Sunday, January 30, 2011

Everton 1 - 1 Chelsea


Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park in a game that failed to take off until well into the second have, with both goals coming within 30 minutes of the full-time whistle.

Louis Saha kept up appearances against Chelsea once again scoring against the London outfit, but substitute Soloman Kalou equalised for the visitors with a great strike from just inside the Everton area.

The first-half was a drab affair with neither team posing any danger to each other. Marouanne Fellaini began the first real threat of the match relieving the ball from Ashley Cole and putting Seamus Coleman through onto Petr Cech, but the Chelsea keeper did well to stop the young Irishman’s shot. Both teams were passing well, but couldn’t finish off their moves and led to a frustrating 45 minutes for the spectators who were possibly expected a more clinical display of football.

The lacking in spectacle carried on from the start of the second-half with neither team finding any consistency. However, the fans were treated to a goal on the 62nd minute when a Leighton Baines corner from the right met Louis Saha’s head who carried on with his haunting of Chelsea with his 11th goal against the club. Just over 10 minutes later the visitors struck back with an exceptional counter-attack from an Everton chance that should have made it 2-0 to the home side. The ball was played out of the Chelsea area and was played up-field eventually finding substitute Soloman Kalou, who blasted the ball past Tim Howard and into the corner of the net. Both teams had efforts that could have brought them winners, but neither could penetrate each other’s defences with both goalkeepers staying strong till the end.

It took until the 11th minute for the action to heat up with Everton playing some attractive passing football, Baines found Diniyar Bilyaletiniov on the left side of the Chelsea box who lofted the ball towards goal, but Seamus Coleman couldn’t head it on target.

The Russian midfielder was in the mix again just minutes later as he was found in the box with no man on him, but his shot was too weak to test Petr Cech properly.

John Terry was the first visitor to scare Everton when a Florent Malouda corner came in and Terry met it with his head with the ball just going over and out for a goal-kick.

The first real chance of the game went o Everton when Marouanne Fellaini caught Ashley Cole out in possession and quickly put Coleman through on Cech, but the goalkeeper did well to save the young midfielder’s shot.

Bilyaletiniov had another chance with a free header in the box, however the Everton man couldn’t challenge the visitor’s ‘keeper, nodding it straight into his hands.

Chelsea had an honest chance in the 31st minute after Ramires placed a through ball in for Nicolas Anelka whose powerful shot bulleted off of Tim Howard.

Malouda got himself in the action again with a shot far out that tested Everton’s American ‘keeper, who put it out for a corner with a strong save.

As the first-half drew to a close, it was evident that both teams had played an even game in the first 45 minutes, which was reflected in the possession count. Neither side had finished many moves and it had made for inconsistent phases of play.However, before the teams went in for their half-time break, Mikel Arteta had time to scare Cech and Chelsea with a long range effort that scampered past the outside of the post.

Everton were also there to kick-start the second-half when Coleman took the ball from a stray pass from Chelsea captain John Terry, leading to the young Irishman to put the ball in the away side’s box for Lois Saha stood at the far post to volley the ball into the oncoming Ramires who blocked it out for a corner.

Fellaini got close soon after with a powerful header from an Arteta free-kick which Petr Cech managed to get a hand to and put it behind.

The Lois Saha curse on Chelsea continued in this game with the Frenchman scoring his 11th goal against the West London club. An in swinging corner from Leighton Baines found the striker in the middle of the box who darted away from his marker John Terry to create a free header that Cech was powerless to save.

After a great chance for Coleman was wasted from close range, Chelsea were immediately on the counter-attack when they got their equalising goal. The ball was quickly out of the visitor’s box and a succession of perfect passes through across the pitch led to recently brought on Soloman Kalou who struck it well from the angle and into the corner of Howard’s net.

Ramires could have made it 2-1 for Ancelotti’s side with a cracking effort with his right-foot that seemed to be heading in the opposite corner of Kalou’s goal, but the swerving shot smashed against the post and out for a goal-kick to the relief of the home fans.Jermain Beckford was brought on in the dying minutes and was immediately contributing to the action with a excellent volley after Ivanovic misjudged the ball into the path of the former Leeds man, the shot came quickly toward Cech’s top corner, but the ‘keeper was able to make a great save, turning the ball out for a corner.

The score-line remained the same till the end and now both will have to stick it out again back at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fulham Sign Chelsea Prospect Gael Kakuta On Loan


Fulham have confirmed the loan signing of Chelsea midfielder Gael Kakuta until the end of the season.

Kakuta has featured for French squads from under-16s level to under-20s, in which time he has scored 15 goals from 45 appearances for the national youth teams and played an integral role in lifting the UEFA under-19s Championship last summer.

