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Boro 0 - 2 Chelsea


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Middlesbrough 0 - 2 Chelsea

_41009304_boro_416x300.jpg20 October, FA Premier League, The Riverside StadiumA first Chelsea goal for Alex Da Costa saw Chelsea comfortable victors at the Riverside, after Didier Drogba had cut open the Middlesbrough defence to put the away team ahead. _44188380_didigoal203.jpgThe win is a welcome one for Avram Grant's side, and the team's third consecutive away victory. Didier Drogba answered his critics with an excellent interchange with Frank Lampard was followed by an excellent low shot to put Chelsea a goal up, before a free-kick from recent arrival Alex Da Costa just before the hour ensured the three points would come to Stamford Bridge.Middlesbrough were off the pace and even playmaker Stuart Downing had a quiet afternoon. Mido troubled the Chelsea defence on a number of occasions but Petr Cech was equal to the Egyptian striker both times.The game was played at a frantic pace in the opening five minutes before Chelsea took control of the match. John Obi Mikel, returning from suspension, was at the heart of the Chelsea midfield and it was his creative vision which brought about the first goal. Passing to Drogba on the wing, Mikel's run gave the Ivorian space to play a one-two with Frank Lampard to carve open the Middlesbrough defence. Drogba's shot was struck hard and low and beyond goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who was slow to react and charge off his line._44188615_alexgoal220.jpgMoments later, Gary O'Neil skipped past Paulo Ferreira and the winger whipped a cross to the near post, where it was met by Mido. The Egyptian headed the ball down, but a wonderful reaction save from Petr Cech ensured Chelsea's recent run of clean sheets in the Premier League was continued.Middlesbrough were enjoying more and more possession as the first half came to an end, but poor crosses from both flanks meant little pressure was put on the Blues defence, and Juliano Belletti excelled to clear the ball on two occasions. Drogba had Chelsea's best chance before the interval, but his low free-kick was just wide of the bottom corner.The second half saw Mido yet again beat the Chelsea defence in the air, but his header was straight into Cech's open arms. By the turn of the hour, Chelsea were in the ascendancy, but their next form of inspiration came from an unlikely source.Winning a free-kick, Chelsea captain Frank Lampard set-up Alex to hit a 34-yard pile driver. The Brazilian smashed the ball into the top corner without hesitation; the goal his first for his club, but not the first of his career from such a position.Chelsea ended the match comfortably, completely dominating the remaining half-an-hour. Malouda and Lampard had decent chances to increase the lead, but Chelsea escaped conceding in the dying moments of the game when O'Neil blazed over from close range.Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Young, Woodgate, Riggott, Taylor, O'Neil, Boateng (Cattermole 67), Rochemback, Downing, Sanli (Craddock 84), MidoSubs Not Used: Turnbull, Lee, WheaterBooked: BoatengChelsea: Cech, 7 Belletti, 6, Alex, 7, Carvalho, 7, Ferreira, 5, Lampard, 7, Makelele, 6, Mikel, 8, Malouda, 6, Joe Cole, 7, Drogba, 7Subs Used: Sidwell, 7, Shevchenko, 6, Wright-Phillips, 6Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Ben HaimBooked: MaloudaGoals: Drogba 8, Alex 57Att: 27,699Ref: Mark Halsey

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