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May 11, 2014
• Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff (Caerdydd)
Referee: M. Oliver
• Attendance: 27716
C. Bellamy 15'
A. Schürrle 72'
Fernando Torres 75'
That's all from me on this live commentary as the Premier League season sadly draws to a close. However, fear not, as many of the league's stars return to action when the World Cup kicks off a month tomorrow. I hope you have all enjoyed the season finale on a day where Manchester City have been crowned English champions. Goodbye!
A big summer also awaits Cardiff as they face the unenviable prospect of losing their key players to a host of clubs around Europe. The Bluebirds will be playing in the Championship next season but certainly have the ability to make an immediate return to the Premier League.
That result draws an end to yet another thrilling and rollercoaster Premier League season. Chelsea looked as if they were title-winning material for large chunks of the season but Jose Mourinho's side fell short in the final few weeks and finish the campaign in third place. With a striker on the cards in the transfer window, you certainly expect the Blues to be challenging next season.
FT: Cardiff City 1-2 Chelsea. Jose Mourinho's side complete a second-half comeback thanks to goals from substitute Andre Schurrle and Fernando Torres. Craig Bellamy had given Cardiff a first-half lead with his deflected strike but the Bluebirds' resistance finally crumbled in the second half as they finish bottom of the Premier League table.
90' + 3'
A banner is held up in the Cardiff end reading: "You ruined our season, Tan Out." It's a shame that the Bluebirds are going to end their season on a low and Solskjaer has now earned just three wins from his 18 Premier League matches.
90' + 2'
Chelsea look to wrap up the points in the closing minutes but Oscar fires his free kick narrowly over the crossbar. Can Cardiff fashion one last chance?
GREAT SAVE BY MARSHALL! The Cardiff goalkeeper has enjoyed a magnificent season and he produces another superb stop by fingertipping Schurrle's curling effort over the bar. Schurrle has been the catalyst behind Chelsea's comeback today.
Both coaches decide to give their youngsters some playing time with Chelsea introducing Swift in place of Hazard while James replaces Campbell for Cardiff.
Yellow Card Nemanja Matić
ANOTHER CHANCE FOR TORRES! The Spaniard could have had a hat trick today and he spurns another opportunity as he fails to make contact with Hazard's dangerous low cross at the front post.
Fabio continues to come forward with menace down the right but his cross is too close to Schwarzer who gratefully plucks the ball out of the air.
CHANCE FOR HAZARD! Chelsea have a brilliant opportunity to wrap up the points as Azpilicueta sends Schurrle clear down the right. The German fizzes a wonderful, teasing ball across the goalmouth but Hazard somehow fails to divert it beyond Marshall at the back post.
Cardiff are throwing bodies forward in search of the equaliser but it is Chelsea who are dominating possession at the moment. Can Solskjaer's side find a late equaliser to end the Bluebirds season in style?
Chelsea look to continue their good record on a Sunday. The Blues are unbeaten in their last 15 Premier League games to be played on a Sunday, winning 13 and drawing two.
CHANCE FOR CARDIFF! Ake's first contribution almost gifts the Bluebirds a goal as his poor first touch falls straight to Fabio. However, the full-back's volley is easily saved by Schwarzer.
Jose Mourinho decides to make his second change as Nathan Ake comes on for a rare Premier League appearance. He replaces Mohamed Salah.
As has been the case on many occasions this season, Cardiff have battled bravely but have not had the quality to keep the opposition at bay. Great spirit shown by Solskjaer's side once again today despite their relegation.
Assist Andre Schürrle
Goal Fernando Torres
TORRES MAKES IT 2-1! Chelsea complete the turnaround and it is the Torres, on what is potentially his last performance for the Blues, who gets the goal. The Cardiff defence react too slowly to get out of the box and Torres plays on the shoulder of the last defender to meet Ivanovic's header before coolly slotting past Marshall. It's a muted celebration from the Spaniard.
There was a brilliant applause for Marshall after that goal as he did wonderfully to keep put Azpilicueta's original effort. He has been terrific for Cardiff this season.
Goal Andre Schürrle
SCHURRLE MAKES IT 1-1! The brave Cardiff resistance is finally broken as Azpilicueta races into the box to meet Hazard's cross from the right. His bullet header is brilliantly saved by Marshall before his rebound strikes against the bar. However, Chelsea are not denied at the third time of asking as Schurrle is on hand to thump the ball into the turf and over the outstretched glove of Marshall.
