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Those were the (109) days! Guus Hiddink's reign as Chelsea boss

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03 Jun 2009 09:29:18

Those were the (109) days! Guus Hiddink's reign as Chelsea boss

Guus Hiddink finished his 109-day stint as Chelsea boss as the darling of west London, with an inscribed Rolex Daytona watch and an FA Cup winners' medal to boot. Under the Dutchman, Chelsea regained the assurance they lacked under Luiz Felipe Scolari, the talk of zonal marking systems became a thing of the past and players like Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda found their goal-scoring touch again. The Blues lost just one of Hiddink's 22 games in charge (discounting the FA Cup victory over Watford, which the 62-year-old watched from the stands), came within two minutes of the Champions League final, won their first trophy for two years and comfortably achieved third place in the Barclays Premier League. Sportsmail looks back on a brief encounter that turned Chelsea's stalling season into a relative success. Day One: February 11 Hiddink is appointed temporary manager following the sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari. 'It's a favour for a friend,' he says, adding he will combine the role with coaching the Russia national side. Day Two: February 12 'I want to see these results as soon as possible,' Hiddink tells Chelsea TV after flying in from Turkey, where he was overseeing a Russia training camp. 'I don't like to give anyone much time, not me and not the players, to get out a little bit more than sometimes they think they can bring.' Day Four: February 14 - Watford 1 Chelsea 3 Hiddink sits alongside Roman Abramovich at Vicarage Road as Ray Wilkins takes charge of team affairs. A Nicolas Anelka hat-trick ensures Chelsea avoid a potential banana skin in the FA Cup fifth round. Easy on the eye: Hiddink was watching with Blues owner Abramovich as Anelka (right) celebrated a treble at Watford with Kalou (left) and Drogba Day Six: February 16 Hiddink officially takes charge. Day 10: February 20  Hiddink's first press conference at Stamford Bridge. The vultures circle but the Dutchman wins over the media with his charming, laid-back manner. First impressions: Hiddink goes down well as he meets the press at the Bridge Day 11: February 21 - Aston Villa 0 Chelsea 1 The Guus-machine is underway with the Dutchman's first victory in the Premier League. Anelka is the star man as Hiddink names the Frenchman and Didier Drogba in the starting XI. Day 15: February 25 - Chelsea 1 Juventus 0 Hiddink's Champions League debut with Chelsea results in another win as the Blues gain a slender advantage over Juventus in the last 16 of the competition. The 1988 European Cup winner starts with Didier Drogba and Anelka harnessed in attack once again and this time it is the Ivory Coast striker who pops up with a goal. Driving seat: Drogba secures a first-leg victory over Italian giants Juve Day 18: February 28 - Chelsea 2 Wigan 1 A Frank Lampard header in the 90th minute, after John Terry's opener was cancelled out, preserves Hiddink's 100 percent record. 'I have to be happy but also critical as to where we need to improve,' says the Dutchman. Day 21: March 3 - Portsmouth 0 Chelsea 1 Drogba's goal is the difference as Chelsea's Premier League form under Hiddink continues on a soggy night at Fratton Park. Day 24: March 6 Hiddink rebukes Ashley Cole after the left back is arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly following a Chelsea charity event. 'I've spoken firmly with him about his responsibility,' says the Dutchman, who also had a word with skipper Terry and vice-captain Lampard. Day 25: March 7 - Coventry 0 Chelsea 2 Drogba makes it three goals in five victories under Hiddink, with Alex also on target, as Chelsea reach the FA Cup semi-finals for the third time in four seasons. Day 28: March 10 - Juventus 2 Chelsea 2 Drogba and Michael Essien grab the goals as the Blues hold on in Italy to reach the Champions League quarter-finals, winning 3-2 on aggregate. Italian job: Drogba scores again as Chelsea do enough in Turin Day 33: March 15 - Chelsea 1 Manchester City 0 Two goals in five days for Essien as Chelsea dominate at Stamford Bridge. Day 39: March 21 - Tottenham Hotspur 1 Chelsea 0 Hiddink's only defeat of his tenure comes courtesy of a Luka Modric goal at White Hart Lane. Dual role: Hiddink dishes out instructions to his Russia players in their clash with Azerbaijan Day 53: April 4 - Newcastle 0 Chelsea 2 The Dutchman returns to west London after the international break, having led Russia to a 2-0 win over Azerbaijan and a 1-0 victory against Liechtenstein. Chelsea resume normal service with Frank Lampard and Florent Malouda sinking  struggling Newcastle at St James' Park. Day 57: April 8 - Liverpool 1 Chelsea 3  The Blues storm back from a goal down at Anfield to give themselves a commanding lead in the Champions League quarter-finals. Branislav Ivanovic's double