Irrepressible Essien keeps the fire burning

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has bemoaned the fact that he has been able to call upon Fernando Torres only sporadically throughout the season, and argues that Liverpool would be in an even better position if the talismanic Spaniard had kept himself fit.

Guus Hiddink could put forward the same argument with the same amount of conviction in the case of Michael Essien. This game showed the Chelsea fans what they had been missing since the Ghanaian was injured on international duty in September: drive, determination, commitment and seemingly limitless stores of energy - they were all on show in abundance on a sunny afternoon at Stamford Bridge.

Aggrieved Drogba has the last laugh

It has been an ongoing debate in football for many years. The calls for goal line technology looked set to gain fresh impetus as an exasperated Didier Drogba claimed he had beaten Gianluigi Buffon with a first half free kick that the Italian stopper appeared palm out from behind his line. But his protests were to no avail.

Chelsea’s sense of injustice didn’t last long. Michael Essien levelled matters soon afterwards, reacting fastest to a deflected Frank Lampard shot to cancel out Vincenzo Iaquinta’s extremely well worked opener.

In a game that was high on drama and full of goals and talking points, Drogba was to have the last laugh with a late equaliser, securing a 2-2 draw that ensures Chelsea’s progress into the last eight.

Blues cruise into FA Cup semi finals

The memory of 1987, when Coventry beat Tottenham 3-2 to lift the FA Cup, was conjured up by Coventry manager Chris Coleman in the run up to this quarter final clash to spur his side on to create a cup upset of similar proportions. Indeed today’s game had a lot of history surrounding it. It is a year ago this weekend that Chelsea were knocked out of the FA Cup to Championship side Barnsley.

Drogba keeps up scoring touch to keep Blues on United’s heels

The Daily Mirror indulged in some Photoshop work on its back page this morning, planting Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink’s face onto that of Kevin Keegan’s, stating he would ‘love it’ if Chelsea overturned Manchester United’s lead at the top of the Premier League and won the title.


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