Man Utd 2-1 Chelsea: Ancelotti Gambles On Torres Again…And Loses…Again (With Photos)

Chris Wright

13th, April 2011


By Chris Wright

It appears that, while I was otherwise engaged watching Forest bore Burnley into a late submission last night, it seems there was an altogether more entertaining game cracking off at Old Trafford.

Thanks to goals from Javier Hernandez and Ji-Sung Park, Manchester United emerged from their Champions League quarter-final fixture against Chelsea with a 2-1 victory on the night (and a 3-1 aggregate victory overall, with Ryan Giggs directly assisting all three of United’s goals over both legs) and never once, by all accounts, looked like being caught.

It also seems that Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti’s decision to gamble on handing Fernando Torres a start ahead of Didier Drogba backfired in a rather mighty way, with the Spaniard forcibly yanked from the stage at half-time after he endured another 45 minutes of something close to nothing.

When asked in a post-match presser whether he had made a mistake by plumping to start with Torres, Ancelotti said:

“Maybe. Could be. I told you a lot of times this season I wanted to start with Fernando for this kind of game, these type of tactics.

“I wanted to put more pressure up front because we needed to score. Didier was fresh and he could use his power up front. This was the reason I took out Fernando.”

And, just maybe, because he was a complete non-entity…again – though, to be fair, it’s not like Nicolas Anelka, Salomon Kalou, Frank Lampard et al had sterling games either.

So that’s the long and short of it peeps, United are through to the last four of the Champions League with their treble dream still firmly intact, while Chelsea are left to mope home with their season rendered almost completely null and void – Mr Abramovich will be pleased.

Here’s 19 more big, hairy stills of last night’s action for your perusal…

Fernando Torres and Wayne Rooney shake hands before the game

John O’Shea puts his head in where it hurts…

…with Wayne Rooney shortly following suit

Patrice Evra takes to the skies to beat Fernando Torres to the ball

Javier Hernandez pokes in Ryan Giggs’ low cross at the far post to open the scoring for United…

…then celebrates in the corner with Wayne Rooney

Frank Lampard gives Fernando Torres the eye while Chelsea wait to restart play

Sir Alex enjoys a mid-game herp derp

Sweeper-keeper Edwin van der Sar challenges Nicolas Anelka for the ball

A dejected Fernando Torres takes his place on the Chelsea bench after being withdrawn at half-time

Ramires ploughs through the back of Nani…

…only to pick up his second booking of the night

Half-time substitute Didier Drogba trumps Torres by scoring a classic ‘Drogba’ goal, i.e, darting down the channel, latching on to a lofted through-ball then firing past the oncoming keeper

Less than a minute after Drogba’s equaliser, Park Ji-Sung crops up on the edge of the area to bring Ryan Giggs’ clipped pass under and angle a finish past Petr Cech

Salomon Kalou, Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard build themselves a wall

Chelsea players trudge from the pitch after the final whistle…

…while Wayne Rooney celebrates United’s progression through to the semi-finals of the Champions League with the home crowd

A flare is set off amidst the United fans after the final whistle

The look of a condemned man? Carlo Ancelotti heads for the tunnel

Photos courtesy of the PA.

Posted in Champions League, Chelsea, Man Utd

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  1. drags says:

    buying torres mid-season was such a poor managerial decision. he was terrible at the world cup and never played well throughout the first half of season for liverpool. he needed to buy him in the summer so he could have a pre-season with the club before being put under so much pressure. now his arrival has also made drogba and anelka sulk because they are playing second fiddle to a man who is playing rubbish and more expensive than they are. overall bad feeling in the dressing room reflects on the field!

  2. Lady B says:

    As a Liverpool fan, all I can say is that I’m so glad Fernando isn’t our problem any more…

  3. Tinez says:

    when you say managerial, i assume you mean abramovich’s management.

  4. Jugs says:

    I agree. FT was a nightmare for LFC and now CFC has to deal with him. What a brilliant deal we got!

  5. Tony, Lagos says:

    Gambling a second time and lost! My people say first fool is no fool but second fool is a proper foolish man!!

  6. Mr Mac says:

    The old stars need to go.
    Simple as that.

    Putting on Drogba didn’t prove much other than when your given a shitload of space he can still atleast score.

    I’m guessing FT Wasn’t really being super motivated at Liverpool.
    And i think he has it much much much worse in Chelsea.

    The heirarchy is crumbling.

    And it needs to before ANYONE including mourinho can get something out of the stars.

    Raid Shaktars wingers & neymar, throw out malouda/anelka/torres.

    Pre season tournaments as much as possible, and you can build something worthwhile.

  7. Mr Mac says:

    I meant drogba/anelka/malouda.

    a new midfield and some wingers to support torres and kill the heirachy.

    then you’d see potent chelsea team.

  8. gaptooth says:

    as a liverpool fan ,
    my emotions went from initial disappointment over the fact that one of our talismans was going ,
    my next emotion was fear – as his first game was against liverpool and i could see the headlines with torres’s name on em ,
    this fear turned to joy as torres continued to underwhelm at chelsea
    this joy turned to outright side plitting laughter as it became apparent that torres had lost all form and sharpness in contrast to liverpool’s new front two who were tormenting defenses

    but alas my current emotion is sympathy , i genuinely feel sorry for torres , chelsea and their supporters , they are being played like puppets by a russian gangster who sadly does not know how to build a long standing and likeable football club .

    its sad to see torres like this , its a bit like watching tyson box in the final few yrs , he had lost that glint in his eye and sadly the same can be said about torres

  9. Sleeba says:

    SAF looks like Benny Hill

  10. arazis says:

    Torres – 11 games, 693 minutes and no goals. £50m well spent :-)

  11. HerpMcDerp says:

    Can I just ask why Torres was considered a 50m player in the first place? David Villa regualrly turns him into a passenger for Spain, he can’t play in any system where he isn’t the main man (with a lackey-Gerrard at ‘Pool-in support) and most of his time at Liverpool he spent either in the treatment room or standing around hands-on-hips looking mardy. He did have one season where he scored a lot of goals, but so did Kevin Phillips.

  12. V says:

    Park all over the park

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