and a Drogba goal make the difference. Unlikely hero: Ivanovic's double earned Guus a Champions League win at Anfield Day 60: April 11 - Chelsea 4 Bolton 3  Michael Ballack, Lampard and a Drogba double has Chelsea in cruise control but the Trotters give their hosts a scare by scoring three goals in eight minutes. Hiddink's side hold on, but he isn't happy, saying Chelsea were 'sloppy and too relaxed and didn't win any duels defensively'. Day 63: April 14 - Chelsea 4 Liverpool 4  Wow. An eight-goal thriller at the Bridge earns Chelsea a Champions League semi-final place against Barcelona after a 7-5 aggregate win. Drogba, Alex and two from Lampard send Chelsea through. Day 67: April 18 - Arsenal 1 Chelsea 2  Hiddink's first trip to Wembley with the Blues and an FA Cup semi-final win against Arsenal thanks to Florent Malouda and Didier Drogba. Dig deep: Hiddink watched his side fall behind to a Theo Walcott goal at Wembley but Didier Drogba scored to sicken Arsenal and send Chelsea to the FA Cup final Day 71: April 22 - Chelsea 0 Everton 0  Chelsea are held at the Bridge by their FA Cup final opponents. Day 74: April 25 - West Ham 0 Chelsea 1 Salomon Kalou scores as a listless Chelsea manage a win at Upton Park with Barcelona looming on the horizon... Day 77: April 28 - Barcelona 0 Chelsea 0  It wasn't pretty but it was damn effective. Hiddink gets his tactics spot on as Chelsea stifle Barcelona at the Nou Camp in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final. HIDDINK'S 22 GAMESWon      16     Win %         73Drawn     5    Scored        41Lost         1    Conceded  18Day 81: May 2 - Chelsea 3 Fulham 1 The Blues trounce Europa League candidates Fulham 3-1 at the Bridge as Hiddink abandons his usual 4-3-3 formation and plays Drogba and Anelka together up front. They respond by scoring a goal each with Malouda also getting in on the act. Day 85: May 6 - Chelsea 1 Barcelona 1 Hiddink is within seconds of taking Chelsea to a second Champions League final after an Essien screamer puts the Blues in front. But the overtures of referee Tom Henning Ovrebo and an injury-time equaliser from Andres Iniesta turns celebration into despair as Barca go through on the away goals rule. 'There were three clear penalties and the boys feel that this is an injustice,' said Hiddink. Michael Ballacking: Chelsea went out of the Champions League to Barcelona but Hiddink's players lost the plot with referee Ovrebo at the end of the game Day 89: May 10 - Arsenal 1 Chelsea 4  The Blues help ease the disappointment of the match against Barcelona with a thumping win at the Emirates against Arsenal. Alex, Anelka, Malouda and a Kolo Toure own goal make it a miserable derby day for the Gunners. Day 96: May 17 - Chelsea 2 Blackburn 0  Hiddink's final home game. Chelsea pull off a convincing win and the crowd sing the Dutchman's name, holding up cards and banners begging him to stay. 'Of course I've had second thoughts about leaving,' he says. 'Third thoughts too and the reaction I've had was a big surprise, especially in a big football country like England.'   Fan-tastic: Chelsea supporters show their appreciation Day 103: May 24 - Sunderland 2 Chelsea 3  The Blues finish their Premier League campaign with another three points at the Stadium of Light. Anelka's 19th goal of the season gives earns him the Golden Boot, Players' Player of the Season Ashley Cole bags his first goal of 2008-09 and Chelsea finish in third place. Kalou is also on the scoresheet. Hiddink says: 'My time here has been amazing. Every minute there was good work. The boys responded to what we wanted.' Day 109: May 30 - Everton 1 Chelsea 2  Chelsea ensure a fairy tale finish to Hiddink's reign by beating Everton 2-1 in searing heat at Wembley. Louis Saha stuns teh Blues with the opener after just 25 seconds but Drogba and Lampard turn the game around. After lifting the trophy with Ray Wilkins and smoking a cigar in the dressing room, Hiddink is gone - bound for Russia where he watched their Cup final the following day. 'This is almost the perfect farewell,' says Hiddink, before admitting he would dearly loved to have played Manchester United during his time in England. The Dutchman has voiced his respect for Sir Alex Ferguson before and may feel like he has unfinished business on these shores after Chelsea's near-miss in the Champions League. He certainly hasn't ruled out a return - one gets the impression we haven't seen the last of Guus Hiddink just yet....  Silver lining: Hiddink's reign ended in style with the FA Cup triumph over Everton  Ancelotti has not lost his golden touch, insist Milan as Chelsea unveil their new bossTerry looking forward to Ancelotti guiding Chelsea to more gloryChelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti's first interview: I know how to win the Champions League - now I must do it againMartin Samuel: Carlo looks like a guy who has found a pretty new girlfriend. Truth is he's been dumped by his old oneCHELSEA FC


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