Schurrle makes a bright impact as he races down the right to meet Hazard's well-disguised pass. However, the Germany international cannot set up the equaliser as his low cross is just behind Torres.
Oscar looks to score his ninth league goal of the season as he makes space for himself well on the edge of the box. However, his curling effort is too close to Marshall who makes a comfortable stop.
CHANCE FOR CARDIFF! Fabio has enjoyed a good attacking performance from right-back and his slide pass towards Gunnarsson is well intercepted by Ivanovic before he then drags the rebound wide of Schwarzer's goal.
Solskjaer responds with a change of his own as Don Cowie comes on to replace Mots Moller Daehli.
John Obi Mikel
Jose Mourinho has seen enough and he makes his first change, introducing Schurrle in place of Mikel. Can the Germany international make the difference with just under 25 minutes remaining?
HAZARD GOES CLOSE! Cole is at the heart of it as he marauds down the left brilliantly before playing in the Belgian. However, Hazard cannot find the equaliser as he blasts the ball into the side netting. Some sections of the Chelsea crowd thought he had scored there.
Cardiff are hanging on at the moment and another chance goes begging for the visitors as Salah's low drive is blocked by his own teammate, Azpilicueta.
Cardiff are hoping to end the season with a rare clean sheet and they survive another dangerous Chelsea attack here as Ivanovic flicks Hazard's cross wide of the target.
There is a stoppage in play here as Fabio goes down and requires a change of footwear. Schurrle is warming up for Chelsea.
Salah has improved significantly in the second half and he again produces a brilliant piece of play to set up Torres. However, the Spaniard fails to anticipate the pass and Marshall rushes off his line to smother.
TORRES DENIED! The equaliser continues to elude Chelsea as Torres sees his shot superbly blocked by Turner after he had been played in by Salah.
Cardiff produce a rare break to show that they are still very much in this game. However, John cannot pick out a red shirt after he had done brilliantly to get clear down the left.
TORRES FIRES WIDE! Chelsea continue to put pressure on the Cardiff goal but Torres curls a shot wide of the far post after receiving Ivanovic's precise pass on the edge of the box.
Yellow Card Peter Whittingham
Whittingham picks up a booking on his 300th start for the club after cynically hacking down Salah.
Cardiff have a rare chance to double their lead but Gunnarsson sees his goalbound shot blocked by his own teammate, Campbell.
CHANCE FOR CHELSEA! The visitors continue to threaten Marshall's goal but Oscar is well dispossessed by Turner inside the box before Salah's dangerous low cross then fizzes across the goalmouth with no blue shirt gambling to meet it in the middle.
Chelsea make a bright start to the second half but Torres is adjudged narrowly offside after being played through by Oscar. The Cardiff backline need to keep their shape here as the full-backs tend to wander out of position.
With Liverpool losing 1-0 to Newcastle, a win for Chelsea here would take them up to second spot. Fernando Torres and Oscar get the second half underway.
Can Chelsea find a way back into the game in the second half? Cardiff have conceded three or more goals in five of their last seven league matches.
Cardiff City 1-0 Chelsea. Craig Bellamy's deflected strike gives the Bluebirds the advantage at the half-time whistle. The visitors can blame their profligacy in front of goal for the reason that they are behind as Fernando Torres, Oscar and Mohamed Salah have all spurned glorious chances. Jose Mourinho is cutting a frustrated figure on the touchline.
45' + 2'
SALAH GOES CLOSE! Chelsea continue to pepper the Cardiff goal but they head into the break one goal behind after Salah's fizzing shot from the edge of the box flashes narrowly past the post.
45' + 1'
Fabio's defensive error gifts Chelsea a chance right at the end of the half as Mikel plays in Salah on the right. The former Basel winger has time to shoot but opts to switch the ball onto his left foot and is well dispossessed by Turner. That sums up the Moroccan's half.
Chelsea are desperately searching for the equaliser before the break but another chance breaks down as Cole fails to get on the end of Matic's slide pass. Mourinho is cutting a frustrated figure on the touchline and you get the feeling that he cannot wait until the transfer window opens.
