Caughtoffside attended the Champions League encounter at Stamford Bridge this week.
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Caughtoffside attended the recent Champions League game between Chelsea and Copenhagen, and were treated to fantastic press facilities, which completely overshadowed the game itself. With a selection of fine food and unlimited refreshments, as well as being in the company of some of the coutries leading journalists, it was not easy to predict that the game would be such a dull affair.
Whilst the atmosphere in the press area was raucous, in the stadium itself it was somewhat indifferent. The away supporters provided the majority of the noise, whilst the Chelsea fans seemingly knew their side were already home and dry before the match had even kicked off. The Copenhagen fans were a joy to behold as they showed their support for their team throughout the match, seemingly never giving up hope. The Copenhagen players themselves appeared to know the game was over by half time.
The home side had a number of chances throughout the game, with Nicolas Anelka and Yuri Zhirkov in particular coming close to scoring in the first half. Chelsea suffered a huge scare within the first half an hour, when Dame N’Doye’s free-kick hit the post with Petr Cech well beaten. If Copenhagen had scored at that point, the tie would have surely changed.
Although failing to score in a dull encounter, Chelsea were by far the better side overall, and the £50million Fernando Torres looked lively after being introduced in the 68th minute. The striker is yet to grab that elusive first goal that the Chelsea fans were desperately crying out for.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the game from the press box was the antics from the opposing managers, who were stood just a few feet away. Carlo Ancelotti gave his usual display of flailing arms whilst stood on the touchline throughout the entirety of the game, and Ståle Solbakken provided constant entertainment with his sheer enthusiasm. The two were involved in a brief spat involving a throw-in during the first half.
The fans inside the stadium may have been left a little disappointed, but this Chelsea performance was reminiscent of last year’s title winning season, with Carlo Ancelotti’s men knowing when to step off the gas in order to retain themselves for future games.
Overall, an accomplished performance from Chelsea when it was all that was needed for them to progress to the next stage of the Champions League, and a dull game made better by the welcoming facilities at Stamford Bridge for this COS reporter.