Date: 15th September 2007 at 8:11pm
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A determined display ensured that Rovers remained unbeaten this season as they earned a well deserved point at the home of the fallen champions; however, I don`t think I will be the only one feeling a miniscule amount of disappointment that we didn`t show more adventure.

Mark Hughes started with the same side that beat Manchester City last time out but as was well documented, Jose Mourinho was forced to shuffle his pack and begrudgingly pick the £30million man.

The game opened at a frantic pace with both sides indicating an effusive willingness to attack. A strong intensity filled the ground as both sides frantically charged around like over-excited children released onto a playground.

This had the neutrals and indeed both sets of fans drooling at the prospect of an open and attacking game, even if it was disjointed early on.

However before many had noticed twenty minutes had elapsed and the journalists notepads were worryingly sparse. It needed someone to take control and it was the impressive Michael Essien who took the initiative. On 26 minutes he unleashed a rasping drive that was expertly saved by Brad Friedel at full stretch, turning the ball around the post.

This raised the tempo and Chelsea`s forgotten man Andriy Shevchenko soon found his feet as he burst clear of the Rovers defence briefly, only to be thwarted by another smart save from Friedel who had anticipated the burst and raced off his line.

Alas, just as the game appeared to be moving up a gear it once again lapsed and the excitement evaporated quicker than a Derby County defensive wall.

Referee Howard Webb, brought an end to a disappointing first half. The game needed a boost from somewhere, nevertheless Rovers were still very much in with a chance of winning this game.

Many anticipated more aggression in the second half and it duly arrived as Chelsea went for the jugular; patiently.

The match`s moment of controversy, well it had to have one because it invariably follows both clubs around like a nebulous cloud, arrived on 57 minutes when Saloman Kalou swept home a centre from Juliano Belletti only to see it chalked off by a late flag that belied the real truth of the move. Kalou had indeed timed his run well and was onside when he ‘scored`.

Mourinho wasn`t happy and his berating and vitriolic scorn towards the officials demonstrated this.

Alas, the game must go on and indeed it did with Rovers edging closer back to Friedel`s goal and Chelsea flattering to create something that resembled an opening.

However, the next moment of inspiration arrived from the boot of the fiery blonde haired midfield meddler that is Robbie Savage. He hit a stinking shot from 20 plus yards after Belletti had been caught in possession. It took a slight deflection but Petr Cech was equal to it, denying Rovers once again in a manner that brought memories of the FA Cup semi-final display flooding back.

From the ensuing corner Samba lashed a shot wide as Rovers sensed an element of fear in their up till now, dominant adversaries.

Although a few brief moments of attacking play twitched to life Rovers couldn`t again trouble Cech. It was at the other end where heroes a plenty emerged wearing red and black. Chelsea threw everything at Rovers with John Terry playing up-front.

Shevchenko perhaps should have had his hero goal but once again he was denied by one of the numerous cast members of Rovers` own heroes. Friedel, making himself as big as possible, flung across goal to block the Ukrainian`s point bland header. In the process the man mountain that is Chris Samba was seemingly knocked unconscious after colliding with Shevchenko`s boot.

A prolonged period was afforded to his health and wellbeing as physios worked hard to make sure the machine was still working. Eventually he was stretchered off to the applause of the whole stadium. At this point a quick digression if you will to commend the role John Terry played in this period. He was quickly on scene moving players out of the way to ensure that Samba received the best treatment. Well done John.

An addition of nine minutes of playing time ensured most Rovers fans lost their fingernails but were compensated with another point to add to their impressive start to the season.

Fifteen unbeaten and counting.

Player Ratings

Friedel 10

Warnock 7
Played his part but couldn’t always stem the tide of attacks from wide positions.

Emerton 7
Much like Warnock.

Nelsen 9
Led, blocked, organised and stood up to be counted again.

Samba 9
We are fast running out of superlatives for this lad, as are the ‘professionals’.

Gamst 4
If anyone has seen him please call Ewood Park.

Bentley 5
I’m wondering if he has gone with Gamst?!?

Savage 8
Loose at times in the first half but what a second half.

Dunn 8
Throughout he put in a good display.

Santa Cruz 6
Couldn’t hold the ball up well enough.

McCarthy 6
Starved of any openings.

Roberts 6
Like his forward compatriots, he couldn’t affect.

Mokoena 6
Added some extra bite to the midfield.
Some timely interceptions following his late arrival and one wonder tackle that is a definate point saver.


34 Replies to “Chelsea 0v0 Rovers”

  • A sound display that once again serves to demonstrate our defensive qualities and resolute nature. Shame we didn’t offer more in attack. Still can’t grumble!

  • Good result. Chelsea shouldn’t moan about the offside decision after the phantom penalty they got at Anfield. Good luck the rest of the season.

  • Come on JohnDoe, you were lucky to get a free kick against Villa. Thought it was a ‘good’ goal. Hope Samba injury is not a bad one.

  • Adilson, Yes we were lucky, and Chelsea fans were saying we shouldn’t moan about the penalty decision because of it. Well, the same applies to you, shouldn’t it?