Cardiff are looking to exploit Chelsea on the counterattack and Fabio shows his stamina to get forward down the right. However, he cannot double the host's advantage as his fierce drive is well held by Schwarzer.
SALAH FIRES OVER! Torres is the architect as he spins away from Gunnarsson brilliantly before feeding Salah on the right. The Moroccan cuts inside out his preferred left foot but again frustrates the travelling fans as he blazes high over the bar.
Mikel is walking a disciplinary tightrope here and he avoids a second booking after bringing down Fabio on the right. The Nigerian needs to be careful now as one most mistimed challenge could prove costly.
CHANCE FOR HAZARD! The Belgian has struggled to test Marshall so far in this match and he sends a header wide of the target here after Cole had done brilliantly to get in behind Daehli.
Cardiff have defended superbly from set-pieces this afternoon and Caulker produces another crucial header to prevent Ivanovic from nodding home Oscar's corner.
CAMPBELL GOES CLOSE! Mutch produces a fantastic run to feed the former Manchester United striker inside the box. He surges beyond the challenges of Cole and Ivanovic but cannot produce the finish to match as he blazes over from an acute angle.
Yellow Card John Obi Mikel
Mikel picks up the first booking of the game after a cynical trip on Daehli.
Salah was singled out for criticism by his manager after the 0-0 draw with Norwich and he is again proving a frustrating figure here as he sends a cross straight out of play. Mourinho does not look amused on the touchline.
ANOTHER CHANCE FOR CHELSEA! The visitors are getting closer to finding the equaliser but Salah cannot direct his shot on target after he was played in by Torres' neat pass. Can Jose Mourinho's side make their pressure count?
OSCAR SHOULD SCORE! The Brazilian has endured a disappointing second half to the season and he spurns a glorious chance to score the equaliser here. John's carelessness allows Oscar to break the offside trap and latch onto Ivanovic's long punt from defence but he delays getting his shot away and somehow puts it wide of the post under pressure from the retreating John. That should have been 1-1.
Azpilicueta is supporting the attack well from right-back and he sets up two chances in quick succession as Oscar's shot is well blocked by Turner before Salah is then denied by John.
LET-OFF FOR CAULKER! The Cardiff centre-back has looked a little shaky in this game and he breathes a huge sigh of relief as Marshall just gets to the ball after his sloppy pass had presented Torres with a glimpse of goal.
That goal has given Cardiff a newfound confidence and they come forward at menace once again. Daehli picks out Rafael inside the box with an incisive pass but the Brazilian is let down by his first touch and the chance breaks down.
Jose Mourinho is up from the bench and is clearly not happy with what he is seeing. Torres attempts to play a neat pass around the corner for Salah to latch onto but the Moroccan is muscled off the ball well by Caulker.
CHANCE FOR CARDIFF! Whittingham produces one of his trademark free kicks to test the Chelsea defence and Gunnarsson rises above Kalas excellently before powering a header narrowly over the bar.
Chelsea look to respond immediately with Hazard causing problems with his neat footwork outside the box. The Belgian tees up Salah with a clever flick but the Moroccan leans back and balloons his shot high over the bar.
Assist Peter Whittingham
Goal Craig Bellamy
CARDIFF TAKE THE LEAD! There's a huge slice of fortune about it but the Bluebirds will not care. Bellamy collects a pass on the outside of the box and his ambitious shot deflects off the backside of Azpilicueta, leaving Schwarzer completely wrongfooted. Solskjaer celebrates.
Solskjaer's side have responded well to Chelsea's bright start and they enjoy a sustained spell of possession in the opposition half. Can they find the opening goal?
Cardiff have now gone 307 minutes without scoring a goal from open play.
Cardiff City have scored fewer first half goals than any other Premier League side in 2013-14 with a tally of just nine. Can they make it into double figures today? Marc Schwarzer is yet to be tested.
Cardiff launch their first attack of the match as Bellamy marauds down the left. However, Azpilicueta tracks the Welshman excellently and times his interception to perfection. The Spaniard has enjoyed a terrific season at Chelsea and can consider himself unfortunate to have missed out on the team of the year nominations.
Hazard caused Cardiff all sorts of problems when these two sides met back in January and he dances his way into the opposition box before cleverly picking out Matic whose shot is well blocked by John.
