This was by far the most of fighting spirit I've seen in our team since..... hm... maybe our loss to Tottscum (3-4) two seasons ago...
1-1 against a pretty blunt Chelsea – who was given a point by the referee, and another goal from Diamanti – is not bad for a start, but the way we really fought was above all.
Have they already hired that psychoanalyst or was this just a way to show Zola and Clarke their faith? I think it was the latter. The first half was pretty even, the second was Chelsea's, still we should have won this. Franco's header in the dying minutes was fabulous, Carvalho's push at the Mexican was a penalty (not rewarded) for sure and Upson's challenge on Sturridge was cut clear and another shame for the referees, as Chelski were given the chance from the spot....
Still just one point, but if we can continue like this - with the same heart - even against more beatable, less well-organised teams, we can do what we did last year!
Green 6,5 - A little bit shaky from the start, but saved well after that, not least when Zhirkov had his chance in the end.
Faubert 6,5 - Agressive, good. One of his better games as RB.
Gabbidon 7 - Solid as a rock, until the hamstring (?) once again haunted him. Had to be taken off after only 20. The hand ball? Nah....
Upson 7,5 - Thank God he is back! And not only his name, but the true old Upson!
Ilunga 6,5 - Involved, good. Went forward again! And doin it all of a sudden against Chelski may show Upsons important role.
Collison 6,5 - Much better today than lately. I like his runs cross the field up front. May miss sometimes when we play defense, but less often today. Was tripped by A Cole and gave us the penalty.
Kovac 6 - I am not so fond to confess this, but we really needed him today. Did much better than lately, still a weak link as he can not take a pass and often play to far from his opponent at the moment. Still, useful today and helped the midfield as he took responsibility!
Noble 7 - Much better today than lately. Fought soooo hard, took his freekicks and corners much better that lately.
Parker 8 - We've all seen Parker run like hell, fight like hell, being our heart! Still his effort today was on top of all his former games, at least in these senses!
Franco 7,5 - His best game for us, even if he did not score this time. He is an intelligent player and a class-act and showed it once more with his moves. Won more headers and held up the ball well (well, mostly). Has already got used to the PL!
Diamanti 7,5 - Well, sometimes he still think he plays in Italy and acts the dead bird, but this time he used his skills to find his teammates much more than earlier. Good. And even if sometimes he looks like a player from my back-yard, in the next movement he may be world-class. If not yet, he can be the next big hero for us. A true entertainer. Scored the penalty.
Sub: Tomkins (on for Gabbs) 7,5: Except for one weak effort he came on and did tremendously well, kept his concentration and kept Drogba quiet.
So those of you who says we have bought the wrong players: I'd say: Franco is a really good additon to our team, so is Diamanti!! They can even be the difference when we conclude this season.
Today was a true team-effort, and I can say that all players did what they were there to do! Thus: Congratulaitions to all. Not least our beloved Zola/Clarke. The have made some mistakes, but they have had too much sticks (as they cant buy, but just sell) , and this showed that they can, and probably will be, the answer to most of our problems. Also, thanks to our fans, Upton Park was on show today!
Well, I really loved the performance today, still we must know that Chelsea lacks a bit of form. And that our next game, against Portsmouth is far,far more important than this one! Sorry!