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Daylight Droggery!

Robbo Robson | 12:36 UK time, Thursday, 7 May 2009

Well it's hard to know where to begin with that Chelsea-Barca game, isn't it? I've done nowt but argue with people since the whistle went.

Lots of chumps arguing that Barca deserved it - they had 70% possession, so I'm told. Did they do owt with the ball? No! Just kept it. Never used it. One shot on target in the whole game.

They looked nice, but players like the much-lauded Alves were more wasteful than a catering company at a stomach stapling convention. Chelsea made six times as many chances from half as much time on the ball. It's not an argument that merits any further analysis.

Anyway, let's get to the nub. The penalty shouts:

Number 1: Alves shoves Malouda about a yard inside the box. Obvious penalty, or did the ref give it for the initial infringement? Give him the benefit of the doubt.
Florent Malouda and Daniel Alves
Number 2: Drogba goes down under a pretty feeble challenge and a tiny bit of shirt tugging from Abidal. Me, I thought Drogba threw himself down cos he'd lost control of the ball. It's one of them tricks kids of six do every Saturday on the local parks. It makes you gag with frustration that the little brats have already learnt how to cheat.

However, strictly speaking, the shirt tug should be enough to award the penalty (even if it's evened out by a similar shout for Barca at the Nou Camp on Henry.

Number 3: Pique's handball. Penalty. Stonewall. Clear-cut. Mr Magoo would have given it. They should use the ball as evidence and Pique's prints would be all over it. There's an assistant ref out there too! Neither he nor the Mitchell brothers reject/Danish midfielder looky-likey thought it counted. Was it deliberate? Well he didn't try very hard to get his hand out of the way. Joke decision.

Number 4: Eto'o's handball. Well, his arms shouldn't really be raised but it wasn't so blatant, it's just that the ref had missed Pique's pat-a-cake, so Ballack's sense of injustice was complete, which might explain why he bore down on the ref with his bosom pressed forward like a lap dancer urging a punter to put more tips in her brassiere. (I'm guessing that that's what that would look like).

So, at the very least one of them must have been given. And probably the other three 'n' all.

Don't get me wrong. We decked ourselves out in as much Catalonian clobber as we could lay our hands on. We didn't want to be watching Man U-Chelsea again. But when Iniesta scored, the Blue Bell was a morgue. You could've heard a pint drop.

It couldn't have been more hushed had we just witnessed HRH Alan Shearer whip off his jacket and tie and get on the end of a Duff cross to squeak three points against the Boro this Monday.

If you needed to find any other reason to respect Guus Hiddink just look at the Dutchman's press conference on this website. He's quality. Most of us would have gone utterly Drogbananas. Or Dididoolally.

And that's the other talking point. Drogba spent the night irritating me and every other neutral. Too much time spent writhing on the floor, so much posturing that I thought at one point I was looking at a failed auditionee for a Milli Vanilli tribute act.

It's childish attention-seeking is what it is. And if the bloke had tapped home that sitter in the second-half, the ref's performance would be incidental.

The outburst at the end was understandable but ridiculous. And almost as unforgivable as Sky replaying his tirade to the camera with the phrase 'It's not the sort of behaviour we expect on a football field' and then failing to bleep out the f-word themselves.

Richard Keys had to apologise again on Drogba's behalf but to be fair he only swore once - the broadcasters decided to show it twice. The way TV companies wallow in this sort of thing is pretty poor. 'Ooo, it was terrible! Disgusting! Obscene! Shall we have another listen?!'

I do think that, for all his undoubted strengths, Diddums has become a bit of a liability in the big games. He's missed opportunities, got himself sent off, thrown himself around like a kid on a bouncy castle... Chelsea could well do with offloading him.

Having said all that - and I don't even like admitting this - Chelsea wuz robbed. It's nice to believe that you can't just buy the biggest prize in club football, but their place in the final was denied them by utter incompetence from the officials.
Didier Drogba argues with the referee
I'm not one for conspiracy theories, particularly. It doesn't make much sense for a bent ref to send off a defender of the team he's supposed to be helping, now, does it? People are saying Uefa have their dream final. It should be a good game, for sure. I'd certainly prefer that to the same fare as last year.

I think United will win it too. The way they trounced Arsenal was like watching a gorilla squash an errant beetle. You did get the impression that Arsene was talking up his side's chances way too much.

After Ronaldo's free-kick (take that passport back off Almunia immediately!) it was all over. In the meantime it'd be nice if Uefa did pull their fingers out of wherever the ninnies leave them and overturn the red cards for Abidal and Fletcher that were so witlessly given. Neither of them lads should be missing one of the games of their lives. It's silly and easily fixable.

After JT's slither last year and Mr Ovrebo's desperate need to go to a certain dispensary opticians, I found myself in a very strange state on Thursday morning. I felt sorry for Chelsea. Who'd have thought that all them multi-millions of quid ago!

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