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Hamburg 2-1 Chelsea


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blueflags.jpgA late goal foiled Chelsea as the Blues fell to a third successive pre-season defeat.

Frank Lampard had put the visiting side ahead with a tap-in when Michael Essien calmly picked him out as Hamburg goalkeeper Frank Rost rushed out, but Croatian star Mladen Petric lobbed home after Yuri Zhirkov sold Ross Turnbull short with a woeful back pass to restore parity.

And young South Korean prospect Heung Min Son consigned the Blues to yet another defeat as their three-game European tour ended with yet another loss.

This had all happened after Nicolas Anelka had seen a perfectly-legitimate goal chalked off by the referee - a goal that would have given Chelsea a 2-0 lead and a degree of comfort.

But that particular refereeing blunder could not disguise a below-par performance from Chelsea that was only highlighted by the error-prone defending that led to both Hamburg goals. Defensive lapses have become too common an occurrence this summer - and more work must be done between now and Sunday's Community Shield clash with Manchester United.

However there were key plus points for Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti; most notably the return to action of Didier Drogba after surgery on a troubling hernia.

Giving a début to their sleek new away kit, the Chelsea team were as close to full strength as fitness would permit, with Ancelotti again naming Kalou and Ferreira in response to injuries to Drogba and Bosingwa. Ross Turnbull was given the nod in goal.

Hamburg included in their line-up ex-Manchester United star Ruud van Nistelrooy and Guy Demel, the latter an international team-mate of Drogba and Kalou.

The game began at a relatively fast pace as the two teams traded blows in the opening exchanges. Chelsea were first to threaten when a deflected Lampard shot brought the best out of the experienced Rost, before Turnbull's hands were stung by a Petric pile-driver.

Anelka then sent an arrow-like effort just over the bar from an acute angle whilst Lampard again tested the Hamburg goalkeeper with a low free-kick. The best chance, however, fell to Kalou, who failed to control a header from a Florent Malouda cross.

However with the next ball that was launched into the box, Chelsea were able to seize the initiative. Anelka's cross was met by the jump of Kalou, and though he was de-possessed a mix-up at the back between goalkeeper and Jonathan Pitroipa allowed Essien to steal the ball and play in Lampard, who duly slotted the ball into an empty net.

The hosts responded with a header from Heiko Westermann that clipped the crossbar, whilst Peru star Paolo Guerrero fired just wide, but Chelsea were resolute and the best of Ivanovic was displayed when he blocked van Nistelrooy's effort after a sweeping counter-attack.

Drogba joined after the interval and made an immediate impression when he played in Anelka, who was denied by a splendid piece of goalkeeping.

Then came the goal that wasn't. Anelka raced through and calmly beat Rost for what would should have been his first goal of pre-season, but he was denied by the referee who spotted an infringement even the most ardent of Hamburg fans struggled to see. The hosts had been handed a reprieve.

Van Nistelrooy then shot horribly over from inside the area with substitute Ricardo Carvalho closing him down before Petric wasted a decent chance to level.

Chelsea's latest defensive calamity followed shortly after, with John Terry, Yuri Zhirkov and Turnbull at fault. Terry committed the initial sin by playing Zhirkov into trouble, and Russian could only get so much on his lofted pass back to Turnbull. Petric bravely stole in and lobbed home, showing more desire to get to the ball than the labouring, indecisive Chelsea goalkeeper.

The Blues were then totally undone by more poor defending with five minutes remaining. Heung Min Son easily beat both Terry and Carvalho before beating Turnbull with a left-footed shot. It was great play by the young Korean but the Blues goalkeeper was too slow in his attempts to deny him.

Essien had also headed over a late Malouda corner and Drogba been beaten by a touch that showed the ill effects of his recent surgery. Nevertheless, Chelsea had been beaten, and improvements must be made before the team take on Manchester United.


Hamburg: Rost; Diekmeier (Benjamin 46), Demel (Rincon 55), Westermann ©, Demel, Ze Roberto; Petric (Choupo-Moting 81), Jarolim, Tesche (Gacar 46), Pitroipa (Elia 67); Guerrero (Castelen 67), Van Nistelrooy (Son 81)

Chelsea: Turnbull, Ferreira (Bruma 67), Ivanovic (Carvalho 53), Terry ©, Cole (Zhirkov 61); Essien, Mikel, Lampard (Benayoun 61); Kalou (Drogba 46), Anelka (Kakuta 67), Malouda

The TalkChelsea.net Man of the Match was Chelsea's number 12, John MIKEL Obi


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