The 19-year-old recently signed a contract extension with the Premier League in December and has made appearances in five out of six of Chelsea’s Champions League group matches this season

A statement from Chelsea’s website said: “Kakuta, who recently signed a new four-and-a-half year deal with Chelsea, will be hoping to gain increased first team opportunities to add to his total of 16 appearances in our colours.”

The hotly tipped youngster moved to Stamford Bridge from French side Lens in 2007.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bolton 0-4 Chelsea


A flurry of goals from Chelsea saw off Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium as Carlo Ancelotti's men moved within seven points of top spot. Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka were amongst the goals as the Blues made light work of the Trotters.

The night was a poignant one. It was Bolton’s first game at the Reebok since the death of Nat Lofthouse and the Lion of Vienna, such an icon for the Trotters that his name is synonymous with the Lancashire side, was remembered in a fitting way. The expectation on the current XI to produce on such a night was huge.

With such stirring emotions in the blood Bolton almost made the perfect start after only three minutes when Kevin Davies - who is out of the same mould as the great man - found himself in the Chelsea box but his header was directed too close to Petr Cech, who dealt with the threat.

Bolton continued to keep Chelsea under the cosh in the early exchanges but that momentum was stopped dead in its tracks when a routine pass inside from Malouda to Drogba resulted in an astonishing strike from the Ivorian as he unleashed an exocet which deviated wildly mid-flight to bamboozle Jussi Jaaskelainen in the Bolton goal.

With the wind knocked from their sails, Bolton had to regroup and reorganise to threaten Chelsea. Intent restored, another opportunity to beat Cech came and went after half an hour when good play on the left flank from Martin Petrov resulted in an accurately placed cross which was met by Matthew Taylor who bisected the Chelsea centre-halves. But his driven header was turned away by Cech, who has never conceded a goal at the Reebok.

As the half wore on it seemed likely that the next goal would be Chelsea’s and that was the case when five minutes before the break. A persistent Malouda had two chances to shoot, his first was deflected off the legs of Gary Cahill which gave the Frenchmen a second bite of the proverbial cherry and this time he tickled the ball between Jaaskelainen and the near post to double the Londoners lead.

As the players returned to the dressing rooms at half time, a faint wave of boos was heard as the home support showed their collective displeasure at events.The second half continued in the same frustrating style for Bolton, they felt they got very little from referee Chris Foy in controlling Chelsea and Owen Coyle made his feelings known to the fourth official.

A third goal would have been disastrous for Bolton as there would have been no way back from such a deficit. And shortly before the hour that killer blow was dealt. Superb linking play between Malouda and Michael Essien in the left channel provided the catalyst as the Ghanaian crossed the ball which was met by the ever busy Drogba, his effort was deflected by Jaaskelainen into the path of Anelka, who showed the Trotters’ fans what they’ve missed since his departure.

Chelsea didn’t loosen the tourniquet and added to their already comfortable lead when Ramires bagged his first goal for the club since his arrival from Benfica last summer. Essien was involved again as another run down the left caused trouble for Bolton and his cross was not dealt with and the Brazilian was in the right place to compound a miserable night for Owen Coyle.

On such a night when Bolton remembered one of their own, the home support would have hoped for a better performance, but Chelsea, who showed due respect before the game, soon went about their business with clinical and ruthless application.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Champions are back.. Chelsea 2-0 Blackburn


Chelsea overcame Blackburn Rovers in a solid victory with defender Branislav Ivanvic and Nicolas Anelka scoring the two goals in a game that the Rovers failed to force themselves on leaving Chelsea to punish the visitors.

The first half brought about plenty of chances from the home side, but they never finalised any moves that were devoid of clinical presence. Chelsea forced many a corner from Blackburn, but could not capitalise over their opponents.

After half-time Chelsea started as they left off with more bouts of pressure on Steve Kean’s side which eventually led to Ivanovic’s goal through both clumsy defending and the strength of the Chelsea man. Carlo Ancelotti’s side then began to take advantage of the bumbling Blackburn back four with Ivanovic again getting involved heading on from a corner, leaving Anelka to tap in from short distance.

Chelsea lined up with their usual array of stars, with Carlo Ancelotti keeping faith in Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda and Michael Essien. Ancelotti admitted he was unsure before the game whether he would give his youngsters a chance by playing with the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Josh McEachran.

Blackburn welcomed back first choice goalkeeper Paul Robinson after a long spell out with injury. El Hadji Diouf was demoted to the subs bench by manager Steve Kean and chose to leave Nikola Kalinic as lone striker. The return Roque Santa Cruz was met with a place on the bench for the player on-loan from Manchester City.

Chelsea started with much encouragement attacking the Blackburn box early and winning a corner in the second minute from which Ramires fashioned a shot which struck the cross bar.
Blackburn were able to come back with a shot that struggled to unnerve Peter Cech from Martin Olsson.

