I was lucky enough to be invited to the European Champions League quarter-final between Chelsea and Benfica (of Portugal). This was corporate hospitality… something that I’m not a big fan of generally. But when I was offered tickets to see my favourite team play in an important match I quickly pushed my morals to one side and accepted. So, ticket in hand we made our way to west London to Chelsea’s Stadium, Stamford Bridge.
I must admit, my business colleague and I had a beer or two in a pub before going to the match so we were 10 minutes late….we also found that we were in the “rough end” of the stadium with “real” supporters who used colourful language. So two “suits” turning up late got a little playful banter from those around us!
Chelsea were 1-0 up from the away leg in Lisbon so a draw would be sufficient to see Chelsea into the semi-finals. Things went well early on in the game with a penalty awarded and scored, followed shortly afterwards by a red card for a Benfica player.
It seemed that, with the pressure off, the players took their foot off the gas and started to cruise.
A Benfica goal in the second half suddenly shook some life into the game. If they scored another Benfica would go through and Chelsea would be out. Fortunately Chelsea made the game safe late on.
A final score of 2-1 saw Chelsea into the semi-final against Barcelona. To be honest the lack of will and quality in Chelsea’s team lead me to think that they don’t stand a chance against Europe’s best team.