After 16 seconds, Reading forward Stephen Hunt smashed his knee into Chelsea keeper Petr Cech's head. Here's the video. Reading manager Steve Coppell says there was no intent. Maybe he's right. But it's clear that Hunt made no attempt to avoid any collision.
Cech had surgery for a depressed fracture of the skull.
So Carlo Cudicini came on to replace Cech and played for the whole game, up until he was taken out by Reading forward Ibrahim Sonko. Here's the video. Sonko makes no attempt at the ball. Cudicini was unconscious before he hit the ground. The thing that really bugs me about this one is that the ref doesn't immediately stop the game when Cudicini hits the deck and stops moving.
Somehow, some football pundits are blaming Cudicini for not preemptively taking out Sonko:
The clash with Ibrahima Sonko that led to Cech's replacement, Carlo Cudicini, being carried off was more straightforward. Twenty years ago, it would never have happened. Then, goalkeepers operated on the Julius Caesar principle. They came, they saw, they took everyone out, including sometimes their own defenders. The Italian is not the biggest of goalkeepers and nor is he the best at coming for crosses. Sonko's was a totally legitimate challenge and Cudicini was not as strong as he might have been.
Because we all know that English
The good news is that Cudicini only suffered a concussion, and should be back in training in a few weeks.
John Terry finished the game in goal, with Didier Drogba playing a decent central defender.
Now the 3rd string keeper, Hilario, will face Barcelona today. Before these injuries, he would have been lucky to face Yeovil Town in the FA Cup, and now he gets to face Ronaldihno, Eto'o, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Messi, and the champions of Europe. I don't envy him... but I'd rather be in his shoes than those of Cudicini or Cech.
Update: One nil to the Blues.