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Chelsea Loss Underscores Defensive Gap, Man U Spurns Golden Chance
Telegraph and Various, January 22nd, 2007 3:53PM

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Tim Rich of the Telegraph on the golden rule for 'special ones': "They are eventually humbled by people less special but more numerous than themselves." In the situation at Chelsea, the more numerous but less special would be Roman Abramovich and the Chelsea board versus coach Jose Mourinho. After going on and on for weeks about the necessity of signing defensive cover, it's almost as if Mourinho got his wish in the form of Chelsea's comprehensive 2-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.

Chelsea had few chances all game, and the need for better defensive cover couldn't have been more obvious than in the ease with which Dirk Kuyt scored after four minutes, heading the ball into space behind Paulo Ferreira (who was turning the wrong way) to easily slot home past Petr Cech. Jermaine Pennant's second fifteen minutes later effectively sealed the win, as Chelsea for the next 73 minutes never looked interested in coming back.

Meanwhile, Manchester United wasted a chance to effectively sew up the Premiership title (according to Arsene Wenger), after seeing its second half lead overturned in the final ten minutes by Wenger's battling Arsenal. Said Wenger: "They wanted so much to kill the time that it turned against them...With 10 minutes to go Manchester United were maybe champions, but at the end of the game you cannot say that."

If Manchester United hadn't lost, Chelsea's Mourinho might not still be manager. Now he's likely to get the cover he requires. In any event, both were good results for neutrals, as the title race is now shaping up to be the tightest in years. Read the original story...


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