The night after the day before and it’s all still a bit too much to take.
Having clawed back from so far behind, to get within touching distance of retaining the title and then lose it in just 45 minutes of football has left many of us feeling deflated.
In March we were wondering if we’d even make fourth place, so credit where it’s due to Carlo and the lads. To come back from 15 points behind United after our spectacular mid-season collapse was some achievement; they got us believing again.
Now I don’t want to get into pointing fingers at players, or managers, or the tactics they played against United, we lost and rarely did we look like we would do anything but lose once we’d gone behind via Hernandez’s first minute opener. Once the second went in, the rest of the afternoon was sorely predictable.
We lost the title mid-season; those dark days in December and January with so many players out, injured or playing with knocks. With benches full of youngsters and no real game changers or options other than the unknown. Games coming thick and fast, with every opposition manager able to all but name the team they would face, all the while praying for the transfers to come.
Those battles took their toll and did the damage then. The recent renaissance that saw us storm back to second was a mere flirt with the title we hold, like a sullen mistress who knew she was leaving, and just wanted that last lingering look.
The facts are plain and simple; this season Chelsea have taken only six points from six league matches against United, Arsenal and Liverpool, after completing a perfect run last time out. Over the course of a season, the points dropped against non top four/five clubs generally evens itself out. For a loss to Villa away, Arsenal will take one at Bolton, and United at West Ham.
Invariably it comes down to the record against those also challenging for the title that decides where the trophy will end up, and this year we simply have not been good enough in the big games.
If you believe the eulogies being written for Ancelotti in the media after the defeat, then this fact may just have cost Carlo his job.
Champions League aside…