Chelsea beats Arsenal in Carling Cup
Monday, February 26, 2007
|Goalscorers for Chelsea FC||Didier Drogba (20), Didier Drogba (84)|
|Goalscorers for Arsenal FC||Theo Walcott (12)|
|Bookings (Chelsea FC)||Essien, Carvalho, Diarra, Lampard (Yellow (4)), Mikel (Red(1))|
|Bookings (Arsenal FC)||Denilson, Eboue, Fabregas (Yellow (3)), Toure, Adebayor (Red(2))|
A heated showdown occurred in the all London Carling Cup final yesterday at Millennium Stadium. Chelsea fielded a full strength side, including Andriy Shevchenko, Michael Ballack, Didier Drogba, and skipper John Terry. Arsenal on the other hand fielded a young side, including Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas, Jeremie Aliadiere, and Justin Hoyte.
Despite their apparent lack of experience, Arsenal started out the match strongly, with crisp passing and great control. They pressed their advantage, and forced Chelsea keeper Petr Cech into several saves. On 12 minutes, Theo Walcott struck gold, as he orcestrated a give and go with Abou Diaby and slotted the ball into the far corner of the net, scoring his first ever goal for the Gunners. Soon after, Baptista of Arsenal had a legitimate claim for a penalty, but referee Howard Webb wouldn't hear of it. Chelsea struck back quickly, and a hint of offside was shown as Didier Drogba was played in by an over the top ball by Michael Ballack. The Ivory Coast striker didn't wait for a whistle, and slotted the ball between Manuel Almunia's legs to tie the match. A few more chances were spurned due to poor finishing before the break, but the game went into halftime drawn at one a piece.
The second half started much as the first, with the youthful exuberance of Arsenal showing through, as they continued to press. Chelsea's output was increased as well however, with the addition of Arjen Robben at the exspense of Makelele. 2 yellow cards were handed out to Chelsea in the next few minutes, before the game took a huge downturn. Chelsea skipper John Terry was seriously injured, when Diaby's foot connected squarly with his face as Diaby attempted to clear the ball. Terry was taken off in a stretcher and was replaced by Mikel. The loss of their captain seemed to push Chelsea to new levels, as Drogba forced a fine save out of Almunia, and Lampard saw his shot go off the woodwork. Arsenal were not able to hold on, and on 81 minutes, Denilson made a sloppy pass and Robben picked up the scraps. He sent a cross in as Drogba beat Senderos to the ball and headed in his 28th of the campaign. The blue tide continued, and Shevchenko blasted a ball off the woodwork, missing his chance to seal the victory.
As the game entered stoppage time, Mikel and Toure entered a shoving match, and more players got involved. Coaches took the field to attempt to settle their players, and when all was finally calm, Mikel and Toure were shown red cards, along with Adebayor of Arsenal. The game was finally called at 101 minutes, and stand in skipper Lampard was able to hoist the Carling Cup.
- Tom Adams. "Blue Joy as Red Mist Descends" — , 25 Feb 07