The way Chelsea celebrated the end of this match, you would think they had won their third title in a row. As it is, it was just Reading, who have been extra-ordinarily impressive this season. But it was no ordinary match. Match statistics like goal attempts or corners taken do not do justice to this match. How about 2 insensate goalkeepers carted off the field, two players shown the red card, and an assistant coach ejected from the field for match interference?
30 seconds into the game, Stephen Hunt inadvertently clips a sprawling Petr Cech in the side of the head trying to get the ball past the rushing Chelsea goalkeeper. A perfectly innocuous injury but one that Cech would not get up from. He was stretchered off. Cudicini replaces him. The match gets pretty testy at times with players get very demonstrative with their fouls. 5 minutes are added on. Just before halftime Ibrahima Sonko commits a boneheaded foul of Frank Lampard, just outside the box. The resulting freekick taken by Lamps, ricochets off Ingimarsson for an own goal. Lamps turns around after the goal and shakes his fist at Sonko.
Sonko would be involved again a minute before the end of the match as he collided with Cudicini in a goalmouth melee. The Chelsea goalkeeper fell from the skies and landed unconscious. He needed oxygen and a neck brace and was stretchered off. John Terry did goalkeeping duty for the last minute or so. The last minute saw Reading mounting their last few attacks, in one of them, the ball went out of bounds and Kevin Dillon, a Chelsea assistant referee held onto it to give more time for his players to fall back. He was ejected.
Both teams were reduced to ten men, when John Obi Mikel was sent off after fouling Sonko (this man was everywhere!) and later in the half, Drogba did a good job diving, and conning the referee into giving Andre Bikey, the pink slip too. Both players went ballistic and the referee was seriously in danger of being maimed. Luckily, they were pushed out of the field by some of their team mates.
Hopefully, Petr Cech and Carlo Cudicini make a speedy recovery from this bizarre set of circumstances. It looks like they might have suffered concussions, the recovery depends on how severe they are because concussive symptoms can range from a minor headache to disorientation.