since 1878

Chelsea (1) 4 - 1 (1) Ipswich Town

FA Carling Premiership 2000-01

Saturday, January 20, 2001

Referee: A Durso

Manager: Unknown

Stamford Bridge

Attendance: 34,948

Manager: George Burley

Match Number: 2886






 John McGreal (72)



















Match Report

Town crash at Stamford Bridge

Ipswich crashed 4-1 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The match seemed to be a carbon copy of Town's last Premier League away game, at Sunderland. Town's undoing was lack lustre second half performance, but this game will live long in the memory for Town fans, as Chelsea were aided by some amazing decision by the idiot with the whistle, Mr Andy D'Urso. Gary croft was recalled to right back, as Burley played a 4-4-2, with Clapham moving up to midfield. Mark Venus' thigh trouble was still giving him gyp, so he also sat this one out. This meant Town would be playing with a new-look back four of Croft, Hreidarsson, McGreal and Wilnis. Town really took the game to Chelsea, and deservedly took the lead. Like at Sunderland, It was Marcus Stewart who broke the deadlock, when he dinked the ball over the keeper, after nipping behind the Chelsea defence and latching on to a Scowcroft pass. But the turning point came just before half time when Chelsea gained themselves a rather undeserved equaliser from Poyet. A corner taken from Dennis Wise should have been cleared, but from goalmouth scramble Poyet bundled the ball in. Town were in a very comfortable position at the time, and if they could have held out until half time, it could have been a very different result. However, after the break, Ipswich never looked the same. Chelsea changed their formation, and dominated midfield, an area Ipswich had looked stronger in. Inevitably Chelsea took the lead with a couple of quick goals. Dennis Wise put the home side in front after 54 minutes by nodding the ball in the net from six yards. Hasselbaink beat the Ipswich defence and put in an inviting cross, that even the dwarf-like Wise had no trouble heading home. Chelsea piled on the agony for the bemused Ipswich defence in the 64th minute, when Poyet grabbed his second. Again, it was Hasselbaink who was the creator. His pacy run outstripped the Town defence, and he crossed the ball for Poyet to slide home. As Town were struggling to make a match of it, the referee finished Town off himself. He awarded a penalty to Chelsea for absolutely nothing, and just to cover himself in even more glory, he then sent off John McGreal, presumably for contesting the bizarre decision. Fabian Wilnis won the ball with a lovely tackle on Hasselebank, and just as we were applauding the brilliant piece of defending, the referee pointed to the spot. It was an astounding decision, one that shocked everyone. McGreal, obviously suffering from shock, acted out of character by ‘expressing his opinion', and was shown the red card. It means he will now have a three-match ban, all because of stupid refereeing decision. Hasselbaink converted the penalty straight down the middle, giving game set and match to Chelsea. Burley put Wayne Brown on to shore up the defence, probably fearing we could suffer an embarrassing and confidence shattering mauling. But having won the game, Chelsea ran out of steam, and the match fizzled out. So it's another wake up call. That's now the second time in a matter of weeks we've conceded four, and I can imagine now we will be told the bubble has finally burst. But like at Sunderland, I feel the result was somewhat harsh on Town. We were defiantly the better team early on, and missed a couple of good opportunities before scoring. There would have been few complaints from Chelsea had we gone in at half time 2-0 up. But it was not to be, and we conceded a goal at exactly the wrong time. What was disappointing was the way Town were unable to respond after going behind. We had no ideas after Chelsea had changed to accommodate us. Exactly the same happened at Sunderland, and we will have to show more resolve when things go wrong. It result was even more disappointing, considering how well we had played early on. We missed Titus Bramble today, and the experience of Mark Venus. At times the defence were at sixes and sevens. The ref should be accountable for his dreadful mistake. Had it happened at 2-1 instead of 3-1, it would have gifted Chelsea the points. However, while we can feel justifiably hard done by, by the ref, we cannot complain about the overall result.

From The Terrace

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