Game 18: Saturday 13 December 1997
Chelsea 0 - 0 Leeds United
(Half-time: 0 - 0)
Referee: G Poll (Tring)
|Bolton Wanderers »
|Martyn, Kelly, Robertson, Haaland, Radebe, Wetherall, Wallace, Hasselbaink (Lilley, 46), Ribeiro, Hopkin, Halle
|Bowyer, Beeney, Maybury, Molenaar
|De Goey, Petrescu (Crittenden, 86), Leboeuf, Wise, Duberry, Le Saux, Di Matteo, Flo, Sinclair, Nicholls (Vialli, 57), Zola
|Clarke, Hitchcock, Granville
|Kelly, Radebe, Haaland, Robertson, Ribeiro
|Haaland 24, Kelly 45
|Di Matteo, Wise, Nicholls
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers
|Battle of the Bridge
|Street fighting years
|Chelsea chant report (sort of)
|Poll tacks lenient course
|Leeds survive their punishment
|The Sunday Times
|Chelsea foiled by nine men as Leeds pair get red card
|The Electronic Telegraph
|Two off as Leeds' aggression shackles Chelsea
|Links to Reports on the net
|Soccernet match report
|Carlingnet match report
As usual the Gods fans were excellent and we ripped the piss out of the bluescum fans. Everytime they failed to score after an attack the chant "Youre not very good, youre not very good youre not very youre not very youre not very good." (sung to knees up mother brown) echoed round the crowd. Half time was filled with WATCOE and Billy Bremners Barmy Army and we didnt stop singing throughout the game, I even smiled at the constant barracking of Le Saux as a bum boy, shirt lifter etc after all he does read the Guardian.
I was standing up and shouting for the full 105 minutes and added to the happy pill & 6 hours of clubbing the night before I was completely fucked! - even the wife apprecited the result as normally only a win secures saturday night ugandan activities. Thanks once more to Gav for arranging the tickets and for Ed W holding my hand during the more exciting moments. Jezzus,. Bruno could have even won the game with a dipping 25 yarder.
The game was the best answer to those non-footie types who think that a nil-nil draw can't be a good game.
It all started so well: the pre-match list do was up to the usual Larndan standard, and it was good to see a couple of new faces (to me), namely Chris Briggs and Ed Watkinson (on special Billy Bremner memorial duty - or so he told the missus).
What about the match? Hmmm .... very much a game of two halves, Brian (cliche very much intended and very much relevant). The first was just a scrap, purely and simply - plenty of Billy-like passion, but sadly none of his finesse. Haaland took the suggestion about retiring the no. 4 shirt a little too much to heart and inevitably walked, despite several blue-shirted players being similarly culpable in the incident which prompted his dismissal. Bruno probably stayed on the pitch due to his poor English - "no understand, ref". Kelly's first booking was petty, but his second was brainless and cynical. As the first half drew to a very-welcome close, and we all admired the stunning red sunset over the west stand, I started to wonder if we were going to rewrite the football trivia quizes on the lowest number of players to finish a game.
Thankfully, the second half heralded the introduction of the much-preferable organised, committed but (most importantly) controlled Leeds. It was one of the longest and most tense halves of football I have ever seen: Julia insisted on checking my watch (sponsored by Casio G-spot) about every 30 seconds, I was on the edge of sanity from the tension - Halvard and myself hugged each other at Martyn's awesome save from Duberry in the dying minutes. Mercifully, Chelsea just ran out of ideas and do not have the look of championship winners to me - you couldn't help thinking that the scum would have hit us for six given a similar advantage in numbers.
The final whistle left me feeling exhausted as we cheered our heroes from the pitch. Still, it was a very expensive point, as now Haaland and Kelly will face bans and many more of our players will no doubt accumulate the necessary points over the next few games. It will be interesting to see what kind of teams we will put out over the next few months.
Surprises over the weekend was getting the result at Stamford Bridge (the vikings did not get a result in 1066), Sticky's got a new radio and Benali scoring after a decade playing for Soton (must be _some_ feeling - like having sex for ten years every week and then getting an orgasm?)
Anyway haven't seen anyone doing a full chant report on the game and just for the record (?) at least the following could be heard:
a brilliant all-standing,all-singing 50 minutes for the second half.
Chelsea-fans - biggest cheer was when Vialli came on, some nice long-legged girls being spotted when entering the ground and they all very respectfully kept the one minute silence.
Nice _red_ sky - I thought it was going to be even more symbolic when the sun went down at half-time and ystein "hoped" for Chelsea to score early so that the pain would not be as bad compared to them getting a late goal.
Luckily BigMartyn saved the last header. Why the ref added 5 min's in the last half nobody knows - was it really 5 minutes? Football is the only proffesional team-sport without a timekeeper/official match-clock. Time is overdue for that - just one man knowing how much is left of a game is plain stupid.
100 minutes of joy,angst and 20 minutes of cocky-ness.
List meet - good stuff.
The one thing worth watching at Stamford Bridge on Saturday was the sunset, a glorious golden-red glow which until recently would have been blocked out by the roof of the ugly, functional West Stand. What took place between Chelsea and Leeds United on the pitch was plain rather than ugly and only functioned to the extent that Leeds achieved what they had set out to achieve, albeit by the more difficult route.
Two in-form teams - Chelsea with seven wins in eight games, Leeds defeated once in 10 Premiership fixtures - produced a match memorable almost solely for the number of times the referee Graham Poll reached for his cards in the first half. Poll cautioned three Chelsea players and five from Leeds, two of whom were subsequently sent off for second bookable offences.
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