OSCAR GOES CLOSE! It's all Chelsea in the opening minutes of this match and Oscar continues his lively start by cutting inside from the left before his dipping effort goes narrowly over the crossbar.
There is a stoppage in play here as the referee asks the players to stamp on the balloons on the pitch. Despite being relegated, there is a good atmosphere inside Cardiff's stadium today.
CAULKER TO THE RESCUE! Chelsea have started brilliantly here and Torres is denied an early goal when he nips the ball away from Marshall before his shot is cleared off the line excellently by Caulker. Chelsea are not happy at all as they feel the balloons on the pitch prevented Torres from getting his shot away quickly.
PENALTY APPEAL FOR CHELSEA! The visitors threaten early on when Oscar receives Azpilicueta's pass before brilliantly spinning away from Turner. The Cardiff defender hauls Oscar down inside the box but the referee surprisingly waves away the appeals.
The referee blows his whistle and Cardiff, in their final Premier League game for the foreseeable future, get the ball rolling. Can they end their campaign with a win? Let's find out...
The two sides emerge from the tunnel to a great reception from both sets of fans. Captains Steven Caulker and Ashley Cole, in what is likely to be his last game for Chelsea, lead the handshakes between the respective sides. Today's referee is Michael Oliver.
Cardiff have found goals hard to come by in their debut Premier League season and have failed to find the net in 19 of their 37 matches. Unfortunately for the Bluebirds, they today face the league's meanest defence who have conceded just 26 goals all season.
Would Cardiff have been relegated had Malky Mackay still been in charge? The Scotsman earned four wins in his 18 Premier League games as manager while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a record of three wins in 17 league matches so far.
Even if Chelsea do win today, it will signal Jose Mourinho's worst Premier League season tally at the club. Chelsea have won only four of their last eight league games and it is against the lower sides that the Blues have come unstuck this season. It really is a case of what might have been for Chelsea.
Goals from Eden Hazard (2), Samuel Eto'o and Oscar gave Chelsea a comfortable 4-1 win when these two sides met earlier in the season. Cardiff's last home victory against Chelsea came in February 1963.
Chelsea bench: Hilario, Luiz, Schurrle, Ba, Cahill, Ake, Swift.
CHELSEA (4-2-3-1): Schwarzer; Azpilicueta, Kalas, Ivanovic, Cole; Mikel, Matic; Salah, Oscar, Hazard; Torres.
Cardiff bench: Lewis; Eikrem, Cowie, McNaughton, Berget, James, Healey.
CARDIFF (4-5-1): Marshall; Fabio, Caulker, Turner, John; Gunnarsson, Mutch, Whittingham, Daehli, Bellamy; Campbell.
CHELSEA TEAM NEWS: Mourinho makes six changes to the side which lumbered to a 0-0 draw with Norwich last weekend. Tomas Kalas makes his second start in the heart of defence following an impressive display at Liverpool and he is partnered by Branislav Ivanovic, with John Terry and Gary Cahill both being rested. Cesar Azpilicueta starts at right-back while John Obi Mikel and Oscar replace the ill-stricken Frank Lampard and Andre Schurrle in midfield. Eden Hazard returns to the starting lineup in place of Willian while Fernando Torres, in possibly his last game for the club, is preferred to Demba Ba.
CARDIFF TEAM NEWS: Solskjaer makes two changes to the side which suffered relegation with a 3-0 defeat to Newcastle last weekend. Craig Bellamy replaces Kim Bo-Kyung in the midfield while Norwegian January signing Mats Moller Daehli comes in for Manchester United loanee Wilfried Zaha. Juan Cala is suspended while Kevin Theophile-Catherine and Gary Medel miss out through injury.
As for Chelsea, they witnessed their Premier League title challenge falter in the closing weeks after shock defeats to Crystal Palace and Sunderland - with the latter ending Jose Mourinho's incredible league record at Stamford Bridge. Although Mourinho did mastermind the Blues' passage to the Champions League semi-finals, Chelsea will finish the season trophyless.
The stage is set for the final game of the 2013/14 Premier League season where both Cardiff City and Chelsea are forced to reflect on disappointing campaigns. The Bluebirds' season was marred by Vincent Tan's controversial decision to replace Malky Mackay with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and it has proved costly, with Cardiff being relegated back to the Championship after just one season in the top flight.
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