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A Bridge too far, just!

In his latest blog for the Chelsea website, Stephen Rea explains why tiredness got the better of him for our clash with Cardiff but was back fresh and alert to watch our victory over Brighton.

I returned home from the pub happy after watching Chelsea defeat Brighton. But I have a confession to make. The first half of the Cardiff game was a (Stamford) Bridge too far for me.

For most Blues fans in the States, the time difference means we have to be creative if we want to watch midweek matches. Where I live in the central time zone for instance, we are usually six hours behind the UK, and contests will likely start at noon (for certain Europa League ties), or between 1.30pm and 2pm.

Weekend kick-offs are anywhere from 6.30am to 10am, and I always follow those as well. Even if I've been out late the previous evening, after Mardi Gras parades, Halloween parties and Carnival celebrations, I still drag myself out of bed, often before dawn, to cheer on the Blues.

But I turn 50 this year, and travelling gets harder as you get older. You know what makes it harder? Travelling with a child. Then discovering the airline has lost your luggage.

I took my daughter back to Northern Ireland for her school spring break. For the return flight to the USA last Saturday, we were up at 6.45am for the 100-mile bus journey taking two hours from Belfast to Dublin airport.

We were ready to depart when the captain announced that the generator was not working and engineers were coming to fix it. We sat on the tarmac for two hours, they repaired it, then we flew to Washington DC. There we had another two hours before flying to Charlotte where my daughter lives.

Unfortunately, our baggage did not turn up. To complicate matters, I'd booked the trip with one airline, flown another across the Atlantic, and used a third for the internal flight. By the time we filed a lost- luggage report and left the airport, we had been on the go for more than 20 hours.

Of course, the next day Chelsea had an early kick-off in Wales. The action started at 9am on the Eastern seaboard, but I slept through my alarm. I guess at my age I needed the sleep. Thankfully I woke at half-time and streamed the second period on my laptop, although I didn't make it out of bed.

It seemed like a nightmare when the Bluebirds went ahead within seconds of me tuning in. But snatching three points with two late goals? That’s the stuff dreams are made of.

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