Our night at Chelsea - How the press saw it

 

The Times

Burnley hand Chelsea shock Carling Cup defeat
Nick Szxzepanik

 

The Carling Cup has been boom or bust for Chelsea since 2004-05 and last night it was bust again as they went out at home to Burnley, of the Coca-Cola Championship. Winners twice and losing finalists once in the past four seasons, Chelsea also recorded the only domestic home defeat in José Mourinho's time as manager in this competition, when they were eliminated on penalties by Charlton Athletic after a 1-1 draw in the third round in October 2005.


When last night's match finished on the same score after 90 minutes, many sensed a repeat and almost expected Burnley to add the scalp of the Barclays Premier League leaders to those of Liverpool, Aston Villa and Fulham, their victims in recent seasons, and so it proved as Brian Jensen, the Burnley goalkeeper, saved Chelsea's first penalty in sudden death, from John Obi Mikel, to send his side through to the quarter-finals.

Didier Drogba's first goal of the season, after 27 minutes, had looked as if it would be enough to send Chelsea through to the last eight until Burnley struck back after 69 minutes through Ade Akinbiyi, a substitute.

Luiz Felipe Scolari had said that he was taking the competition seriously, as befitted the manager of a club with Chelsea's recent record. Even so, he rested Nicolas Anelka in order to restore Drogba to the starting line-up for the first time since he injured a knee in a Champions League tie away to CFR Cluj on October 1 and began with John Terry and Frank Lampard on the bench. Scolari also gave a first start to Mineiro, the 33-year-old former Brazil midfield player, whom he signed as a free agent in September, ostensibly to cover for the absence through injury of Michael Essien, although in appearance and playing style Mineiro evoked memories of Claude Makelele.

Burnley, though, commanded respect. They occupy fifth place in the Championship and had not conceded a goal in their three matches in the Carling Cup, the most recent a 1-0 victory over Fulham, Chelsea's neighbours.

It took Chelsea 14 minutes to test Jensen and when they did he came through with flying colours. Drogba's pass put Salomon Kalou through on goal, but Jensen met him just outside the penalty area, executing a tackle of which any central defender would have been proud.

However, Jensen was beaten after 27 minutes when Lampard, who had come on two minutes earlier in place of the injured Juliano Belletti, played a pass forward to Drogba. The Ivory Coast forward jinked inside Michael Duff 18 yards out and, as other defenders rushed across to cover, curled his shot out of the goalkeeper's reach to score his first goal of the season.

It could have been 2-0 shortly afterwards as Jensen had to save at full stretch from Kalou when he shot fiercely for the bottom far corner, and the goalkeeper was lucky that the rebound eluded Drogba.

Burnley appealed half-heartedly for a penalty when Martin Paterson fell over a challenge from Lampard, but they almost conceded again when Branislav Ivanovic met Florent Malouda's cross with a diving header that looped up and over Jensen and came back off the bar.

Jensen is nicknamed "The Beast" and he showed his teeth when he reacted angrily to a challenge by Kalou before counting to ten. It was as well that he kept a cool head, for after 69 minutes his team were level.

An angled cross-shot by Chris Eagles was parried by Carlo Cudicini and it was the Chelsea goalkeeper's bad luck that it fell kindly for Akinbiyi, who had been on the pitch only nine minutes. Showing a coolness in front of goal that has not always been his hallmark, Akinbiyi side-footed calmly into the corner of the net in front of 6,000 travelling fans packed into the Shed End. Chelsea pressed hard for a winner but Burnley were able to soak up pressure.

Lampard had the ball in the net early in extra time, only to be flagged offside, and chances began to arrive as both teams tired. Akinbiyi's glancing header from Graham Alexander's cross was well held by Cudicini and it seemed that Alex must win it for Chelsea when he met a cross from the left, only to scoop the ball over the bar from a yard out.

Three minutes from the end of extra time, Steven Caldwell, the Burnley captain, was sent off after being shown a second yellow card for a foul on Malouda. It seemed a harsh decision by Keith Stroud, the referee, and it could have been even more costly when Lampard belted the resulting free kick past the wall and through a crowd. Jensen must have seen it late, but somehow he held the ball at the second attempt with a scrum of Chelsea players bearing down on him.

And so to penalties. Jensen saved the second of Chelsea's initial five, from Wayne Bridge, but Wade Elliott shot over the bar when he had the chance to clinch the shoot-out. "He did the same in training, but I fancied him to score tonight," Owen Coyle, the Burnley manager, said.

