After an enjoyable day at Griffin Park for Brentford 0-1 Walsall on Saturday it was time for the 2nd game of the weekend. Again, in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. Again, in London. This time however, at the home of the Champions, Stamford Bridge for Chelsea vs. Scunthorpe United. The team I grew up following. I’d just like to point out, it wasn’t in 2003 that I started following them. I was brought up in a Chelsea following family. So there!
So 8 years after my last visit to Stamford Bridge it was time to make the journey again. It may be worth mentioning that when starting the 92 I made it my goal to Re-Visit any ground that I had done as a young’un including Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford and Ashton Gate. The last time was a 3-1 victory over Huddersfield Town, again in the FA Cup back in 2008. I have also done a stadium tour at the Bridge back in Easter last year so I’m very familiar with the area & ground!
It was a beautiful day in Chelsea, much nicer than the previous day at Brentford where it was non-stop raining all day. The stage was set for a good afternoon, so after some quick lunch it was to the ground nice and early for a quick look around the club shop, well I thought it would be quick but it became the complete opposite. I don’t normally buy anything from the shops apart from Season Review DVD’s but seeing as I had all of Chelsea ones from the last 14 seasons I ended up buying a Season Review Book for £5. What I loved the most was the trophies on show. That Champions League trophy from 2012, I’ve never shouted so much at a TV screen as much as I did that night. Didier Drogba will forever be in my heart.
It is very rare for Chelsea tickets to go on General Sale. However, it is becoming more frequent this season due to the predicament they find themselves in, luckily for me though I’m a member so I was on the website early to secure seats in the Shed Upper which is, in my opinion, the best place to sit at the Bridge and certainly one part of the stadium to sell out quickly.
So after entering the stadium and finding my seat I was ready for the game to start, only a hour an to kill… photo time and an opportunity to remind myself of the amazing season Chelsea had last year and I guess time to get sad at how this one is going. Another sacking for Mourinho after his first in 2008. Both times I have watched the Blues’ come just after a José sacking – it isn’t me is it?
The game itself was actually a much better one than I thought it was going to be – I thought it would be a case of Chelsea taking the lead and passing the ball around the back to avoid an upset but they really went for it, especially in the first half. From the off the Blues’ were attacking their League One counterparts. After a few early chances Chelsea did take the lead through Diego Costa. After a run down the wing by Branislav Ivanovic and a good cross a cheeky flick from Costa forced the ball home into the bottom left hand corner in front of the travelling 3,000 hopeful Iron fans who had made the 350 mile trip south to the Capital.
Other notable chances in the first half were both kept out by brilliant saves from Luke Daniels in the Scunthorpe goal to stop Fabregas and Pedro respectively. However, it wasn’t all one way traffic. The underdogs were continuously charging at the Premier League defence but solid defending by the young Kurt Zouma kept them at bay.
The second half was a fairly similar story, Chelsea were comfortable throughout but Scunthorpe were by no means disgraced. The second half was all about Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The 19 year old coming on at half time and he managed to net his first goal for the Blues’ in the 68th minute to the delight of the home supporters, including a certain Roman Abramovic. Scunthorpe again refused to give in though and as well as not being awarded a stone-wall penalty they also forced an outstanding save by Begović who could only tip the effort onto the post.
All in all, a fairly solid performance by Chelsea who needed that win to keep their FA Cup chances alive after an awful start to their Premier League campaign. They will be looking to deliver some sort of silverware in the form of the FA Cup or the Champions League to keep their 15/16 season alive, whilst Scunthorpe will be looking to push on in their League One campaign. For me, a really enjoyable day. My 39th ground in my quest to completing all 92 Football League & Premier League stadiums. Only 53 to go!
What Were The Statistics?
Chelsea 2-0 Scunthorpe United
Attendance – 41, 625 (3,000 away fans)
Price of ticket – £30 (Adult)
Programme – £3.00
Car Parking – Free
Miles Travelled – 220 (Drive to Gunnersbury & Underground to stadium)
Plymouth Argyle vs. Northampton Town – 40/92 – 12/01/2016
Burnley vs. Derby County – 41/92 – 25/01/2016
Peterborough United vs. Burton Albion – 42/92 – 26/01/2016