Chelsea 1 Portsmouth 0: paying the penalty

chelski1Sorry, Lads. I really wanted to record a stunning victory, reminiscent of 1973, for the underdogs. There was, in the event, to be no FA Cup Final fairytale. Chelsea 1 (won) Portsmouth 0 (didn’t, despite having a great but squandered chance to go ahead with a first-half penalty).

So the score was the same as Sunderland v Leeds 37 years ago, but in the wrong order, Drogba’s goal winning it for Chelsea.

Hard to quarrel with Graham Taylor’s words on BBC 5 Live:

“Quite honestly, what does the future hold for Portsmouth? I mean they will be in the Championship next season, possibly with a 17-point penalty? It’s a fingers crossed scenario for this football club, we’ll just have to wait and see. But you cannot get better supporters than theirs.”

Hard luck, Pompey, and bon courage for your challenging immediate future.

I’ll add comments from our two fan previewers, one from Chelsea and one from Pompey, once they provide them. See below.

And I’d love to see other fans – of the cup final teams, of Sunderland or of none of them – offer their thoughts on the match, and the polarised positions of today’s contenders for the trophy. After their underachievement in the Champions’ League, how good does the domestic double feel for Chelsea? What will become of Pompey?

Spam problems means comments have to be moderated unless you’ve been here and posted before. But they will get their airing.

* David Millward, Chelsea fan:

So we finally defeated the invisible force field around the Pompey goal. When the ball hit the woodwork for the umpteenth time, Drogba seemed to kick the post and invoke help from someone above. In the first half the woodwork was in fact Pompey’s best player.

An old mate from Cambridge rang me on the mobile and wondered how we would ever win the damn trophy and the view at the Chelsea end was this was going to end in disaster with Pompey defying the odds to snatch victory.

It seemed like that when out of the blue Portsmouth, in a fetching burgundy and white ensemble, won a penalty. Somehow Cech saved it , so perhaps somebody was looking after us after all.. Just as well really because the second half was a horribly even contest, which was not supposed to be in the script.

So we won. But for once in victory, we showed some grace.There was spontaneous applause for Portsmouth at the Chelsea end and especially so for the frequently unjustly maligned Uncle Avram.

The double was great, but in truth it was to be expected. The generosity of spirit was a surprise and that will live as long in the memory.

And very belatedly – just as our interest in the FA Cup return to third round level – the vew of our Pompey fan, Peter Allen:

Much more relaxing than the semi, for no obvious reason. When Chelsea kept hitting the woodwork I thought back to our 2008 quarter final victory at Old Trafford. United murdered us over 90 minutes, but we won 1-0 with a penalty. The champagne moment by far this time around was winning another spot kick. It was one of those moments you always think back to when you try and work out why you’re a football fan: absolute happiness.

That said, I knew Boateng would muck up. He lacks concentration and had no idea what he was doing when he put the ball down. He took a short run up, thought about was he was doing too late, thought again, and then – awful – the ball powder puffed into the legs of Cudicini (who’s looking increasingly like a clean-cut Italian academic – did you see those glasses he was wearing on the victory parade. Proper football intellectual, I guess)

Of course Chelsea deserved to win but if the penalty had gone in there was a chance we could have held out until full time. They were definitely under par, and you just felt that the ball wouldn’t end up in the back of our net, no matter what they threw at us.

Odd feeling afterwards. I’ve been to Wembley five times with Pompey over the last couple of seasons, and have now got quite used to it. Scarcely believable to think that we’ll be slogging away back in the old second division again next season…. Oh well, if we get a new owner in by June (when we can technically come out of administration) and hang on to one or two stalwarts, then maybe we can dream of next year’s play-off finals. The alternative (a slip down the divisions or even liquidation) is still a real possibility so we’ll have to see……….

Colin Randall

1 thought on “Chelsea 1 Portsmouth 0: paying the penalty”

  1. “Somehow Cech saved it.” I think somehow Boateng missed it would be more appropriate.

    Seeing a penalty as badly taken as that in a major cup final is almost as strange as a tattooed black German. Unforgiveable, really.

    The score line flattered Portsmouth enormously. Losing an FA Cup Final may seem like the high life for their supporters in 12 months time. I feel for their supporters. There may soon not be a club for them to rally behind as they have done with such conviction in the face of unimaginable adversity.

    I have developed a huge respect for Portsmouth fans over the recent months and hope that there are much brighter times ahead. They deserve so much better.

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