Saturday, October 14, 2006
It was only thirty seconds into the game against Reading when Chelsea keeper Petr Cech slid in the box to make a save and ended up taking a knee to the face from Reading’s Stephen Hunt. Immobile, Cech was eventually stretchered off and taken to the hospital for a precautionary measure. Then near the end of the match, Chelsea’s replacement keeper, Carlo Cudicini, was taken down in a gruesome collision with Reading player Ibrahima Sonko, and he too was eventually carted off and taken to hospital to join his comrade. With only a few minutes left, as the stoppage time neared the 100th minute mark, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho had to think fast to keep their 0-1 lead: designate center-back defender John Terry the keeper. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen anything like that before. Crazy man, crazy. Moving striker Didier Drogba into Terry’s usual role, the London club held on for the few remaining minutes against the peculiar odds and a lackluster Reading squad who just couldn’t capitalize on their strange advantage. And I didn’t even mention the two red cards handed out against both clubs or the return of Joe Cole. Oh, how I love this sport.