Fortunately for them, it did not matter. Duff scored to put Burnley 5-4 ahead in sudden death and Jensen leapt acrobatically to his right to knock away Mikel's effort to secure their passage. "We didn't practice penalties," Coyle added. "Who thought we'd get that far?"

 

 

Independent

Jensen save stuns Blues in shoot-out
Hyder Jawad

 

The pain of Moscow came flooding back for Chelsea as they bowed out of the Carling Cup last night, losing 5-4 in a penalty shoot-out against Burnley at Stamford Bridge. The stakes might have been lower than they were against Manchester United in the Champions League final, but that was not how it felt to the Burnley supporters, all 6,500 of them, who celebrated a memorable victory.

The hero for the Championship team was Brian Jensen, who saved John Obi Mikel's penalty - Chelsea's sixth in the shoot-out - to secure an unlikely yet, by the end, appropriate victory in this fourth-round tie. Earlier in the shoot-out Wayne Bridge, the Chelsea captain, also had his penalty saved and Wade Elliott of Burnley sent his spot-kick high over Carlo Cudicini's goal.

Chelsea, the Premier League leaders, had only themselves to blame. They dominated the initial 90 minutes, took the lead through Didier Drogba, and seemed destined for a routine victory. But Burnley benefited from Chelsea's profligacy and equalised through Ade Akinbiyi, a substitute, midway through the second half.

Steven Caldwell, the Burnley captain, was sent off deep into extra-time for a second bookable offence but Chelsea could not take advantage, despite creating a host of chances. How different it seemed in the first half when the home team dominated.

Initially, Drogba was a pivotal figure until his withdrawal in the second half. Deriving energy from the jeers of the Burnley fans, the striker mixed finesse with strength to emphasise the gulf in class between the two teams. No sign of a weakened Chelsea here. They should have scored early on when Drogba's deft pass gave Salomon Kalou a clear run on goal only for Jensen to avert the danger.

It was a different story when Drogba himself found space inside the penalty area. Latching on to a pass by Frank Lampard in the 27th minute, Drogba evaded the challenge of Graham Alexander with one touch and curled the ball home with another. Drogba was pelted with coins as he celebrated and responded by gesticulating and appearing to throw one coin back, an action that is likely to attract the interest of the Football Association.

Burnley's pace and work-rate gave the Chelsea defenders, and particularly Cudicini, the goalkeeper, some anxious moments, but the home team were always the likelier of the two to score. Indeed, on the stroke of half-time, with Burnley pegged back, Chelsea nearly doubled their advantage when Branislav Ivanovic headed the ball against the crossbar from close range after a corner by Lampard. Nevertheless, the sense that Chelsea might pay for their profligacy was not confined to the visiting fans. Burnley grew in stature and, showing more fight in midfield and relishing the chance to open up the match, they equalised through Akinbiyi in the 69th minute. The arrival of Akinbiyi, who had come on for Martin Paterson on the hour mark, changed the configuration of the contest and he showed his experience and clinical finishing to score from close range after Chelsea made a mess of clearing their lines.

Chelsea should have won the tie in stoppage time at the end of the 90 minutes when Franco Di Santo, who replaced Drogba, made a clever run into the penalty area and controlled Lampard's slick pass. But with the situation calling for composure, Di Santo struck the ball wide of the post.

Chelsea missed more good chances in extra-time, particularly in the second period when, with Burnley tiring, Alex scooped the ball over the crossbar from inside the six-yard area and Lampard saw his own fierce free-kick from 20 yards saved by Jensen.

 

 

Daily Telegraph

Chelsea knocked out of Carling Cup by Burnley in penalty shoot-out
John Ley

 

Burnley created the shock of the season so far as they sent Chelsea out of the Carling Cup in the most dramatic of penalty shoot-outs thanks to a man nicknamed The Beast. After starting the season unbeaten, Luiz Felipe Scolari has been introduced to the London Bus syndrome: wait ages for a defeat, then three come in quick succession.

Emotion and drama echoed around Stamford Bridge as 6,000 Burnley fans celebrated a most unlikely but deserved victory when Brian Jensen, Burnley's Danish goalkeeper and longest serving player, became the hero of the night, saving firstly from Wayne Bridge then, in sudden death, from John Obi Mikel.

The Beast was suddenly a Beauty, taking Burnley into the last eight of the competition for the first time in a quarter of a century.

After Bridge saw his penalty saved, Burnley were heading for a win, but Wade Elliott put his effort over. Florent Malouda equalized to take the shoot out to sudden death and, after Michael Duff converted, Jensen saved again, from Mikel.

