Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Copenhagen 0-2 Chelsea: Anelka Double Puts Ancelotti's Side Firmly In Command


Chelsea secured a comfortable 2-0 victory over Copenhagen giving themselves two vital away goals and a great chance to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Nicolas Anelka scored a double to open up a healthy lead going into the second leg at Stamford Bridge on March 16.

The Frenchman benefited off a loose pass from Jesper Gronkjaer after only 17 minutes for his first goal. Frank Lampard played a delicious ball through to Anelka for his second as Chelsea stamped their authority on the match. Copenhagen who had not played a game in a couple of months looked heavily off the pace.

The Blues went about their work very professionally as Copenhagen were certainly no pushovers.

They have taken the Danish League by storm creating a massive 19 point void over the winter break and if that was not impressive enough – they were unbeaten at the Parken Stadium in the Champions League this season.
Ancelotti selection choice had been vindicated as he opted to leave Didier Drogba on the bench. Torres partnered Anelka upfront and gave the home side numerous problems.

Jose Bosingwa, Michael Essien were restored to the first team line-up after missing out on Saturday FA Cup clash against Everton.

An ambitious effort from Frank Lampard after three minutes spurred on the Premier League side - his confidence certainly boosted after returning to goalscoring form recently with five goals in his last nine games.

It set the tone of the early stages as Copenhagen's Cesar Santin opted for a long range blast at goal which didn't trouble Petr Cech.

Torres and Anelka were linking up well and Malouda offered support as the Blues threatened to blow away the hosts in the first half.

Ancelotti would have been pleased to see his new strike force combining well and on 10 minutes, Torres drifted inside and delivered a lovely through ball towards Anelka who’s first time effort was blocked.

And it was again the Spaniard who looked very lively given his first Champions League start for the Blues - he slid a ball down the wing towards Malouda but his cut back failed to find a blue shirt.

But the Italian boss would not have to wait much longer as Anelka bagged a precious away goal for his side. Gronkjaer gave the ball away needlessly in midfield and the Frenchman graciously took the opportunity with a clinical finish past Johan Wiland in the Copenhagen goal.

Chelsea nearly went 2-0 up a few minutes later on the counter as Malouda surged forward and played in Torres, a couple of stepovers took him past the Copenhagen defence but his shot was saved well.

The visitors were in the ascendancy and Anelka should have extended the visitors' lead further but he tried to pick out Torres at the back post however Wiland prevented the pass from going to the Spaniard and the Danes survived once more.

The half-time whistle went at the Parken Stadium and Chelsea looked very comfortable with the hosts having a couple sporadic chances.

Substitute Martin Vingaard looked determined to get the home side back into the match. His snap shot after a minute of the second half had Cech scampering down towards his near hand post but at least it was a statement of intent by the midfielder.

However any thoughts of a comeback were shortly extinguished as Chelsea doubled their lead on the counter-attack on 54 minutes. Lampard played a delightful through ball towards Anelka and he needed no second invitation to fire it past Wiland in goal.

Torres could have added a third as the Blues threatened to run riot with an hour of the game gone.

Gronkjaer nearly had a chance to redeem himself as he was played through on goal but the linesman adjudged the Dane to be in an offside position although replays showed that the winger was onside.

It was a warning to Chelsea of what the hosts were capable of however Torres yet again had another chance to score as he skipped past the Copenhagen defence but his shot despite getting past Wiland in goal lacked the necessary power to get over the line.

Perhaps a saving grace for the Danish side is that they will be sharper when the two sides meet again in a few weeks time but on tonight's display it seems Chelsea are favourites to progress into the quarter-finals.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ivanovic signs new 5 year contract


Branislav Ivanovic has signed an extension to his contract that will see him remain at Chelsea until 2016.
The new five-and-a-half year deal will see the 26-year-old Serbian defender through to the age of 32, by which time he should have significantly added to his 99 Chelsea appearances.
'It is good news for me, it is a very big step for me in my career and I want to give my maximum and try to help Chelsea win a lot more trophies,' he said.
'These things take a little time but my first vision was always to stay with Chelsea, there were not a lot of problems because I wanted to stay, the club wanted me to stay and I want to thank everyone who helped with the deal, I am very happy with that.'
Ivanovic (pictured signing his contract with club secretary David Barnard) was originally signed in January 2008 when Avram Grant was manager, but it was not until that September under Luiz Felipe Scolari that he made his debut, in the League Cup away at Portsmouth.
He has since gone on to win two FA Cups, last season adding the Barclays Premier League under Carlo Ancelotti, contributing both on the right and in the centre of defence.
In his three years at the club Ivanovic has scored seven goals, most famously netting two headers against Liverpool in the 2008/09 Champions League quarter-final first leg, an event that elevated him to first-team regular status.
'I don't like to think too much about the past because in football you have to get better every day, concentrate on small details of every game, but from my side maybe the two goals against Liverpool gave me confidence,' he analysed, 'but all other things have been slowly developing and step-by-step, which is what I have to do in the future.
'For every player coming to a new country you have to adapt and then you become better and better, but I now feel so comfortable here and I really enjoy being a Chelsea player and my wish was always to stay here.
'Now I think I can give many more good games, the three years has gone very quickly, and I think it has been a success so I hope to carry on getting better and better with Chelsea.'

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The perfect Revenge Chelsea 4-2 Sunderland


Chelsea collected three valuable points in their attempt to retain their Premier League crown, winning 4-2 against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light this evening.

