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Milan 0-5 Chelsea


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AC Milan 0 - 5 Chelsea F.C.

August 3 2008, Russian Railways Cup, Stadium Lokomotiv, Moscow, Russia


Nicolas Anelka netted four goals as Chelsea tore apart Serie A giants Milan.

Completing an impressive pre-season which saw the Blues net nineteen goals in five matches, whilst conceding only one, Chelsea were a class apart from Carlo Ancelotti's injury-hit side, dominating proceedings and demonstrating that their new-found attacking freedom should be rightly feared by all in the Premier League. Frank Lampard opened the scoring with a deflected free-kick, before Anelka pounced to volley home a delightful second. The Frenchman was rampant and fired home after an error by Milan goalkeeper Kalac, before adding another two goals in the second half.

The result is clearly a pleasing one for the Blues, who will now look ahead to their opening league game against Portsmouth at Stamford Bridge. With exceptionally-high morale and the players oozing confidence, Manchester United will no doubt be looking over their shoulder come the beginning of the new Premier League campaign. However, despite the impressive result, goalkeeper Petr Cech remains adamant that the crushing defeat over the Rossoneri was heavily influenced by the superior fitness of the Blues, who began their pre-season two weeks ahead of their Milan opponents. 'There is still a lot of work to do,' Cech said, casting his mind to Chelsea's potentially tricky opening salvo of league matches.

Branislav Ivanovic was deployed at right-back ahead of Paulo Ferreira, and Luiz Felipe Scolari elected to rest Portuguese star Deco, instead offering Michael Ballack his first pre-season football. Michael Essien was dropped to the bench as Malouda began on the left wing. Milan were not without big names themselves, as Kalac, Maldini, Zambrotta, Ambrosini, Kaladze, Pirlo, Seedorf and Gattuso all featured in Moscow.

Milan kicked off, but without a recognised striker the team had no shape and were immediately on the back foot. It took the Blues less than two minutes to open the scoring; midfielder Frank Lampard on the score sheet. Firing in an inswinging free-kick, the ball took a slight deflection off of a Milan defender, fooling Kalac and directing the ball through the goalkeeper's legs.

An ideal start was capped off less than five minutes later as Anelka superbly doubled the Blues' lead. Malouda's cross-field ball, searching for the diminutive figure of Wright-Phillips, was only partially cleared by the Milan defenders, allowing Anelka the opportunity to volley home from outside the box. It was a clinical finish and testament to the confidence of the French striker.

Chelsea were totally monopolising in possession and territory, and Ambrosini; acting as Milan's forward, was totally isolated against the Chelsea backline. Wright-Phillips volleyed over from 20 yards as the Blues continued their offensive onslaught, but a series of unforced errors by the Milan side appeared to be giving Scolari's side a helping hand. Closed down by Anelka and Malouda, veteran defender Maldini passed the ball back to Kalac, who inexplicably slipped and kicked nothing but air, allowing Anelka to steal in and slot the ball home. Milan as an attacking force were inexistent, and their defensive displays were leaving much to be desired.

All that Milan could offer in return was a fierce drive from Pirlo. The Italian, famed for his long-ranged shooting, failed to test Petr Cech, who watched on as the ball sailed high and wide. Anelka headed wide moments later as Chelsea hit the Italians on the break. Ivanovic beat Favalli, but his ball into the box took the slightest of deflections and Anelka couldn't readjust himself in time. Wright-Phillips spurned a similar chance moments later, but the Blues were unable to add to their impressive half-time lead.

Ballack, eased into his first pre-season action under Scolari, was replaced at high-time by Deco, and it took the Portuguese magician only a matter of moments to make his mark. Splitting the defence to find Malouda, Deco's pass allowed the Frenchman to launch a teasing cross between the goalkeeper and his centre-backs to the far stick, were Anelka headed home with aplomb. A stunning hat-trick was made all the more impressive by the quality of Chelsea's attacking play in the build up to the finish from Anelka.

Deco was at it again moments later, combining once more with Malouda down the left flank. The Portuguese midfielder's pass found Ashley Cole, whose clever knock down allowed Malouda to pick out Anelka once again, and his compatriot made no mistake as he slid in to add his fourth goal of the afternoon.

Deco tested Kalac himself with a blistering drive before the end, and Wright-Phillips' darting run was also denied by the goalkeeper. Malouda narrowly volleyed over with 80 minutes played, before Deco cracked an effort wide on his right foot. The result is an excellent one for Luiz Felipe Scolari ahead of Chelsea's league opener at the Bridge, and the form of Anelka is a welcome reprieve to the manager with Claudio Pizarro and Salomon Kalou unavailable.

Chelsea: Cech [6] (Cudicini [6]), Ivanovic [7] (Ferreira [6]), Alex [6], Terry [6] (Carvalho [6]), A Cole [7], Ballack [6] (Deco [7]), Mikel [7], Lampard [7], Wright-Phillips [7] (Sinclair [6]), Anelka [10] (Shevchenko [6]), Malouda [8]

Attendance: Approx. 20,000

Referee: Yuri Baskakov

Star Man : Nicolas Anelka


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Good morale booster demolishing the all time best Italian team albeit at below par strength. Sterling performances all round.

Le Sulk is coming into top form, and could be better than his early career days. Their keeper will be on Harry Hills You've Been Framed or TV Burp or something....

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Good morale booster demolishing the all time best Italian team albeit at below par strength. Sterling performances all round.

Chels needs to make this a habit. Granted it was only an exhibition match but Chelsea allowed too many teams to hang about last season, ie (the Wigan match/late Heskey equaliser), it costs them points and ultimately the title in the long run. Well done.

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