Sensational Burnley Beat Chelsea
12th November 2008 @ 7:45pm
Someone will pinch me soon and I will wake up and find that Chelsea just dumped us out of the Carling Cup instead of the Clarets defeating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge…
Oh my God. I`m awake and it`s true!! Burnley have just become only the second team to win at Stamford Bridge since February 2004 and we are now in the 5th Round of the Carling Cup! Phew!
We have just beaten the current Premier League leaders, four time winners of the League Cup competition plus arguably the best and richest team in Europe and we did it in style to make every Clarets fan proud.
We took Chelsea to penalties after Ade Akinbiyi scored in the second half to cancel out a stunning goal by Didier Drogba in the first half. Chelsea could not find that elusive winner in normal time or in extra time despite the Clarets being down to ten men with Caldwell being sent off for a second yellow late on in the game. Penalties are of course a bit of a lottery but we also have Brian Jensen in stunning form and he earned his salt again last night with the Clarets winning the battle 5-4 after the penalty shoot out became sudden death . The Beast stopped two penalties by Bridge. Elliott missed one for the Clarets but we came out worthy winners in the end and nobody can take this victory away from us with all the football world standing up and taking note!
An amazing 6,100 Clarets fans made the journey to Stamford Bridge and they made enough noise in the Old Shed end at times to drown out the Chelsea chants. What a glorious night!
Clarke Carlisle must have been both elated and saddened by the outcome since he had to sit out this match having been sent off for a second yellow in the previous Clarets match against Wolves last Saturday. Steve Thompson was also cup-tied giving an opportunity for Paterson to return to the starting eleven.
Kalvenes is still struggling with a leg injury and missed out again last night and there was no place in the eighteen for Remco van der Schaaf with the three young guns Alex MacDonald, Adam Kay and Jay Rodriguez taking three of the seven substitute spots allowed in this competition. Ade Akinbiyi made a welcome return to the bench and what an influence he would have on the game!
The Clarets lined up 4-4-2 as follows:
Jensen, Alexander, Caldwell, Duff, Jordan, Elliott, Gudjonsson, McCann, Eagles, Blake, Paterson
Subs; Penny, K McDonald, Akinbiyi, Mahon, Rodriguez, A Kay, A MacDonald
So what about Chelsea? What sort of team would they put out with news that Scolari had been asked by the players not to play too many youngsters with the side wanting to do well in this competition?
Assistant Manager, Ray Wilkins had made it plain they would respect Burnley and although their team selection could not be considered their strongest side, even a Chelsea third-string would have caused the Clarets problems. Didier Drogba as expected was given a starting eleven place with the Blues deciding to rest the in form Anelka. Top players, Frank Lampard and John Terry were available on the bench confirming the respect that Chelsea appeared to be giving the Clarets. Wayne Bridge was the Chelsea captain for the day with Chelsea lining up as follows:
Cudicini, Ferriera, Alex, Ivanovic, Bridge, Miniero, Kalou, Belletti, Deco, Malouda, Drogba.
Subs: Lampard, Terry, Hilario, Woods, Sinclair, Di Santo, Mikel
Interestingly no substitute goalkeeper on the bench and I wonder how many Clarets fans thought a good tactic might be to nobble Cudicini with a Blighty type injury! Perish the thought, I had too!!
The scene was set for a memorable night as Clarets fans hoped beyond hope that miracles could happen.
What must the proud Burnley players in their home strip of Claret & Blue have been thinking as referee, Keith Stroud got the match underway on an electric, atmospheric night in London?
There were certainly not overawed by the occasion and came out fighting, even creating the better chances in the first opening minutes. They certainly battled away, making Chelsea work hard at the back.
Wade Elliott got in a pass to Robbie Blake but he was just offside and then Chris Eagles went on a run from midfield only to shoot wide from 25 yards, the first shot of the game to Burnley!!
Chelsea now began to show some of their expected class.
Deco headed just wide and then after 12 minutes Bridge was off target following a tame free kick.
Jensen saved the day in the 19th minute first getting a foot to Salomon Kalou`s shot on the edge of his area and then whilst still on the ground chesting the ball away and denying Drogba.
A mistake by Carlo Cudicini soon after nearly let in Chris McCann from eight yards out but the keeper got the ball at the second attempt.
The Italian keeper then had to dive at the feet of Eagles a few moments later after he had burst through.
The Clarets fans then got a thrill if not a nervy feeling when Lampard came on after just 25 minutes replacing the injured Belletti. Surely with other options on the bench this was testament of how well the Clarets were playing and the respect that the Blues were showing the underdogs.
Sadly for the Clarets, Lampard was instrumental in setting up the first goal to put Chelsea 1-0 ahead. Drogba picked up a superb pass from Lampard on the left and he got the better of Alexander. Unleashing a characteristic Drogba shot from just inside the area, the ball flew into the bottom corner. Drogba dancing with joy seemed to intimidate the Burnley fans and then appeared to chuck a coin back into the crowd, something that will be looked at closely by the powers that be!
