but at half time it was a very different story.

At half time people around me inside the stand having their usual pie and a pint (myself included) were complaining that we had started well but seem to then take our foot off the gas so to speak. I have to give alot of credit to Cardiff for the way they played in the first half of the game. Jay Bothroyd up front had a fantastic half of football and played the best I have ever seen someone from the lower leagues when they come to the Bridge. He was the target man with the goalscoring Chopra playing off of him.

It didn't help half way through the first half when Alex was booked. Alex was playing next to Riccy at the back and as a resuly Bothroyd had alot his own way. He held the ball up, won his headers and outplayed those two. He even had a header 6 yards out back to goal and fortunatley for us he just glanced the header on into Hilario's hands.

We took the lead as early as the 3rd minute. Mikel picked up the ball and saw Drogba make a curved run across the back four. Mikel played a long ball over the top for Drogba. He ran onto it and with the keeper stuck to his 8 yard box, he had time and space to pick his shot and on the volley put it low into the corner to give us a 1-0 lead.

At the point like alot of fans I was thinking this will now be a cricket score. But, like I said, Cardiff got hold of the ball and had as much of the ball as we did. They knocked the ball about and created some problems. Their goal was disappointing, a cross into the box and Chopra with one other next to him had time to glance his header into the net unchallenged. More than likely because of being wary of the threat Bothroyd was posing.

Hilario had previously been called into action a short time before the goal when another free header in our box was heading for the top corner, Hilario sprung himself high to his left and palmed the ball away for a corner. He was playing in goal as Cech had been rested. Our back four was Zhrikov, Carvalho, Alex and Ferreira and were put under needless pressure in the first half but thats credit to Cardiff.

The formation we had adopted with Ballack, Lampard and Mikel in the middle and Joe Cole and Sturridge supporting Drogba wasn't working because Joe Cole was having a shocker. Don't get me wrong I am one of Joe Cole's biggest fans but everything he tried to do wasn't coming off at all. He kept losing the ball or giving it away and was no surprise to see him taken off at half time. Sturridge did quite well but wasn't as effective as he was in the second half.

So we go in at half time 1-1 and to be fair it was a fair reflection of the way the first half had panned out. Kalou came in for Joe Cole second half and we looked like a different side. We got on the ball, we were knocking it about like we are used to and in the end Cardiff could cope with our constant movement and possession. Drogba floated a ball over the top for Ballack to finish calmly passed the keeper to make it 2-1 after five mins of the second half.

Then later in the half Drogba and Sturridge combined and with some sloppy defending the ball broke to the unmarked Sturridge 12 yards out and he slotted the ball under the keeper to make it 3-1. It was game over and we killed the game dead when Paulo Ferriera crossed for Kalou to head home a difficult header into the corner to make to 4-1.

Our second half performance was much better, we played with more intensity and that was the difference in the second half. But you have to question why on earth it took 45 minutes and a subsequent rollocking at half time for the boys to get going?. Especially after the defeat in midweek. But a win is a win the press have focused on the "lesson" we gave Cardiff yesterday but for everyone that was there we all know that it was a very different story in the first half!

(The FA Cup draw has been made tonight and we have drawn Man City or Stoke at home in the next round. Who'd of thought it eh after all the goings on surrounding JT. a Mr Bridge will be licking his lips at that no one doubt! You've got to get passed them first!)


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