Date:Sunday April 30 2006
CHELSEA: Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, Terry, Gallas,Makelele, Joe Cole (Crespo 76), Essien, Lampard,Robben (Duff 66), Drogba (Maniche 85).
Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Geremi.
MAN UTD: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Silvestre,Ronaldo (van Nistelrooy 64), O'Shea, Giggs (Richardson 73),Park, Rooney (Evra 82), Saha.
Subs Not Used: Howard, Brown.
Chelsea may have returned the title to their trophy room, but there is little doubt of the headlines in EVERY newspaper on Sunday morning. United star Wayne Rooney was carried from the pitch on a stretcher and he can say 'goodbye' to his World Cup dreams.
I'm sure the Chelsea fans still enjoyed their party, but the rest of the country was rocked by the worst possible news to hit our World Cup hopes. Injury to England's brightest star, just 42 days before England start their World Cup bid, must be a bitter blow to the youngster.
To make matters worse for Sven-Goran Eriksson, John Terry ended the game hobbling badly after a crunching early challenge from ... Rooney. Then the United striker was hurt 12 minutes from time in a tackle from Paulo Ferreira that was nothing more than a challenge for the ball. The Chelsea full-back timed his tackle well and won the ball but Rooney tumbled awkwardly.
Gallas nodded Chelsea ahead in the fifth minute after Didier Drogba had climbed highest to win a corner from Frank Lampard.
United claimed Lampard had fouled Cristiano Ronaldo in the build up to the move which forced the corner. They had a case but referee Mike Dean did not agree.
United pressed hard either side of half-time but could not find a way through. And Joe Cole ended their faint hopes with an amazing solo goal in the 61st minute. He picked up the ball, 25 yards from goal and twisted clear of Ferdinand and Mikael Silvestre with a twinkle-toed trick.
Cole dragged the ball quickly under the studs of one boot, then the other, turned injected a burst of pace and was away. Van der Sar rushed out to narrow his options but Cole stayed cool, slotting the ball past the big Dutchman.
Carvalho added a third when Cole's pass found him free on the edge of the area.
We could look at individual performances and ask questions about tactics, but what would be the point? We were beaten ... and beaten convincingly ... and in the process suffered the loss of the kid who could have been the star of the World Cup.
Let's leave it at that ... and go and hide under the bed for a few days.
Date:Sunday April 30 2006
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