So after going the season without loss, manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has now suffered defeats in the League, against Liverpool, the Champions League, in Rome, and now against Championship side Burnley, inside six games.

It was a case of déjà vu for Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, who was the goalkeeper when Chelsea last lost a domestic cup tie at home, in October 2005, when Charlton were the winners, again on penalties.

And it was also their first penalty shoot-out since the infamous Champions League final defeat by Manchester United, in Moscow in May.

Earlier, a player whose transfer fees have totaled almost £16 million over an 11-club, 15-year career, stunted the Chelsea millionaires at Stamford Bridge with a late equalizer.

Didier Drogba had claimed his first goal of the season to give Chelsea the edge but 34-year-old Ade Akinbiyi took the tie into extra time with a dramatic, yet deserved goal for the visitors.

Both teams finished with 10 men. Chelsea played the final 27 minutes with reduced numbers when Franco Di Santo limped off; with all three substitutes used, Chelsea were at a disadvantage. But Burnley also finished with 10 when captain Steven Caldwell, having been booked for fouling Drogba in the second half, was dismissed for halting Florent Malouda.

Chelsea, League Cup finalists in three of the previous four campaigns, gave a full debut to Mineiro, their 33-year-old Brazilian international midfielder signed recently after being released, in the summer, by Hertha Berlin.

That meant Frank Lampard and John Terry beginning in the unaccustomed position of substitutes, though the former was soon to be introduced after Juliano Belletti limped off.

In the 20th minute Jensen made his first mark of the evening with a double save to deny Chelsea. Drogba's pass sent Salomon Kalou free and the goalkeeper stood his ground and saved with his legs, before blocking Drogba's follow-up attempt, though the striker was convinced Jensen handled outside the area.

Burnley responded, in a rapidly improving game, when Chris McCann fed Stephen Jordan, who appeared to receive a push as he entered the area and lost possession.

In the 25th minute, Belletti, who had earlier required treatment, was forced off and replaced by Lampard. And his first touch was to set up Drogba for the opening goal.

His deft pass was received gratefully and after riding a challenge, from Duff, the Ivorian claimed his first fo the season. But the celebrations were tarnished when a coin, from the Burnley end, appeared to be thrown at the striker, who picked it up and returned it.

Shortly before the break, the gap could have increased but Jensen saved well, diving to his left to deny Florent Malouda. And on the stroke of half time, Malouda's free-kick was directed into the cross bar by Branislav Ivanovic.

Chelsea made another change, at half time, replacing Deco with Mikel, and within five minutes of the restart Burnley's goal came under threat again with Paulo Ferreira shooting just over.

But signs that Chelsea could not afford to relax were offered in the 54th minute when Robbie Blake's direct corner was missed by Cudicini, the Chelsea goalkeeper fluffing an attempted punch, but there were no Claret bodies available to convert the loose ball.

Burnley introduced Ade Akinbiyi midway through the second half, for Martin Paterson, and he exposed Chelsea's relaxed attitude when, after Cudicini could only parry Chris Eagles' shot the striker converted the rebound with ease, in the 69th minute, for his first goal of the season.

Jensen punched clear to stop a Lampard free-kick at the end and, in extra time, Burnley were the stronger but Alex was guilty of missing a match winner in the 124th minute when he sent the ball over an open target to send the game to penalties.

Graham Alexander, Alan Mahon, Chris Eagles and Kevin McDonald converted for Burnley, while Chelsea's penalties by Frank Lampard, Soloman Kalou, Paolo Ferreira and Florent Malouda were all successful, before Jensen's saved from Mikel after Duff netted.

 

 

Guardian

Drogba apologises for coin throw as Chelsea tumble out
Mike Adamson

 

Chelsea suffered a shock exit from this competition at the hands of a dogged Burnley after a penalty shoot-out last night, and that may not be the end of their troubles. Didier Drogba heaped further embarrassment on his side by gesturing at the away fans and throwing a coin towards them after it had apparently hit him on the pitch. It seems certain the Football Association will investigate the matter and last night the player issued an apology.

"I tried to celebrate the goal and I received some things at me," the striker said. "The big mistake I did was to throw it back so if someone was hurt I just want to apologise for it. This is not something I should show in a football match and I want to apologise. It was an incident in the heat of the moment and I regret it."

Drogba reacted after giving Chelsea the lead in the 27th minute, with a world-class finish, on his first start for six weeks since injuring his knee in the Champions League against Cluj. It was his first goal for the club since April and as he celebrated in front of the Burnley fans, a coin thrown from the visiting supporters appeared to strike him. He responded with a one-finger gesture and then picked up the coin and hurled it back into the supporters.

