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Chelsea 4-0 Portsmouth


Your man of the match?  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Who impressed you over the course of the game?

    • Bosingwa
    • Deco
    • Anelka
    • Malouda

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Chelsea F.C. 4 - 0 Portsmouth

August 17 2008, Premier League, Stamford Bridge, London


A majestic opening performance to the Premier League season saw Chelsea destroy Portsmouth.

Joe Cole fired home following Michael Ballack's marvellous pass, before Nicolas Anelka and Frank Lampard added goals before the interval. Deco's thunderous fourth was the pick of the goals as Chelsea swept aside Harry Redknapp's team in Luiz Felipe Scolari's first competitive match in charge of the Blues.

Deadly from start to finish, the Chelsea crowd were treated to some magnificent football as Scolari elected to field a side full of pace and attacking energy. With Didier Drogba still on the sidelines, Nicolas Anelka was given the opportunity to take his excellent pre-season form into a match situation, with Joe Cole and debutant Deco featuring behind the French striker. Michael Ballack was given a start with Michael Essien nursing an injury, and Frank Lampard and Mikel John Obi also in the midfield three. Ashley Cole, John Terry, and Portuguese duo Ricardo Carvalho and Jose Bosingwa completed the line-up, with Petr Cech in goal.

Portsmouth were not without talent themselves, as their side featured both Jermaine Defoe and Peter Crouch up front, whilst Glen Johnson and Lassana Diarra played against their former employers.

Chelsea began with much vigour, relentlessly spraying passes all across the field. Deco and Lampard were central to the Blues' creative genius as they looked for an early advantage. After combining with Mikel and Bosingwa, Michael Ballack was able to present Joe Cole with such an opportunity. Playing the ball perfectly beyond Sylvain Distin and into Cole's path, last season's player of the year did not disappoint as he lashed the ball beyond a beleaguered David James.

The Blues were rampant and their attacking enthusiasm was greatly received by the Stamford Bridge faithful, who were in excellent voice throughout this seemingly difficult opening fixture. However, Chelsea were adamant on sending out a message to Liverpool and Arsenal, who both began their seasons with hard-fought 1-0 victories against Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion respectively.

And the home side were 2-0 up within twenty six minutes, as Nicolas Anelka rose to head home under pressure. Having previously been denied brilliantly by the feet of James, Anelka beat Glen Johnson in the air to power home a bullet header after Deco had lofted it into the six yard box. With David James in No Man's Land, the Frenchman coolly made it 4-0 to the West London outfit.

Anelka was in fine form; firing over from range on a number of occasions, and his pace and intelligent running was causing no end of problems for the Pompey defenders, but Chelsea's attacking play suffered a setback when Michael Ballack was forced to retire due to injury. His replacement; Florent Malouda, almost made an instant impact, but his low cross across the face of the goal failed to be converted by the waiting Chelsea forwards.

Cech was called into action twice moments later, denying first Krancjar before smothering an effort by Crouch with his body, before Lampard put the game beyond the reach of the visitors. Winning a penalty after Distin obviously handled Joe Cole's cross, the England international sent James the wrong way with a cool spot kick to strike on the opening day of the season for the second time in two campaigns.

The second half saw Chelsea play much more conservatively, the game already in no doubt. However Portsmouth were mustering somewhat of a fight back, and it took strong defending from Terry and Mikel to prevent Harry Redknapp's side from forcing an opening. Ricardo Carvalho was lucky to escape with what appeared to be a handball in the penalty area, but the Portuguese defender's arms were positioned close to his body and any contact would have been accidental.

Defoe and Crouch were struggling against the athleticism of the Chelsea backline and Cech's dominance in the air, and save for a poor punch from the Czech goalkeeper, Portsmouth failed to push the Czech into action.

Joe Cole burst through the Portsmouth defence by under pressure from Distin, fired a couple of yards wide, before Anelka fired inches over. Lampard, who had tested James' handling early on with a number of driving efforts, launched a clever pass to the far post following Deco's short corner, but Carvalho miscued his header and the chance went begging.

