Chelsea 2 v 4 Bradford City (FA Cup 4th Round)
Speaking in his press conference on Friday afternoon, Jose Mourinho said it would be a disgrace for his Chelsea side to lose against lower league opponents this weekend, he also added his team selection would reflect the club’s desire to win the game and the FA Cup.
Unfortunately, Mourinho failed to recognise that Bradford City have an outstanding cup record over the past three seasons shocking three Premiership side in Arsenal, Aston Villa and Wigan Athletic on the way to the 2012 Capital Cup Final.
City came close to taking the lead on thirteen minutes when a Filipe Morais free-kick was headed clear by Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma. The French defender’s header dropped to Gary Liddle a couple of yards outside the area, but his fierce half-volley was blocked by Gary Cahill and went for a corner.
Filipe Morais took the resulting corner a minute later which was met by Andrew Davies, his thumping header was saved by Peter Cech who made a tremendous reaction save to keep the score at 0-0.
On twenty-one minutes, Chelsea took the lead when Gary Cahill beat Rory McArdle to a Oscar corner at the near post and his flicked effort beat Ben Williams at his near post to give Chelsea a 1-0 lead.
Just three minutes later Didier Drogba should have extended Chelsea’s lead when he collected the ball just inside the City area next to the by-line before back heeling the ball trough Stephen Darby’s leg and curling an effort at goal which was saved by Ben Williams.
A deflected pass from Drogba looked to have played Remy in with a clear sight of City’s goal, but Andrew Davies recovered to assert enough pressure on the French forward and his eventual shot was scuffed straight at Ben Williams.
Chelsea then extended their lead on thirty-eight minutes when Ramires caught Filipe Morais on the half-way line before leading a counter-attack. Ramires played a one-two with Salah before slotting the ball past Williams via the inside of the post to make it 2-0.
Bradford City pulled a goal back on forty-one minutes following a deep free-kick from Morais which went wide off the head of Davies, the ball was rescued on the far side by Billy Knott who pulled the ball back for Jon Stead, before he rifled a left foot shot into the top corner passed Peter Cech to make the half-time score 2-1.
Chelsea started the second half quicker and had the first effort at goal on forty-eight minutes, when Salah flicked the ball into Remy’s path but the Frenchman’s looping effort on the half-volley dropped over Ben Williams crossbar.
Andrew Halliday then went close for Bradford on fifty minutes when he latched onto a ball about twenty-five yards out, but his rising drive sailed just over Peter Cech’s crossbar.
On fifty-four minutes, James Hanson met a Filipe Morais outswinging corner but the striker’s powerful header was well held by Peter Cech in the Chelsea goal.
City drew level on seventy-five minutes, when James Meredith’s long throw-in into the area is flicked on by James Hanson into the path of Billy Knott, who’s close range shot was repelled by Peter Cech, the ball broke to Filipe Morais and he slammed the ball into the empty goal.
City were on top in the game and then on the eighty-second minute a Filipe Morais cross found Job Stead in the box, the striker brought the ball down before laying the ball off to Andrew Halliday at the edge of the area, Halliday then riffled the ball past Peter Cech in the net to make it 3-2 to City.
In the third minute of injury time unbelievably, City added a fourth as Jon Stead flicked the ball into path of Mark Yeates, who is through on goal and calmly slots past Peter Cech.
Speaking after the game manager Phil Parkinson said, “We had a game plan which worked fairly well for the first twenty minutes, but then we conceded and goal and also gifted them a second.
However we managed to get a goal back before half-time which really lifted the players and in the second we really took it to them. The goals in the second half were excellent and the lads stuck to their tasks which was great.
Kicking to our fans in the second half was another big factor, but once again the support from the 6,000 fans was outstanding and it was great to celebrate with them at the end of the game.
Credit must also go to Jose Mourinho who came into our dressing room after the match and shook hands with all of the players and the management team and he was very complementary about our performance which was a nice touch.”
Chelsea – Cech, Christensen, Zouma, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Oscar, Mikel, Salah, Drogba, Remy (Subs) Fàbregas, Ake, Hazard, Courtois, Willian, Terry, Loftus-Cheek
Bradford City – Williams, Darby, Meredith, McArdle, Davies, Liddle, Knott, Morais, Halliday, Stead, Hanson (Subs) Urwin, Yeates, Sheehan, Zoko, Kennedy, Routis, Sheehan
Goals – (Chelsea) Cahill (21), Ramires (38) (Bradford City) Stead (41) Morais (75) Halliday (82), Yeates (90)
Attendance – 41,014