The 30-year-old was booked for his behaviour and Chelsea said last night that they would await the referee's report before deciding whether to take action. Drogba's coin-throwing echoed a similar incident involving Liverpool's Jamie Carragher against Arsenal in 2002.

Chelsea have other concerns because this was a second defeat in three home games, a significantly bigger blot on Luiz Felipe Scolari's copybook than Liverpool's victory here last month. Progress had seemed straightforward when Drogba struck but Scolari was punished after substituting both Deco and Drogba in the second half and the Burnley manager, Owen Coyle, was rewarded for a courageous passing game by Ade Akinbiyi's equaliser. Brian Jensen was the Championship side's hero in the shoot-out, brilliantly saving from Wayne Bridge and Mikel John Obi to spark wild celebrations in front of and among the ecstatic 6,100 visiting supporters. This latest failure means Chelsea have not won a shoot-out in a competitive game for 10 years.

There were no excuses for Scolari, who picked a far more experienced side than his counterparts from the other top-four clubs this week. Whereas Arsenal fielded a team with an average age of 19 against Wigan on Tuesday night, 23-year-old Salomon Kalou was the youngest home player on display here. Indeed it was Frank Lampard, rather than the promising youngster Scott Sinclair, to whom Scolari turned when Juliano Belletti hobbled off injured in the first quarter. The England midfielder made an instant impact with a perfectly weighted first-time pass to Drogba, who glided past Michael Duff's ineffective challenge before sidefooting the ball past Jensen into the far corner.

But since Coyle was appointed last November Burnley have played a brand of football that is most pleasing on the eye while climbing to fifth in the second tier, and they brought that attitude here. They avoided what might have been a killer blow when Branislav Ivanovic headed Florent Malouda's header on to the crossbar in first-half stoppage-time, and midway through the second half they capitalised on their good fortune.

With 20 minutes to go Chris Eagles ran in behind Paulo Ferreira and brought about a fine save from Carlo Cudicini low to his left. The substitute Akinbiyi was the first to react and he calmly slotted the ball past Alex on the line.

Chelsea's attacking options were limited further in the extra period as Franco Di Santo limped down the tunnel injured, leaving his team a man short with Scolari having already made his three substitutions. The goalscoring responsibility was thus heaped on Lampard's shoulders but he was ruled offside as he slipped the ball into the goal from close range, and foiled by the near post with a corner-kick.

The numbers were evened up when Steven Caldwell was dismissed for a second cynical hauling down of Malouda before the match reached its dramatic climax.

 

 

Daily Mirror

Burnley inflict more penalty shootout misery on Chelsea in the Carling Cup
Neil McLeman

 

Chelsea lost on penalties again last night - and John Terry was not to blame.

The England captain was one of six changes made by the Premier League leaders, and they were severely punished by Owen Coyle's superb Championship side as John Obi Mikel missed the decisive shot in the shoot-out.

Didier Drogba's first goal of the season in the first half had seemed to set the Blues on the way to their third consecutive Carling Cup Final.

But a minute after the Ivory Coast striker was subbed, Ade Akinbiyi netted the equaliser in front of the 6,500 Burnley fans at the Shed End. Luiz Felipe Scolari's side played most of extra time with only 10 men when third sub Franco Di Santo limped off after 93 minutes. And Clarets captain Steven Caldwell was sent off after 116 minutes for his second yellow card after fouling Florent Malouda.

But Scolari's magic touch with penalties, which saw his Portugal side knock out England at Euro 2004 and Germany 2006, then deserted him. But it was a familiar story for his side which lost the Champions League Final from 12 yards last May.

Stand-in skipper Wayne Bridge saw the second Chelsea spot-kick saved by Brian Jensen but Wade Elliott blazed the fifth kick over. But as the spot kicks went to sudden death, Michael Duff scored and Jensen pawed away Mikel's sixth kick.

Chelsea had kicked off without either Terry and Lampard in the line-up - the first time that had happened in five years. They still 10 full internationals in the team, however. And Drogba gave them the lead after 26 minutes.

Lampard, who had come on as a sub for Juliano Belletti only a minute before, found the striker 30 yards out. And Drogba danced past Graham Alexander before curling a shot into the far corner.

But Drogba was then booked by referee Keith Stroud throwing a coin back into the Burnley crowd - and giving the Lancashire fans the finger.

Jensen then saved low from Malouda and was relieved to see a Branislav Ivanovic header rebound off the bar. And the two escapes were to prove crucial.

