We all know it had to come to an end at some point and on Monday morning it did when title-chasing Chelsea finished our seven match unbeaten run.
They didn’t have it all their own way though and our lot were very impressive in the first half, passing the ball around confidently and making good use of the width offered by Enrique and Beye.
In fact we could easily have been two-nil up at half time – Owen skying an effort after a lovely chipped pass by Nicky Butt and then John Terry clearing an Owen effort off the line after Cech had earlier denied Martins and Viduka.
The second half though was a different story. We lost Viduka during the interval with his achilles injury and with that, lost someone who could hold the ball up for the running Owen or Martins. His replacement was Smith who once again was totally ineffective and looks likely he’ll finish the season with ZERO goals.
So with little happening upfront, Chelsea laid siege to our goal and we were grateful for some last ditch defending by Taylor and Faye (who were both impressive today), and our crossbar that denied John Terry from opening the scoring.
Alas though we conceded, a Drogba free-kick on the edge of the box found the completely unmarked Ballack (Butt or Smith the culprits) and he couldn’t miss from 6 yards out.
To be fair to our lot we kept going and had Owen been 6ft, he would have met a Nicky Butt pass/shot when fully stretched – instead it just evaded our little forward and our final chance of the game went unconverted.
A nice move by Chelsea finished us off – Malouda racing onto a ball from Drogba and slotting under Harper. Chelsea now set up an interesting final day of the season as they go into their last game level on points on Man Utd – but behind on goal difference.
So no doubt there is still plenty of work to do for our lot until we can reach the level of the likes of Chelsea and Man Utd but after the performance yesterday in which we held our own for the majority of the game, combined with our seven game unbeaten run, there is plenty of reason for optimism next season.