Blues beaten in Yokohama
Chelsea added global humiliation to their European embarrassment on Sunday as they became the first Champions League holders to fail to win the Club World Cup for six years going down 1-0 to Corinthians.
A week and a half after making the wrong sort of history by crashing out of the competition that means the most to them, the Blues were at it again in Japan as they surrendered a trophy for the fourth time already this season.
Despite being firm favourites to beat Corinthians in Yokohama, the Brazilians sealed victory through Paolo Guerrero. Fernando Torres had a golden chance to take the game to extra-time but the Spaniard missed an absolute sitter and saw a stoppage-time header ruled out for offside after Gary Cahill was sent off.
Corinthians outworked Chelsea from the first whistle but there was encouragement for Rafael Benitez's men when a goalmouth scramble from a corner saw Cahill narrowly fail to stab the ball past Cassio in what came close to being arguably the first high-profile test of goalline technology.
David Luiz did well to outfox Emerson after Juan Mata uncharacteristically passed straight to the forward, and Luiz came to the rescue again after wasting a free-kick from which the Brazilians broke, while Guerrero appealed in vain for a penalty, having brilliantly nutmegged Cahill.
Cahill then got away with a major error just before the half-hour mark as Emerson panicked after the defender's slip and blazed over. Torres had offered little threat but that almost changed spectacularly eight minutes from the break when he superbly brought down Frank Lampard's ball over the top only to stab straight at Cassio.
A lightning Chelsea breakaway saw Hazard feed Victor Moses and the latter's curling shot forcing a wonderful fingertip save from Cassio, who also held Mata's volley. Chelsea continued probing following the restart as Lampard saw a shot charged down, Hazard was denied by the legs of Cassio and Moses's knockdown was just behind Torres.
But Corinthians snatched the lead in the 69th minute as Henrique and Danilo danced across the box, Cahill's block simply teeing up Guerrero to head home.
Benitez's lack of attacking options became apparent when he withdrew Branislav Ivanovic for Cesar Azpilicueta. Chelsea's golden chance came five minutes from time when the ball broke perfectly for Torres to beat Cassio from six yards but he could only send his shot straight at the keeper.
Oscar's control also let him down after he got in behind and Chelsea's misery was complete when Cahill was sent off for an off-the-ball clash with Emerson, Torres' header was rightly ruled out, and Mata failed to poke home from a narrow angle.