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Rosenborg 0 - 4 Chelsea


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Rosenborg BK 0 - 4 Chelsea FC

040928_lerkendal.jpgChampions League, 28 November, Lerkendal, Trondheim, NorwayDidier Drogba excelled as Chelsea qualified for the last sixteen of the Champions League as group winners and in considerable style.The result was never in doubt from the kick-off, as Chelsea took just eight minutes to mark their dominance on the game. With Didier Drogba in rampant mood and the Chelsea midfield slick in possession, it was no surprise to see the Ivorian enjoy his appearance against the Norwegian side's ageing centre-halves. Ashley Cole and Joe Cole were in fabulous attacking form, as Chelsea enjoyed arguably their best performance of the season. Even Avram Grant was smiling at his team's attacking exploits that left the FA Cup holders 3-0 up at half-time before Joe Cole put the game beyond all doubt.There were no fresh injury news for the Chelsea team that were unbeaten in 12 matches under their new coach, although Ballack, Cech, Ferreira and Carvalho were all long-term absentees. Cudicini continued in goal, with the defence boosted by the return of Brazilian Alex. With Ferreira absent, Belletti continued at right-back. Makelele moved into midfield as Essien replaced the rested Mikel in an attacking role, and Drogba replaced Shevchenko. Kalou dropped to the bench to allow Joe Cole to take his place in the front three.Rosenborg fielded Yssouf Kone, a player allegedly linked with a January move to Chelsea, although he found that the form team in the Premier League boasted a tough defence.The game began at a lively tempo, unsurprising considering the temperature at kick-off. Chelsea might have had the lead after just 59 seconds, but Drogba found his marker hard to lose and poked wide under pressure. The Ivorian talisman had another chance, but made amends for his earlier miss when he put Chelsea ahead on 8 minutes. Joe Cole's excellent mazy run saw the England midfielder leave three Rosenborg defenders beaten, and his stinging shot was well blocked by Hirschfeld in the home goal. However, Drogba was on hand to rifle home from close range with the goalkeeper helpless, and his comical celebration brought many a laugh to the Chelsea ranks._44268210_drog_ap.jpgDrogba is first to react when Rosenborg 'keeper Hirschfeld blocks Joe Cole's long-range effortThe second goal was fortunate from a Chelsea perspective. Wright-Phillips did brilliantly to beat his man; dogged determination saw him win two 50-50 challenges before feeding Ghanaian Michael Essien. Whilst the midfielder, sent off at Derby at the weekend, failed to make a proper connection, Drogba was on hand to steer the ball into the far corner, although injuring himself on the hard surface as he did so. Chelsea were in a commanding position with just twenty minutes gone, and were in the mood for more.Before the half was over, Chelsea had the game won. Alex scored with a free-kick from all of 44 yards; his low strike deceiving both the wall and the goalkeeper, who was wrong footed by the slightest of deflections. Whilst the goal may not be remembered in history, the actions of one Rosenborg defender shall be etched in the memories of football enthusiasts everywhere, as he attempted to block Alex's freekick by cart wheeling away from the defensive wall.Alex might have had his second of the match just a minute later after Joe Cole forced a corner. The winger cut in and launched a shot which took a nasty deflection off Tettey's boot and swung out for a corner. Lampard's delivery was pinpoint, and Alex did fantastically well to out-jump his marker. His powerful header destined for the goal, only an inspired reaction save by Hirschfeld ensured Rosenborg left the field at half-time with at least some pride restored.As chants of "Are You Tottenham In Disguise?" rang out from the away section of Lerkendal Stadion, Chelsea opened the second half in similar fashion to the first period - in total control. However, for all of their dominance, the London side failed to find their way through the Rosenborg defence, and when they did manage to cut through the rearguard, they found Hirschfeld determined to keep the score respectable. However, Wright-Phillips rattled the crossbar and later launched an angled drive just wide, before Rosenborg cleared an effort off of the line after Essien shot beat the goalkeeper.Essien again tested Hirschfeld, who did well to parry the stinging drive. The ball was cleared as Rosenborg looked to attack, but Carlo Cudicini made fine work to deny Sapara's dangerous free-kick from spoiling his clean sheet. Shevchenko, Pizarro and Kalou were introduced moments later, and the Ukrainian could have had a goal minutes into his introduction, firing wide after brilliantly making space for himself.However, he made a more telling contribution when he and Joe Cole combined to score the fourth. The England winger was first to react to the loose ball and rifled home to see Chelsea through a group winners.Konan Ya tested Cudicini before the game was over, and Belletti dragged a shot agonisingly wide. Kalou was wasteful, shooting over from an impossible angle when Shevchenko and Joe Cole were left open and unmarked in the penalty area._44268238_alex_getty.jpgJohn Terry leads the celebrations after Alex scores the Chelsea third._______________________________________Rosenborg: Hirschfeld, Stoor, Kvarme, Riseth, Dorsin (Basma 85), Skjelbred, Tettey, Traore (Strand 56), Sapara, Iversen, Kone (Konan 63).Subs Not Used: Hansen, Koppinen, Storflor, Nordvik. Chelsea: Cudicini (7), Belletti (6), Terry (7), Alex (7), Ashley Cole (8), Makelele (6), Wright-Phillips (7) (Kalou (6)), Essien (7), Lampard (7) (Pizarro (6)), Joe Cole (9), Drogba (9) (Shevchenko (7)).Subs Not Used: Hilario, Mikel, Bridge, Ben-Haim. Goals: Drogba 8, 20, Alex 40, Joe Cole 73. Attendance: 21,582 Referee: Olegario Benquerenca Match Fact: Rosenborg were previously unbeaten at home to English teams in European competition, including a win over Premier League champions Blackburn Rovers in 1996.Man of the Match : Didier Drogbap1_Drogba.jpg

Edited by BlueLion
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