Everyone’s writing these touchy, feely best moments of 2012 posts right now, and I’m not in the mood. I’ve decided to share my Top 5 Chelsea “Ah, shit” Moments of the Year. What do I mean by an “Ah, shit” moment? Well, it’s that moment when you think things couldn’t get any worse, and you’ve come to terms with the likely and shitty outcome. Sorry for the derp videos ahead of time!
Here we go!
5. UEFA Champions League Round of 16, February 21, Napoli 3 – Chelsea 1
After a promising start to the match via a Mata goal, the Blues flew back to London with their tails between their legs after losing 3-1 in the first leg in Naples. All looked lost. The players weren’t motivated. AVB kept getting everything wrong. By the second leg, Chelsea had fired AVB, replaced him with Roberto Di Matteo, and were playing better. They went on to win 4-1 in London in an inspired performance against Napoli. They moved on to the next round to play against Benfica. But, for reals, that was some “ah, shit” stuff.
4. Barclays Premier League, November 11, West Brom 2 – Chelsea 1
This was Roberto’s last match at Chelsea. It was the fixture that did in AVB, and it was the one that ended Di Matteo’s time as Chelsea manager. It was also a turning point in the season where it felt any chance of winning the Premier League was pretty much good and gone. It also led to #3.
3. My life, November 21, Rafa Benitez named Chelsea manager
This was a very unpopular decision for fans. Roberto Di Matteo was not only a supporter favorite for having won the Champions League and FA Cup, he was also one of the club’s great players. His replacement, Rafa Benitez, was Liverpool manager during the most contentious period of history between the two clubs. He also called Chelsea fans basic as fuck and stopped just short of calling us ratchet in the media. I almost couldn’t handle being a fan after the announcement. So much drama has been following Chelsea around this year. It was wearing on me. I wanted to give up on football.
Lately, the anger seems to have subsided. The team is playing better, and maybe some fans (me included) have remembered that Roman still makes the calls, and we’re a lucky lot.
2. UEFA Champions League Group Stages, December 4, Juventus beat Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukraine
Shakhtar had just one job. They needed to keep up their amazing home form against Juventus. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get past the Italian champions. Chelsea were equal on points with Shakhtar, but the Ukrainian team had the tie-breaker. So, Donetsk moved onto the knockout stages. Shakhtar’s loss condemned Chelsea to be the first club to not get out of the group stages of the Champions League after winning the competition the previous year.
Ah, shit. Relegated to the Europa League, Thursday night fixtures, and Sunday/Monday afternoon league matches.
1. UEFA Champions League Final, May 19, Robben’s extra time penalty
After his heroic late goal to send the final into extra time, 4 minutes into the added time, Didier Drogba gave away a needless penalty after he fouled Franck Ribery in the box. With his slight rake, he seemed to have cost Chelsea a shot at the trophy after all their hard work defending the onslaught that was Bayern’s attack all match. At that point, I thought the match was done. I thought we had lost the last opportunity Lampard, Cole, Drogba, and Terry would have at winning the Champions League. My heart sank. I felt awful. It was probably the lowest I felt in my entire footballing life. Luckily, it worked out.
Thank you, Chelsea for a topsy-turvy 2012. Sometimes, I think I wouldn’t have it any other way.