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Chengdu Blades 0 - 7 Chelsea F.C.

July 26 2008, Pre-season Friendly, Macau Sports Center, Macau, China


Chelsea continued their excellent form in China with a 7-0 demolition of Super League side Chengdu Blades.

Following their 4-0 victory over Guangzhou in the previous pre-season friendly, Luiz Felipe Scolari's side showed no quarter as they put the Blades to the sword. First-half goals from the impressive Nicolas Anelka, Salomon Kalou and Frank Lampard but the Blues in a dominating position, before substitutes Joe Cole and Franco di Santo added another three goals between them. Shaun Wright-Phillips was the benefactor of a huge slice of luck moments after Cole had back-healed home from six yards, as Florent Malouda's shot rebounded off the head of the diminutive figure and into the back of the net.

Petr Cech, a spectator for the hour he played in Macau, began in goal, with Ashley Cole, John Terry and Alex in the backline - Paulo Ferreira replaced the injured Jose Bosingwa, who earlier flew back to Cobham to begin his rehabilitation. Frank Lampard, Deco and Michael Essien featured in a three-man midfield, as John Obi Mikel dropped to the bench; replaced by Wright-Phillips, who partnered Nicolas Anelka and Kalou up front.

The result was never in doubt as a strong Chelsea side looked to make an early breakthrough. There was only two minutes on the clock when Frank Lampard shot towards goal, but the strike lacked conviction and Lan Yi gathered comfortably. Deco was beginning to stamp his authority on the game, and the Portuguese midfielder was involved when Salomon Kalou was presented with an excellent scoring opportunity. Deco threaded the ball to Nicolas Anelka, whose deft touch allowed Kalou a yard of space, but the Ivorian drilled his shot just beyond the upright. A difficult opportunity, but a chance nonetheless, but the Blues were demonstrating their ability to carve the Chinese side's defence open with ease.

However, Chelsea were not to be denied, and Nicolas Anelka superbly slotted home on the quarter-hour mark. Shaun Wright-Phillips' through ball found Anelka onside, and the Frenchman coolly took the ball around the advancing goalkeeper before tapping home without difficulty. It was a class goal, and a welcome morale boost to a player who had yet to find the net in a Chelsea shirt since February. The same player drove half a yard wide moments later, latching onto Essien's pass but firing wide of the mark. The Blues were clearly in the mood for some dazzling attacking play.

Wright-Phillips soon shot over after a clever one-two with Anelka, but the England winger made amends moments later when he contributed to the second Chelsea goal, by setting Anelka on his way. The Frenchman cleverly passed to the unmarked Kalou, who fired home with the goalkeeper nowhere. It was the Ivorian's second goal in as many pre-season games.

A third goal was a welcome reward just seven minutes later. Following a goal ruled out for offside by Anelka, Lampard made no mistake when he was gifted a glorious opportunity by Kalou. The Ivorian rolled the ball to Lampard, who finished with aplomb from 10 yards on the half-volley, after the goalkeeper had gone walk-about. Following a minute of stoppage time, the Blues went in three-up, and with plenty left in the tank. Thus far, the game had been a walk in the park, with the Chelsea players showing no signs of urgency following Lampard's goal. Yet with more difficult tests to come, Scolari will have been delighted with his team's performance in the first-half.

A succession of substitutions at the interval saw Ferreira, Ashley Cole and Alex replaced by Ivanovic, Wayne Bridge and Carvalho at the back. Mikel replaced goalscorer Lampard and Malouda came on in place of Kalou; slotting into the left-wing position. Joe Cole would enter the fray moments later, replacing skipper John Terry. A reshuffle in the defence which saw Essien slot in at right-back meant Wright-Phillips moved into midfield alongside Deco and Mikel. Ricardo Carvalho took the captain's armband.

And it was Cole who added the fourth goal with his first contribution to the game. Anelka delightfully threaded the ball through to the Chelsea number 10, who rounded the goalkeeper and finished on his left foot. It was trademark Cole, and the winger showed his gratitude for Anelka's vision. Anelka could have had a second goal moments later, but headed just over from Malouda's cross. It was to be his last action of the game as Franco di Santo, scorer of the third goal against Guangzhou, replaced him, whilst Henrique Hilario replaced Petr Cech in the bright orange jersey.

Joe Cole and Ricardo Carvalho combined on 65 minutes, the Portuguese defender crossing from di Santo. After some haphazard defending, di Santo rifled home from 10 yards on his left foot for his second goal in two friendly matches. Joe Cole made it 6-0 with nine minutes remaining, converting Essien's rifled cross delightfully by back-heeling the ball through the legs of the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner.

But the comedy moment of the day followed, with Wright-Phillips inadvertently scoring. Following brilliant work by Malouda to shake off two markers, the Frenchman powered a shot on goal. Whilst the ball appeared to be heading wide, it ricocheted off the back of the England star and beyond a shell-shocked Lan Yi, who had only moments previously spectacularly denied di Santo a second after the Argentinean striker had scuffed goalwards. But di Santo was guilty of a shocking miss moments before the end, as he toed the ball into the ground and over the bar from a Malouda cross with the goalkeeper beaten.

However, it was to be elementary, as Chelsea claimed a convincing triumph ahead of their game against the Malaysian XI on Tuesday. Scolari's side are gathering steam, and their crushing wins over both Guangzhou and Chengdu Blades are sure to help the confidence of the side ahead of their Premier League opener with Portsmouth at the Bridge.

Match Fact : A donation from the game's proceeds will go towards the Sichuan earthquake appeal.

Chelsea: Cech [6] (Hilario [6]), Ferreira [6] (Ivanovic [6]), Terry [6] (Joe Cole [8]), Alex [6] (Carvalho [6]), Ashley Cole [6] (Bridge [6]), Lampard [6] (Mikel [6]), Essien [8], Deco [7], Kalou [7] (Malouda [7]), Anelka [9] (di Santo [6]), Wright-Phillips [7].

Attendance: Approx. 15,000

Referee: Tou Lap Meng

Star Man : Nicolas Anelka


Edited by BlueLion
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What a fucking great game, watched the whole thing on Chelsea TV online :D I know it's against a mediocre Chinese side but it was good to see us performing well. Scored 11 goals in two games, while Manure struggled against Kaiser Chiefs 1-1 ;)

Biggest highlight for me was when Franco di Santo scored. He has two goals now, so lets hope that tally keeps going up. He's a great talent who gets into the right places when the ball comes into the area, and he has goo all-round speed as well, which helps his game a great deal.

Next up is the Malaysia Select XI, feeling confident with this one but I think the game is going to prove harder than the last two games.

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