LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05: Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea watches Patrice Evra of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on February 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Cast your mind to a few hours ago. Most of us were praying for a snow day. Chelsea had a missing list consisting of Ashley Cole, John Terry, John Obi Mikel, Frank Lampard, Ramires, Salomon Kalou and Didier Drogba. They were forced to field a bench consisting almost entirely of toddlers. And they were facing the defending champions. Things looked ugly.
And yet we came away with a point - and I'd argue we very much deserved to get all three. Some quick (positive) thoughts in lieu of a full match report (we'll do that one later):
- Michael Essien's back, and was superb for most of the game.
- Juan Mata's goal was pretty much the best thing ever.
- Jose Bosingwa answered his critics with an absolutely sterling display at left back.
- Gary Cahill had an excellent debut, making me look silly.
- We scored three goals against Manchester United.
- The 4-2-3-1 worked pretty nicely.
- David Luiz is a hero.
Yeah, it's disappointing that we went from 3-0 up to a 3-3 full time, but even then it took a pair of great saves by David de Gea and a blown chance from Raul Meireles to keep it level. It's a good result, and by and large it was a good performance. It just didn't work out. I'm still pleased with the team today.