A GRAND COCK-UP GIFTS JOSE THE WIN
JERMAINE GRANDISON spared the blushes of Jose Mourinho last night, after the Blues needed an own goal to beat lowly Shrewsbury.
The Shrews defender’s 81st-minute header sealed the win following a massive shock by Andy Mangan just four minutes earlier.
Chelsea, given a fright in the early stages of the tie, took control after Didier Drogba put them ahead early in the second half.
And substitute Mangan gave Town hope when he hooked in an equaliser only 80 seconds after being sent on, but Grandison’s error sealed the tie as he glanced a header into his own goal with Drogba lurking.
Chelsea rested many of their regulars, with a substitutes’ bench which includes five players with 260 international caps between them.
But, with only three youngsters in Mourinho’s line-up, the League Two outfit still had to face a formidable side which featured the firepower of Oscar, Drogba and Andre Schurrle.
Shrewsbury also had to make a late reshuffle when James Wesolowski was injured in the warm-up and was replaced by the veteran midfielder Liam Lawrence.
They posed the first problem for Chelsea when Petr Cech did well to push out a header from Nat Knight-Percival.
Shrewsbury’s tidy style again stretched the Blues’ defence when Grant headed the ball down to Collins, who was crowded out on the six-yard line.
Chelsea finally began to trouble the Town back four in the final 15 minutes as Mohamed Salah made inroads down the right flank, but they could have conceded a 36thminute penalty when Drogba handled inside the area.
Salah split the Shrews’ defence with a slick move, leaving Drogba to finish stylishly with a crisp half-volley from 10 yards out.
Shrewsbury replied strongly and went close to an equaliser when Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro’s 55th-minute shot was deflected inches wide, but Chelsea took an iron grip on the tie and Schurrle and Drogba looked menacing with long-range efforts.
GRAND DAY OUT: Willian and Drogba celebrate Grandison’s own goal