Akinbiyi made his first appearance for two months, coming off the bench after an hour, and took only 10 minutes to make an impact. Chris Eagles made a run into the box and forced Carlo Cudicini to parry his low shot. But the rebound fell to Akinbiyi, who slotted home from 12 yards.

Akinbiyi celebrated in style by removing his shirt to reveal his well-toned body and was booked for his trouble.

Di Santo missed two late chances to end the game in normal time when he headed into Jensen's arms from Lampard's cross - then blasted wide when clean through.

And it was left to Jensen to become the shoot-out hero.

 

 

Daily Mail

The Beast is spot on as Scolari suffers a League Cup mauling
Neil Ashton

 

Luiz Felipe Scolari cannot find a way to beat the biggest teams in the Barclays Premier League. Now he cannot even beat Burnley.

Owen Coyle's combative side took Chelsea all the way, cancelling out Didier Drogba's first-half strike and then beating them in a penalty shoot-out at Stamford Bridge.

What a night, the stuff that dreams are made of as 6,500 travelling Burnley fans lived out their footballing fantasies over 120 minutes and more.

It was spellbinding stuff as this team sitting fifth in the Championship, making their first trip to the Bridge since 1982, recorded the most remarkable result at Chelsea of the Roman Abramovich era.

The Stamford Bridge owner can spend £200million on a team, yet this result proves beyond all doubt that success simply cannot be bought. It has to be earned.

Scolari's team have their troubles after failing to beat Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham at home and losing 3-1 to Roma in Italy in the Champions League.

Nothing will compare with the penalty shoot- out defeat in Moscow, when Chelsea were beaten to the European Cup by Manchester United. But, for tension, this ran it a close second.

Burnley showed remarkable resolve, spirit and character to claw their way back into the game, putting Chelsea on notice that they were headed for extra-time when Ade Akinbiyi equalised.

Delirium set in with Burnley's supporters, seemingly the entire town squeezed into The Shed end and then spilling onto the perimeter track when his strike nestled in the back of Carlo Cudicini's net.

Could they hold out? Yes they could, with Brian Jensen leading a charmed life in Burnley's goal as Chelsea sprang attack after attack after attack. They repelled them all, somehow taking the game to a shoot-out.

Graham Alexander drew first blood in front of the Matthew Harding Stand, Frank Lampard levelled. Oh the tension.

Alan Mahon appeared without nerves to make it 2-1 then stand-in home skipper Wayne Bridge's shot was beaten away by the man nicknamed 'The Beast' by Burnley fans.

Chelsea were on their way out until Wade Elliott lost his nerve - and his footing - to spoon the ball over Cudicini's crossbar. Surely now Scolari's team would take the chance to stumble into the quarter-final.

It was into sudden-death and Michael Duff put Burnley back in front. Then it was down to John Mikel Obi.

The midfielder, on as a second-half substitute for the ineffective Deco, strutted his way to the penalty area.

He planted the ball on the spot and every supporter inside the stadium knew what was coming the moment he began the most casual and unprofessional of run-ups.

Moments later Burnley were through, their players hunting down Jensen and finally burying him under an avalanche of claret-and- blue bodies. Disbelieving supporters celebrated in the stands.

This is Burnley time, the biggest moment in the club's history since they knocked Liverpool and Aston Villa out of the FA Cup in 2005.

Those were magical moments, but nothing compares to this, The Big One.

Eliminating Chelsea is one thing, kicking them out of the competition on their own turf is something else.

They join Barcelona, Charlton and Liverpool as the only teams to beat them at Stamford Bridge in the Abramovich era.

The downside to this dramatic defeat is that football fans all over the world will have to put up with Alastair Campbell talking about his lifelong allegiance to the town of Burnley and its brave football club.

They will live with it, especially after they recovered from Drogba's goal, brilliantly taken after he tuned into a stunning 40-yard diagonal pass off the boot of substitute Frank Lampard.

Drogba's reaction, saluting Burnley's supporters with a one fingered gesture and appearing to throw a coin back into the stand, was as distasteful as it was disgraceful.

Burnley took their medicine, treated to that rare sight of Akinbiyi's six pack as he whipped off his shirt to celebrate an equalising goal in the 69th minute.

By then Chelsea had made all three substitutions, and they were down to 10 men in extra-time when Franco Di Santo was forced off with a hamstring injury.

Burnley themselves were also a man down when captain Steven Caldwell was sent off for a second bookable offence, but they held on for penalties and a perfect night out in London.