However Chelsea's commitment to attack paid off as Deco scored an incredible - and deserved - debut goal. Receiving the ball from Wright-Phillips, he took two touches before smashing the ball into the top corner of the goal from all of twenty five yards. Whilst James got a hand to the ball, the power of the shot from Chelsea's number 20 took the ball beyond the England goalkeeper and into the back of the net. Portsmouth fashioned their best chance straight from the kick-off, but Younes Kaboul's shot was straight at Petr Cech who pushed the ball away effectively.

The final whistle was sounded, accompanied by massive cheers from the Stamford Bridge faithful. A dominant display in which debutants Jose Bosingwa and Deco starred in complimented by the beautiful football played by the Blues gave Big Phil the perfect start as Chelsea manager. Bring on Wigan!

Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Carvalho, Terry, Ashley Cole, Ballack, Lampard, Obi, Deco, Joe Cole, Anelka.
Subs: Hilario, Di Santo, Malouda, Bridge, Ferreira, Wright-Phillips, Alex.

Portsmouth: James, Kaboul, Campbell, Distin, Hreidarsson, Johnson, Diarra, Diop, Kranjcar, Defoe, Crouch.
Subs: Ashdown, Lauren, Thomas, Utaka, Mvuemba, Cranie, Traore.

Attendance: Approx. 41,361

Referee: Mike Dean

Star Man : Deco


Edited by BlueLion
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Why the heck are Anelka and Malouda in that poll? Neither of them were particularly good. Should be Lampard/Ballack/Mikel/J. Cole ahead of them.

Of course it was Deco I voted for, he played pretty well, but with the amount of misplaced passes you know that on an on day, he could rip anybody apart.

My player ratings:

Cech: 8

Bosingwa: 7

A. Cole: 7

Carvalho: 7

Terry: 7

Mikel: 8

Lampard: 8

Ballack: 7

Deco: 8

J. Cole: 8

Anelka: 7


Malouda: 7

Ferreira: 7

Wright-Phillips: 6

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My player ratings:

Cech: 7

Somehow kept out kaboul, never afraid to dive in like a madman to catch a ball. in essence his usual self

Bosingwa: 7

Would be 8 but had one or two rusty moments in defense

A. Cole: 7

No longer embarasses himself when ever he gets the ball in a position high up the pitch.

Carvalho: 7

Some blatant shirt pulling but other than that did his usual quiet and under-rated job at the back.

Terry: 7

Great positioning and distribution as ever to help cut out the use of Crouch as a target man.

Mikel: 7

Less aggressive than Makelele but has better technique and vision. Deep lying playmaker who wasn't afraid to make some very powerful runs forward. Only downside was his long range shooting which I felt he rushed - he had more space ahead of him to run into but he didn't have the composure to hold onto the ball any longer. Better than Anderson's shooting, anyway :P:

Lampard: 8

Usual self, scored a penalty

Ballack: 8

Despite having hardly any match practice he was heavily involved and setup a goal. Shooting was a bit wayward, but it will improve.

Deco: 9

Always there in defense, attack, and everything in between, our most important player on the day and got himself on the scoresheet. A poor tackle which should of been yellow-carded is the only thing stopping him from getting a 10.

J. Cole: 8

Started to run out of steam at the end of last season but is back to the brilliant form that led him to be our player of the season last year. Got on the scoresheet, made some clever runs, provided endless trickery and was in general very good.

Anelka: 7

Got himself on the scoresheet, was always trying to get involved, and could've had a hattrick if he had his shooting boots on and were it not for some brilliant keeping from James. Would of probably done better if James wasn't wise to his tricks (always trying to round the keeper). A completely different player to what we experienced last season.


Malouda: 6

Much improved on last season, I think he put in a great cross accross the goal as well that someone should of tapped in. But on the whole not involved enough to get 7+.

Ferreira: 6

Reliable at the back as ever. Good distribution from deep. But no real intent or ability up the pitch.

Wright-Phillips: 6

Took players on and cut inside instead of trying to cross (exactly what he needs to do considering his lack of consistent crossing), passed the ball around with Deco to give Deco his shooting chance. Not good enough for a 7 really though.

Very pleased with our new signings. They both provide exactly what little we needed - we now have balanced full backs for once (they both attack and defend with similar ability, both are quick, etc) and Deco gave us more creativity/passing/vision.

This season is looking very bright indeed :D

Edited by Mart
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