Demba Ba was given a rare start by Rafa Benitez in his return to Newcastle and short of losing a thumb and forgetting how to read, it was pretty much as awful as it could've possibly been. Chelsea came back from 1-0 down to take a 2-1 lead in the second half but eventually lose 3-2 -- a result that would've been painful enough for Ba even without getting his nose broken before halftime.
Ba was kicked in the face by Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini, which referee Howard Webb didn't think was worthy of a booking. After receiving treatment for several minutes and getting the middle of his face covered with tape to hold back the bleeding, Ba made a valiant effort to carry on, knowing that Fernando Torres would come on if he couldn't continue. Ba was having trouble with his vision though, so he was replaced by Torres in the 42nd minute, after Jonas Gutierrez scored Newcastle's first goal.
Said interim Chelsea destroyer Rafa Benitez after the match (via the BBC):
"I think there were too many mistakes. I could see a red card that was not shown for Coloccini," said Benitez.
"So we had a chance, he [Demba Ba] had the ball, he received a kick and got a broken nose, it was bleeding. It was so simple, if it was in the middle of park you would go back and give a free-kick.
"It is very simple and very clear - penalty and red card because it was a chance. It's a strange rule and the penalty could have changed everything."
Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
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