Kalinic was almost clean through on Cech, but the ‘keeper was able to pressure the striker off the ball got their first to hold on well.

Ashley Cole was Chelsea’s main attacking threat in the early few minutes working the left side well as he attempted to break the Blackburn defence down.

It was the home side that was dominating, but lacked the fluidity that the Blues had so well at the start of the season leaving them unable to finish any moves.
As the game progressed in the first half Jose Bosingwa started to act with the attacking initiative Ashley Cole was showing so well, forcing corners from the away defence.
Blackburn were finding the first 20 minutes hard and found themselves being battered by the Chelsea front men.
Kalinic was the only Rovers man able to threaten any sort of revive from the visitors, but couldn’t penetrate Chelsea’s back four for any clear chances.

Chelsea’s Didier Drogba was showing early frustrations with a couple of ambitious shots from 25 yards out, but were not enough to test Robinson.

Blackburn’s David Dunn was forced off with injury in the 24th minute for 19-year-old Jason Lowe to have his Premier League debut and started strongly with successful tackles showing good resistance against Ancelotti’s men.

Corner after corner were given to Chelsea, but they failed to capitalise from their opportunities leaving Blackburn to easily pick up the pieces on many occasions.

On the half-hour mark Drogba nearly threatened with a counter attacking move spurred on by Nicolas Anelka, the Ivory Coast man looked offside, but there was no flag and the stubborn away defence battled it out for another corner.

David Hoilet reacted to Blackburn’s own counter move with a powerful shot straight into Cech, rebounding and causing a mad scramble in the Chelsea box which was solved with a big kick away by Terry.

Frank Lampard nearly headed in on 37 minutes from a well placed cross into the box, but hit it over from just five yards out.

Just before half-time Ramires was found unmarked six yards out from goal, but the ball was falling behind him and struggled to get his head on it.

The woodwork spared Blackburn’s blushes just before the teams went in for the break with a delicate touch from six yards out but was too high to create a late half goal.

Chelsea were threatening the Blackburn goal right up until the half-time whistle creating another corner, but failed yet again to make the most of it.

Roque Santa Cruz replaced Kalinic for the second half, Steve Kean obviously not happy with the lack of chances that were being made.

The half started just as the first on had finished with a mass of Chelsea pressure leading to a Nicolas Anelka shot going inches past the far post.

Florent Malouda was booked after a poor sliding challenge on Blackburn’s Mame Diouf after John Terry was lucking to come away without a card on a badly timed tackle on Olsson.
A corner conceded from a sloppy Peter Cech on the 53rd minute led to a Blackburn chance, with Mame Diouf just heading wide under pressure.

The deadlock was finally broken on the 57th minute after poor Blackburn defending from a Chelsea corner gave Branislav Ivanovic the ball from just four yards out and using his strength, turned his marker and poked the ball home.

John Terry nearly added himself to the score sheet on 68 minutes with a free header inside the box, but couldn’t get it on target.

Jason Roberts replaced the struggling David Hoilet on 68 minutes as Blackburn hoped to add another dimension up front.

A poor back-pass from Christopher Samba almost handed Chelsea a second goal with Drogba attacking the ball and getting a shot on target, but Robinson did well to put it out for a corner.
Unfortunately for Rovers the resulting corner led to the nail in their coffin as Nicolas Anelka put in Chelsea’s second of the game. Malouda put the corner in with Ivanovic heading the ball toward goal leaving Anelka with his back to goal to tap the ball in.

The French goal scorer was then brought off on 80 minutes and replaced with Saloman Kalou. Chelsea also brought on young hope Josh McEachran for midfielder Michael Essien.

The home side’s confidence then began to flow as Malouda and Drogba began to take more and more shots from distance to test ‘keeper Paul Robinson.

Chelsea’s other key youngster Danile Sturridge replaced Malouda on 86 minutes and tried to add to the score line with an effort from a tight angle.

Blackburn failed to ever get back in a game they were never really in and Chelsea finished the evening with a much needed confident win.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Finally Chelsea back in track.. Chelsea 7-0 Ipswich


The Title holders Chelsea are finally back in track after the worst ever run in the club history for the past few months. They thrashed Ipswich for 7-0 at Stamfordbridge with the midfield mastero Lampard and budding striker Daniel Sturridge claiming a brace each. Anelka and Kalou filled the rest along with an own goal by Carlos Edwards.

Ofcourse Ipswich is a relatively weak side when compared to Chelsean standards though when considering the recent form , everyone expected it to be a close game. Manager Ancelotti can have a bit of releif now as his Chair has been under fire for quite some time now. Hope The CHampions carry this form into other leagues also.