Chelsea lost the first leg to a 1-0 scoreline against Manchester United after Wayne Rooney's 24th minute goal proved the difference between the two sides on Wednesday. However, despite Chelsea being denied a clear penalty in the dying stages of the match, which would have allowed them to equalize, one of the main talking points of the match took place in the 70th minute when Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti decided to substitute Didier Drogba instead of the ineffectual Fernando Torres.
Drogba walked back to the take his seat in the bench and didn't make much of an effort to hide his disappointment, sneering with disbielef at one point. The 33-year-old has a reason to feel hard done. Up until then, Drogba was one of Chelsea's best players in a poor performance from the Blues and had troubled Evra on numerous occasions with his physique and crossing down the right. He had tested United keeper Edwin Van der Sar with a powerful, rising effort after the half-hour mark and at the end of the first half, it was from his cross that Chelsea created their best chance of the game when Torres flicked the ball against the far post before Lampard's first time effort on the rebound was cleared by Evra on the line.
Torres was listless in the second half, while Drogba looked far more likely to score. As Chelsea labored on unimpressively, a change was required and the wide opinion was that Anleka should come on for Torres. However, when the line official held up Drogba's number, disbilief was evident all over Stamford Bridge. One of the main question arising out of this development is whether Ancelotti is paying the price for Torres' £50m price tag by having to play him under the orders of the watching owner Roman Abramovich? Or is he stubborn to get the best out his most expensive player?
Irrespective of what it is, Ancelotti faces dire consequences with substitutions of this nature. He will lose the dressing room, along with both Drogba and Anelka, who have both developed a partnership and will feel hard done for being dropped. Consider this - Anelka, Chelsea's top scorer in the Champions League, was benched for Torres who hasn't scored in 527 minutes of football in one of Chelsea's biggest matches of the season against Manchester United.
Players will begin to raise questions and Ancelotti will have to do some explaining behind the scenes at Stamford Bridge. If things don't work out, Chelsea could be headed for a major upheaval during the summer to satisfy the itching, axe-weilding hands of Roman Abramovich.