Chelsea 2-0 Nottingham Forest - Frankie Lampard, He’s Won More Than You

Us : Wholesale changes. Captain Cesc for what could was probably his last appearance at the Bridge. Luiz remained, as did Barkley and Mor...

Us: Wholesale changes. Captain Cesc for what could was probably his last appearance at the Bridge. Luiz remained, as did Barkley and Morata, but the rest were turned over. Ampadu and CHO getting starts, along with Big Willy, Zappacosta, Emerson, Ruben and Christensen. Bench mostly stacked with the first eleven but there was a spot for the Lesser Spotted Victor Moses too.

Them: I basically recognised Jack Colback and his Miranda Richardson/Blackadder tribute hair and the Liam Gallagher mophead tribute on Yacob. That was it. And I sat and watched them play Leeds the other day too.

One of only ten games to kick off at 3pm on Saturday on the big cup weekend. SEVEN early kick offs and EIGHT games on Sunday. Magic of the cup officially murdered by television. 

We almost missed this rare kick off because we got Rick-rolled in the old ticket hall just as we were leaving but we made it just in time despite the sing and dance-along. And despite the fact that I’ve got a new game at the turnstile with the trio of chaps installed to do a second bag check. It’s called - What’s the most ridiculous thing you can produce from your bag this season? Today will be hard to top, because it was a sort of snorkel full-face/gimp/Power Rangers mask. Don’t ask.

CHO, who was fantastic today, was straight in but he was ahead of everyone and the cross into the box wasn’t met by anyone in blue. We’re rent boys apparently. Watch the Daily Mail ignore that. Zappacosta had had a go, before we saw some more good build up, but the ball was scuffed across the box by Captain Cesc. Forest by no means looked like whipping boys, though. Their support was vocal too, but most of their early energy was wasted on slating Frank Lampard. 

Closest yet on 12 from Morata. Ever seen Emerson take a free kick? Me neither, but f*ck me he went close. Morata went down on the edge of the box and the crowd was to in arms about the lack of a free kick. A replay showed that he was absolutely fouled. It took some fierce blocking from Forest on 17 to keep the ball out of the net, then we had a well worked corner from Cesc in which the team attacked without having to clear the first man (genius) but there was no way through at the end of it. We were getting in there, there was the actual intent, which seemed to be completely lacking against Southampton, but they had been solid at the last. Helps when you have seven men across the back at all times.

Ampadu rampaged down the pitch on 28, but being fouled and left for dead owing to the incompetence of the referee he could only get so far. In the meantime he was awarding Forest soft free kicks. He swung our way soon after. Brilliantly drawn foul from Ruben in the box, he’d had been running about like a man possessed. Penalty. Cesc. It was his swan-song after all. So we’ll forgive him for a very dodgy run up and a soft effort that was palmed away by the Forest keeper. Morata laid it off to Zappa five minutes later and his shot was fierce, but stopped once again. Ruben off on 41 - twingy back recurrent, and on came Eden. Forest hadn’t looked like scoring once. One paltry attempt that wasn’t on target. For the umpteenth time this season, we needed to start capitalising on all our possession and our chances on goal. But I don’t think Morata had been offside once, and he’d worked his nuts off. This was at least less boring than the Southampton game. Look at that for positivity. 

A bright start to the second half and it took less than five minutes for Morata to break the deadlock. Yes. Chelsea striker scores goal at home, but let’s not be mean. Hurrah. 1-0. I thought it looked like he was willing to take part in muted back-slapping with his team-mates, but wanted nothing to do with the crowd. Both times today. We nearly doubled the lead on 53, before they almost got on the end of a header up the other end. They were having a proper go, to be fair to them. How Morata missed on 57 I can’t tell you. I don’t think he could either, but he made up for it moments later with his second.

They began losing the plot a bit at the back now. "Sh*t Derby County" we sang, and the quintessential “You’ve Had Your Day Out, Now F*ck Off Home” as they got excited about hitting the side netting. Bizarrely they were given a corner. Refwatch: Andrew Madley. Bobby’s older brother. God the latter must be bitter. This one got the hair and the thin genes. And he wasn’t dumb enough to get sacked for mocking disabled people. Reached nowhere near the incompetent levels we once saw from his sibling. Odd choices between advantage and play on. Not entirely sure what a foul was and wasn’t but he wasn’t terrible.

The away support had more stamina than their team though, because Forest were tiring. “We’re Gonna Win 3-2” they sang. Stranger things have f*cking happened at Stamford Bridge of late. Fabregas smashed it on 70 but it wasn’t going to be his day today in front of goal. Morata off for Dave - our one fit striker wrapped in cotton wool for Tuesday and shutting up shop. Barkley went close on 76, played in Hazard who found Emerson for another go; but the notable incident of the closing minutes was the ovation for Fabregas as he departed the field for Kante. 

So: Third Round negotiated without any drama, but more importantly today saw a tearful goodbye from Cesc as his imminent departure draws nearer. Charming interview with him after, wonderful reception at the final whistle. Was he a dyed in the wool blue straight of the womb? Of course not, but when the club who forged him didn’t want him back he came and gave us his last top class years, often suffering personally on the field for the sake of the team. He walks away with a pile of accolades that he well deserves. (And which crap on the sum total of what Arsenal have achieved in the same period, no scratch that, since he was at primary school) God Speed to him in his next endeavourand thank you.

AC - A Girl Who likes balls.

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