Monday, 18 February 2013

Chelsea - Stamford Bridge

Chelsea 4-0 Brentford

17th February 2013

I had originally considered Huddersfield v Wigan for this Sunday portion of my latest sojourn across the border, but when I noted a few sensibly-priced tickets for Chelsea’s replayed fourth round FA Cup tie were still available, down to The Smoke it was.

There were only seats denoted as “Restricted View” still on sale, so I chose the £25 East Stand rather than the £15 Matthew Harding Stand, as the cheaper option did seem to be pushing my luck just a touch.  Given the restricted view I ended up with, I shuddered to imagine what sort of sight-lines one received for £15.

I was, to be fair, able to see the goal in front of me by craning my neck around the offending pillar, and did manage to relocate to one of a number of slightly better situated empty seats at half-time, but it did feel a bit like someone was taking the piss here.

Saved a fiver with this "Restricted view.  A bargain !

The game itself turned out be a fairly routine win for Chelsea in the end, although it was only due to some laughably profligate finishing by the hosts that Brentford managed to reach the break at 0-0.  The visitors’ Italian striker Marcello Trotta had managed to put the ball in the Chelsea net, but the ref had clearly already blown for an infringement by a Chelsea defender.  Perhaps Mr Swarbrick should bone up on the concept of playing advantage before next officiating.

But once Juan MATA bashed in a 25-yarder ten minutes after the break it became clear there was going to be no continuation of the previous days’ FA Cup shocks.  OSCAR flicked in a second on 68 minutes, LAMPARD side-footing a third three minutes later.  John TERRY’s headed goal with nine minutes remaining put a gloss on what had been a very professional performance by The Blues.

As for Brentford, 4-0 was perhaps a touch harsh on them, but the gulf in class was evident for all to see.  Full marks, I suppose, to Rafa for putting out such a strong side, and treating the 141 year-old Lady with the respect she deserves. 

The Brentford support filled their stand and made a fair old racket, and I occasionally glanced wistfully at their end (past my pillar) and wished I could have got a ticket in that area.  They were a credit to their club, and really did not deserve the home fans’ chant of:

“You’ve had your Day Out.  Now Fuck Off Home”

Which just struck me as bad manners.

Stamford Bridge - Chelsea FC

Can we buy some of those, Mum?

Chelsea v Brentford 17/2/13

Juan Mata and Demba Ba

Branislav Ivanovic

Chelsea v Brentford 17/2/13

The Matthew Harding Stand.

Some unorthodox (?Juve) defending prevents Frank Lampard leaping for this cross.

Chelsea v Brentford 17/2/13

Chelsea v Brentford 17/2/13

Chelsea v Brentford 17/2/13

Chelsea v Brentford 17/2/13

Chelsea v Brentford 17/2/13

Chelsea v Brentford 17/2/13

Rear of the East Stand.

Panorama of Stamford Bridge- Chelsea FC.

Panorama of Stamford Bridge- Chelsea FC.

Padding back through Brompton Cemetery after the match, I took the opportunity to take a few pics.  Old graveyards really are quite evocative places.  I do appreciate such stuff is not perhaps for everyone, but for those interested the pictures may be found here:

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