I suppose a number of Clarets fans at this point probably thought, well that`s it, we at least survived 26 minutes and now the onslaught will begin! We should have been more optimistic!
Chelsea certainly now turned up the heat but the Clarets were resilient and determined to keep the score respectable.
Malouda on 38 minutes got in an angled shot but it was Jensen again who saved the day.
After 41 minutes though, Paterson seemed to be impeded on the edge of the box but claims for a penalty came to nothing.
In the last action of the half, it was nearly game over for Burnley. A Malouda free kick found the head of Ivanovic but the ball flew off the underside of the crossbar to the relief of the Clarets
Well we were holding our own against the mighty Chelsea what would the second half bring?
It certainly brought no team changes for the start of the second half for the Clarets but for Chelsea Mikel came on for Deco.
After 53 minutes from the second corner of the night, Cudicini looked to panic as the ball whizzed across the six yard box
Chelsea certainly had enough possession as the second half progressed but the Clarets determination kept them at bay will the hard work beginning to pay dividends as Coyle hatched a new plot that would change the course of the game.
Ade Akinbiyi came on to replace Paterson on the hour mark for his first appearance in three months and what an inspired substitution it would prove to be.
Blake found release Eagles but his shot was well-saved by Cudicini. Akinbiyi however picked up the loose ball and he shot sweetly into the corner of the net with the Clarets fans going wild whilst a noticeable stunned silence hit the home crowd. My god, game on!!
Mikel tried to restore the dumb balance but headed over before Alan Mahon came on to replace Blake. With 6 minutes remaining it was Mahon who nearly caused the shock of the night with a left shot that went low towards goal but the ball was just wide of the goal.
Chelsea then nearly made it as you were after Di Santo`s header at the near post flew downwards towards goal. Jensen though was in the perfect position to deal with the threat. Di Santo was then denied again in stoppage time after Malouda had put him clear on goal with only Jensen to beat. Thankfully he shot wide and we had survived the full 90 minutes. Whatever happened now we could hold our heads up with pride!
Scolari was reduced to 10 men soon following the start of extra time after having made all his substitutions, Di Santo pulled up and hobbled off with a hamstring injury.
Could this be our night? Jordan tried but his shot was blocked after a sweet pass from Eagles. Kevin McDonald came on with six minutes to go to try and freshen up the now tiring side.
Mahon got in a thunderbolt from 25 yards after the Clarets burst from midfield but the ball went straight into Cudicini`s stomach as the first half of extra time came to a close. Just 15 minutes to hold on and face a penalty shoot out that would even our chances of winning.
Duff under pressure headed over the crossbar to deny Chelsea getting a cruel winner. In end to end play, Cudicini saved an Akinbiyi header whilst at the other end, the ball whizzed across goal from a free kick by Lampard.
Alex, unmarked in the six yard box got on the end of a Bridge cross but thankfully put the ball over as the Clarets survived yet again.
The one bad moment of the night for the Clarets led to Caldwell picking up a second yellow after stopping Kalou from progressing towards goal and the Clarets too were now down to 10 men with four minutes left
The Clarets held on though as the referee blew for the end of extra time as the dreaded penalty shoot out loomed.
Here is what happened:
Alexander puts Clarets 1-0 up in penalties
Lampard makes it 1-1
Mahon and it`s 2-1
Bridge -BEAST!!!! Get in!! Still 2-1
Eagles 3-1 up
Elliott BUM!! Misses` target
Malouda 4-4 Drat and sudden death
Duff- Phew 5-4
Mikel YES!! BEAST!! All hell Breaks loose!!
Well somehow we are in the 5th round of the Carling Cup to be played week commencing 1st December and there are some juicy ties we could get out of the hat. Manchester United, Spurs and of course you know who!!(Blackburn in case you don`t!) Bring it on!!
Chelsea: Cudicini, Ivanovic, Alex, Belletti (Lampard 25), Bridge, Ferreira, Deco (Mikel 46), Mineiro, Malouda, Drogba (Di Santo 68), Kalou.
Subs: Hilario, Sinclair, Terry, Woods.
Goals: Drogba 27
Burnley: Jensen, Alexander, Duff, Caldwell, Jordan, Eagles, Gudjonsson (MacDonald 97), McCann, Elliott, Blake (Mahon 76) , Paterson (Akinbiyi 60).
Subs: Penny, McDonald, Rodriguez, Kay
Booked: Akinbiyi, Eagles
Sent off: Caldwell
Goals: Akinbiyi 69
Ref: Keith Stroud (Hampshire)
He is given the award but a special mention must go to Ade Akinbiyi who made it all possible after his stunning equaliser that shook the whole of Stamford Bridge