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Portsmouth 0-4 Chelsea


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Portsmouth 0 - 4 Chelsea F.C.

September 24 2008, Carling Cup, Third Round, Fratton Park, Portsmouth


Frank Lampard scored twice as Chelsea breezed past Harry Redknapp's Portsmouth in the Carling Cup.

The England midfielder got the ball rolling ten minutes before the interval with a penalty after Michael Ballack had been hacked down in the area by Algerian defender Nadir Belhadj, before Florent Malouda hammered home a second moments later. Lampard and Kalou added goals in the second half as last season's finalists made it through to the Fourth Round.

The Fratton Park crowd was expecting a response after their 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Manchester City at the weekend - a side Chelsea had previously tamed 3-1 - but they would have been disappointed when the home side lined up in a defensive 4-5-1 formation. Luiz Felipe Scolari demonstrated his intentions to show respect to both the opposition and the competition by fielding a strong line-up, which featured Didier Drogba in a starting role for the first time since the Champions League final in May. Whilst John Mikel Obi, Joe Cole, Ashley Cole and Jose Bosingwa were all rested, the Blues starting eleven featured the likes of John Terry, Lampard, Michael Ballack and Petr Cech, and the Blues seized the initiative early on, dominating play and creating several early chances.

Portsmouth were limiting Chelsea through their defensive ploys, but the flair and quality of the visitors' attacking play could not be denied by any rearguard, and within minutes the Blues had fashioned several chances. Michael Ballack played in Drogba, who unleashed a rasping drive from all of 25 yards that David James happily saw fizz past the upright, before Kalou poked wide after being put through on goal with the goalkeeper advancing.

But the home side could only hold on for so long, and on 36 minutes, Chelsea made their breakthrough. Ballack was cynically scythed down by Belhadj inside the area, and Frank Lampard made no mistake from the spot, scoring his second penalty kick against Portsmouth this season.

Belhadj had earlier had the opportunity to open the scoring, but he had wastefully smacked the ball over the crossbar from Crouch's knock-down. Portsmouth were failing to create chances and even the pace of John Utaka and the physical presence of Crouch was doing little to deter the comfortable partnership of Terry and Alex at the back.

On the stroke of half-time, Malouda added a second. Kalou's lay-off from Wayne Bridge's throw carved the Pompey defence in two, allowing the Frenchman to hammer a shot beyond James from fifteen yards. The goal signalled Chelsea's complete dominance in the game and a second strike of the season for Malouda suggests the former Lyon man has finally found his feet at the London club.

A third goal was scored within four minutes of the restart, but the Fratton Park support barely knew anything about it. Ballack stroked the ball across the field to the waiting Salomon Kalou, whose ball across the six yard box glanced off David James' knee and into the path of an unaware Frank Lampard. The ball hit the England midfielder on the leg and bounced into the goal, and his low-key celebration in front of the Portsmouth home end perhaps demonstrated the embarrassing ease at which the Blues - kitted out in all-yellow - were tearing their team to shreds.

Portsmouth seemed happy to help Chelsea score, as another howler by their defence allowed the away side to score a fourth goal. Distin was far too casual in his clearance, striking the ball against the bulking frame of debutant Branislav Ivanovic, before Kalou collected the loose ball, and drilled it beyond the hapless David James.

Chelsea could have extended their lead but we happy to play keep-ball, as Scolari's side continued to demonstrate their dominance in matches, and their brilliant attacking play, that richly rewarded the travelling away supporters. With Stoke at the weekend, the manager will be hoping to continue this good form into October.

Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Pamarot, Distin, Hreidarsson, Utaka, Mvuemba, Kaboul, Hughes (Wilson), Belhadj (Traore), Crouch (Kanu)

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Alex, Bridge, Belletti, Ballack (Ferreira), Lampard (Sinclair), Kalou, Malouda, Drogba (Di Santo)

Attendance: 15,339

Star Man : Salomon Kalou


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