  • il come out and say it, the goal should of been given, but we have coppd a few dodgy decisions in the recent past, and as they say, these things even them selves out

  • it was a goal. i’d be annoyed if i was a chelsea fan. but a very resolute rovers performance.. had me on the edge of my seat! main concern is samba’s well being, he was awesome today.

  • I don’t think it was a goal. If you look at the grass on which the players are standing it’s two different shades of green and the Chelsea player was on the one nearer the goal, hence offside. Also the pass was forwards, so offside.

  • Kev, the player that passed the ball was before both defenders, making it clearly onside. tough cheese for chelski though, and to be honest rovers well deserved a point.

  • Was onside but Rovers hardly get any luck really, nice to be feeling the way Chelsea fans are, that is normallly how we feel. But great point away from home, think we are going to be challenging Arsenals undefeated record this season lol!!!

  • lol roverjoy, steady on with whatever it is you’re on :). I hope Samba is ok, coz I heard it on the commentary, seemed pretty bad. Otherwise, a good performance I suppose to get a point at the Bridge.

  • I’d need to see it again before I change my mind on it, but I was near sure it was offside at the time. I’ll check it out again on MOTD2 tonight.

  • merlin: it was a very good goal, and your away support is very poor. you came for a point, and got it so i guess you’re pretty happy with that.

  • looks like samba is ok!! though it was a horrid (accidental) kick by shevchenko!! I agree it was a goal for chelsea but thats the way it goes!!! Westham at ewood last season for example!!

  • Even if I wasn’t a Chelsea fan I’d say it was a goal but Rovers put up a good fight. It is good to see teams below last seasons top four improving as this makes PL much more interesting. I hope that Samba is OK. He played really well as the whole Rovers defense.

  • Well- I think our back-4 were tremendous! However we do have a problem when it comes to creating chances; Even though Bentley was bad yeterday, he usually delivers. The problem is with MGP, and that we don’t have an extra creative MC to come from the bench: in the chelsea game we had no creative option on the bench….Tugay is old and Reid won’t create chances by himself.
    I’d suggest once more of bringing in Tom Soares/ my favorite Z. Gera or any other playmaker…

  • saisho – what a spot!!! I also noticed on the credits on Saturday, as I scrutinized further there is a card of Benni McCarthy on there too! My argument is going down in flames!

  • I believe there’s been a small problem with today’s poll: Should’ve been: Man Of The Match Versus Chelsea:
    1. Brad Friedel
    2. Bradley Friedel
    3. Bradders
    4. That giant american GK
    5. That bald guy near the goal

  • I’m kind of disapointed…I think Rovers could have done more to end up with the 3 points. I mean, it was a well played match..but they could have pretended to actually win. Not bad anyway

  • I did not watch/listen/see the highlights of this game. Unfortunately, I was busy to either/all of the above. However, from reading the report provided by roversman, and a wonderfully written report it is, it appears I did not miss too much, apart from a lesson in goalkeeping and defending from the giant American and his supporting cast. A point at Stamford Bridge is a blinding result! I noted a couple of Chelsea fans (I presume) were mentioning our ‘dimissal’ support. At £45 per ticket, with travel, food, and further entertainment funding, coupled with the the game being a Sunday evening and on TV, in all honesty, I wouldn’t have expected a good turn out. It is nice to see, however, Chelsea not raising their prices from last season. Giving their millions of wealth back to the fans. Sarcasm is hard to write…

  • Merlin the home support wasnt up to much either matey… was a quiet atmosphere… My mate went on Saturday and his day cost him £145…. can’t see to many wanting to spend that!!!!! In the end we were worth the point and fully deserved it. The “goal” was a bad decision and it’ll even its self out at some point… Chelsea can curse their luck on this occassion but they have benefitted from good fortune previously so they cant moan.

  • As for the rating… Bentley did a lot better than suggested but Gamst was terrible!!!! all the other ratings were spot on especially Brad… you need to create a new score called “11” Roversman… classic comment about the poll israeli rover

  • I realise my previous post said Sunday. I am clearly wrong. The weekend days just blur into one now-a-days…I wish it was due to all day drinking, sex and rock ‘n’ roll. Alas, it is due to the fact I am getting old and forgetful!

  • Ok there’s the little flag in the background but there’s no sign of the Rovers badge in the foreground. Maybe you should get in touch with motd?

  • Rovers were oh so lucky with the goal, but Bradders saves and rhe fighting spirit earned a point, which could have been more as MGP was fouled by Mikel, so it should have been a penalty.
    The Samba incident was horrible wasn’t it, but how brave was he for diving in like he did. Credit to Chelsea though and how quickly they wanted play stopped and him helped. Just glad he’ll be OK.

  • saisho – That is a mighty fine spot with the Rovers flag thing, still ***** poor it being that small don’t you think!!! I’ve still not seen the Benni image people speak about though.

  • It was a enalty but I cant say we deserved 3 points… what I can say though is that we deserved a point… and that is what we got.

  • Bloody Brad how many times does that keeper want to deny us goals, he as been doing it for years.
    You deserved your luck and got a good point well done!!!

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