Reflecting on Chelsea defeat
So, the FA cup dream - and the pre-game thoughts the we 'might' shock Chelsea - remains just that... A dream, for another year at least!
4-0 though, come one?
We were never four goals worse than Chelsea and this scoreline seriously flattered them big time, and Appy knows this: 'our shape and the way we set about things was very good, and we caused Chelsea few problems. In the first half I felt calm and comfortable.
'Even after they scored I was delighted for 84 minutes because we were well in the game.'
Then again, I might say that 4-0 flattered them but at the end of the day that is all the record books will show I guess?
Although we know that there was not as much of a gap and I can honestly say hand on heart, and I like to think that I do call it fair, had we managed to come away with a draw - at least - not many from the Chelsea side could have complained really.
How we deal with this defeat will be interesting?
I very much like the view that Appy takes: 'I told the players afterwards that there are two ways to react.
'You either feel sorry for yourselves and take two or three weeks to get over it, which is dangerous, or you recognise that we did very well for 85 minutes and take that into our league games. I've told the lads we'll be taking the positives from the performance and doing the latter.'
Lets hope it is the latter of the scenarios that Appy points out that we take!
We should take the positives from the Stamford Bridge visit into the nopower championship games and if we do so I am sure we will come away with rewards more often than not as a result...
How different it could have been though had David Kitson took his chance in the 1st minute of the 1st half - or if Marko Futacs or Chuck could have beaten Petr Cech instead of him saving, or John Terry had not been able to stop Joel Ward's goalbound header on the line!
All the saves, and goal-line clearance, happened in a period of seconds: 'that was the defining moment of the game. We had three opportunities to score in about six seconds. If one of those had gone in it would have given Chelsea something to think about.
'For his early chance Dave Kitson's first touch was fantastic, but with his second touch the ball just got caught up. He wasn't able to take the chance, but he still worked his socks off and had a very good game.'
In the end though Chelsea had some luck and basically, as has been admitted by the Pompey manager, they were more 'clinical' with their finishing.
He still feels a little hard done by with the opening Chelsea goal but also knows we could have still prevented it: 'I thought it was handball in the build-up to their first, but you have to carry on and play to the referee's decision. I was disappointed because we still had the opportunity to stop the cross and then to stop Mata from getting on the end of it.
'Even then we were still frustrating them. We were pressing them very high and it was working a treat.
'In the end we were trying to get back into the game and got punished a bit. I think 4-0 was very harsh, but that's what can happen against teams of their quality.
'The difference between the two sides was that they were more clinical, summed up by the way Ramires took their third goal.'
How good where the fans though, the Pompey ones anyway!
We put some 38,000 or so home fans to shame with our constant singing, even at 1-0, 2-0, 3-0 and even 4-0 down: the fans were fantastic.
'We get to see how good they are every week, and it's nice for some of the big clubs to see it to.'
Chant of the day has to be the: 'we'll take you on loan,
we'll take you on loan,
we'll take you on loan.' Classic stuff.
This was a 'luxury away game for me' and I am glad that I did it. Expense forces me out of most away games now - doing them and home games, all away though really when you live in Devon - but this was, as always really, money well spent!
Some defeats are tougher to take than others, this is a defeat that we really, really can take plenty of positives from and can be very proud of PFC for - no one let us down and no one was disgraced.
As I said the record books might show it was a 4-0 defeat but we will always know it was not a true reflection, but hey ho!
Ah well, we dust ourselves down and come again for another London club at the weekend when West Ham come to Fratton - bring 'em on...
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