since 1878

Ipswich Town (0) 0 - 0 (0) Chelsea

FA Barclaycard Premiership 2001-02

Monday, April 1, 2002

Referee: E Wolstenholme

Manager: George Burley

Portman Road

Attendance: 28,053

Manager: Unknown

Match Number: 2945

























Match Report

Cudicini penalty save denies Ipswich victory

Ipswich more than match their illustrious London opponents in the 0-0 draw, but still can't quite gain that elusive victory. Jim Laflin gives his thoughts on the match

Hello again all, I'm back after the spell of away games to tell you about the today's game against Chelsea. Where to start? First, hello to Des if you're reading this.

The atmosphere today was amazing, almost like a start of the season match. The North Stand was almost full as the roof has been put on therefore we were permitted to let another 2500 fans in. The additional supporters brought the capacity to roughly 28,000 (another all-seater record) and it was great to hear the whole stadium cheer once again (the support I think has been a bit lax over the past few weeks but the Town haven't really played that well in all fairness - we were told off by the Newspapers after the Southampton game for not showing enough support but they simply didn't seem to want to win that day, so the crowd were negligent to shout).

Today was a different story altogether though, although 0-0 may sound dull it certainly wasn't. After Alun Armstrong went down in the penalty area (there was obviously contact but he did go down almost like a dive - I wasn't close enough but it looked like a blatant penalty anyway) The referee pointed to the spot and Marcus Bent stepped up.

The crowd were ecstatic, perhaps too much so... did we put him off accidentally? He didn't seem to be awfully focused when he stepped up, although we all knew he was going left (you could tell by the body language) he struck it well. Carlo Cudicini dived to his right and saved comfortably (the ball flew over the bar)

So it looked like 'power-over-accuracy' but we carried on and had a few good chances. Including many free kicks on the edge of the penalty area (yes, they really were ON the line.) All were wasted although Cudicini did have to make some world-class saves to keep some out.

Other shots from outside of the box were not wasted, but just didn't test the keeper. Many were just blazed wide from Marcus Bent and Finidi George. Both of whom were looking very tired or injured towards the end.

Fabian Wilnis I thought played very well, Marshall didn't put a foot wrong and Tommy Miller was absolutely outstanding. I am travelling to Bolton next week so should be able to bring you the first "View from the Bolton South Stand". The reason I mention that is that Miller would be just the person to play in that match I think. He got really stuck in and should be superb for the doubtlessly physical encounter at Bolton.

George Burley impressed me today by bringing on Darren Bent, it was brilliant to see him play and also superb to see him getting more than the usual 8 minutes for a substitute. He came on with about 20 minutes to go and made his presence felt.

My man of the match today would probably be Tommy Miller, he was more than a breath of fresh air to the side. The whole team probably deserve the award for their continued effort; which was brilliant to see.

And lastly, we have to give credit to the Chelsea fans for respecting the minute's silence perfectly (unlike our scouse friends) and singing the national anthem afterwards. Ipswich fans again were a credit to the town.

From The Terrace

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