If Mourinho was in charge, we would have killed the game in the first half, but then we would have lacked the opportunity to see the depth of our squad. Every blue I have talked with enjoyed the youngsters who stole the day – Nobody was found wanting.
This however was at the expense of qualifying for the next round of the Carling Cup. Fielding so many squad players almost cost us, but had it not been for how our players, especially Turnbull, kept their nerves after a Lampard miss we would have paid the penalty dearly.
It was a risk but one Villas was willing to take. I would have preferred a mix of first team players and fringe players such as Ivan, Mikel, returning Drogba starting instead of Lukaku, Alex, and Romeu.
Had we been two goals up, then they should have been introduced – That’s my opinion anyway. And who knows if they had scored to give us an opportunity to see the ‘new’ Drogba and the matured, powerful Romeu.
The good thing is that AVB won his most exciting game, and by penalty, which is a rarity for us. It’s a good sign. In 2009/2010 season when we won by penalties, we won the league. It’s good for confidence, especially as Lampard missed! Did you see the David Luiz penalty? That boy is something!
My rating for the team
Petr Cech – He did everything right. 7
Paulo Ferreira – Did well for his first game of the season. 6
David Luiz – He is a leader. This boy is a first team player. If there is no room for him in defence, AVB should create a place for him in the holding midfield role. Chelsea will be too strong to overcome. 8.5
Alex – Flop of the Match, Alex was strong in this match and had a good pairing with Luiz. If not for the offences that got him sent off he would have been up there with Luiz. 6
Ryan Bertrand – Who needs Pereira, if Ryan can play at this level. He was exceptional. He is another version of PvA. We have left backs who can cover the day mighty Cole hangs his boot. 9
Josh McEachran – he should why what we have been missing. I believe what we have seen of him are the shadows of what he can really do. His early withdrawal due to forced substitutions did not reduce his glory. 8
Florent Malouda – When Lukaku came on against man u, I thought it should have been Malouda. He is almost always good against them. And in this match, where he was the field marshall he justified my argument. He still has a lot to offer the club.And his loyalty is second to none. 7.5
Oriol Romeu Vidal – have you seen a young player who could do what he did in the EPL? I know you would say plenty – But I doubt. To sit in front of the defence and bomb forward at the same time requires genuis and strength. I now understand why Barca inserted the mischievous buy-back clause in his contract. I hope he stays. 8
Daniel Sturridge – Sturridge is confusing me a little. Is he playing out of position? Yes, against United -maybe he should play from his natural left or be the point man. He can do better, we all know what he is capable of. 6.5
Romelu Lukaku – You can see that when he settles into the team, he will be intimidating, just like Drogba. Defenders dislike such people; they spike your emotion throughout the match, and for him to play through pain and last the 120 minutes is superhuman, AVB acknowledged. 7.5
Salomon Kalou – He was good, he is Chelsea and he showed excellent character to return to the team after being dropped. His miss was typical of our season. I hope we start converting our chances so we can start getting the results we play for. 7
Ross Turnbull – he needs games even when Cech is fine. He was spectacular throughout. Thanks for the save. 8
John Terry – He came on and made our defence more solid. I expected a typical winning goal from him though. And what better time to step up for the penalty after Lamps had missed? Was Lamps the captain of the match even while terry came on? Its funny. Great Terry. 8.5
Frank Lampard – The natural leader once again made it impossible for Fulham to steal a win. You can see how his presence brought a new dimension to the team. I wouldn’t mind to see him come from the bench in some crucial match. It will give us a stronger bench. 8.5
By Stan Blue