Sunderland took the lead with their first attempt on goal as Phillip Bardsley drove forward from left-back, cutting inside on the edge of the box before taking a pop at goal. It swerved toward the bottom right-hand corner and past Petr Cech to give Sunderland the lead with three minutes played.

Chelsea looked shell-shocked as Sunderland’s midfield began to establish themselves on the game. The mobility of Chelsea’s front three looked as if it could cause problems though, when Salomon Kalou cut infield from the right and Frank Lampard wandered into the space vacated by the Ivorian. A deflected pass found its way to Lampard, who didn’t hesitate as he went for goal. But although his shot was firm, it sailed low past Craig Gordon’s right-hand post.

It wasn’t long before Chelsea were back in the game, however, with Ashley Cole winning his side a very generous penalty from referee Mark Halsey. The ball was lobbed forward into the box and Cole took a fall under minimal contact. Lampard stepped up for Chelsea and coolly dispatched it to level the score.

Chelsea took the lead with 22 minutes played after two defensive mistakes by Sunderland. Nicolas Anelka threaded the ball through to Kalou, who was played onside by Anton Ferdinand – standing two yards behind the defensive lead. Kalou raced through on goal as Gordon charged off his line prematurely. The Ivorian was smart to this and took his shot early, sending it past the stranded 'keeper and it trickled over the line to give Chelsea the lead.

Sunderland were back on level pegging three minutes later as Ahmed Elmohamady jinked through the Chelsea defence and was brought down on the right-hand edge of the Chelsea penalty area. Kieran Richardson hit his shot low and hard as it zipped under the Chelsea wall and into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal. Cech didn’t even move.

The second half started with a barrage from Chelsea. Kalou crossed from the right flank in the opening minutes and only a last ditch block from Nedum Onuoha denied the forward. The visitors nearly bundled the ball home from the resultant corner, with Kalou throwing a boot into the mix at the back post. Steed Malbranque was on hand to block on the post with Jordan Henderson there to mop up.

Chelsea inevitably converted this pressure into a third goal and it infuriated the home fans as it came from a corner they were adamant shouldn't have been given. The initial cross was cleared and Lampard fired the ball goalwards. Gordon did well to save, but the rebound fell to Terry who hit his shot into the ground and it bounced up over Gordon to give Chelsea a 3-2 lead.

Once ahead for a second time the champions never looked like they would relinquish their lead. Restricting Sunderland to very few opportunities from this point on, as time trickled away the result was never in doubt as Anelka added a fourth in injury time with a tidy finish after a smart pass from Florent Malouda and Chelsea closed into within one point of rivals Manchester City.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Torres will be Chelsea's New Number NINE


Fernando Torres will wear the Chelsea number 9 shirt.
The forward, 26, completed his move from Liverpool yesterday and will occupy the previously vacant jersey.
The Spanish World and European champion also wore the shirt at Liverpool, in the World Cup in South Africa and at his previous club Atletico Madrid.
He follows in the footsteps of former Chelsea forwards Kerry Dixon, Roy Bentley, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Peter Osgood.
Chelsea kit man Mick Roberts is pictured printing Torres's first Chelsea shirt.

Torres talks on Joining Chelsea


Torres Joins Chelsea


Chelsea Football Club have officially confirmed

the signing of Fernando Torres on a five-and-a-half year contract.
The move to bring the Spanish World Cup and European Championship winner to London from Liverpool for an undisclosed fee was completed on Monday evening. He will be available to play against Liverpool on Sunday.
Speaking at Stamford Bridge after finalising the move, Torres said: 'I am very happy with my transfer to Chelsea and I am looking forward very much to helping my new team-mates this season and for many years to come.
'Having played against Chelsea many times since coming to England, and in some very big games I will never forget, I know there are many great players here and I will work hard to win a place in the team. I hope I can score some important goals for the supporters to enjoy this season.'
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said: 'This is a very significant day for Chelsea, capturing one of the best players in the world with his peak years ahead of him. We have long admired the talents of a player who is a proven goalscorer in English football and Fernando's arrival is a sign of our continuing high ambitions. I hope every Chelsea fan is as excited as I am with this news.'
Chief executive Ron Gourlay added: 'Signing a player of the stature of Fernando Torres benefits the club on many levels. Carlo Ancelotti was keen to add his talents to the squad as we continue our quest for three trophies this season, we are delighted we have succeeded with that wish, and this signing will undoubtedly aid the club in realising our worldwide potential - on and off the pitch.'
Torres's scoring pedigree in English football is without doubt. The 26-year-old netted 65 goals in 102 league appearances for Liverpool and 81 in 142 games in all competitions.
He moved to the Premier League aged 23 having spent the previous 12 years at Atletico Madrid, a club based a few miles from the town of his birth on the outskirts of the capital city.
In his time at Atletico, 'El Nino' (The Kid - his nickname in Spain) was the club's youngest player and youngest captain. His debut came aged 17 and he took the armband two years later.
His first full season was a quiet start with just six goals from 36 league appearances but that became 13 from 29 games the next year and the 20-goal mark was reached in 2003/04, Torres's most prolific season in Spain and the year of his debut for the national side.
The player's subsequent emergence on the international stage and 75 goals in 174 Spanish top-flight games meant many clubs across Europe were after his signature but he chose to work under compatriot Rafael Benitez at Liverpool.
The transfer in July 2007 was valued at approximately £20 million, Luis Garcia going the other way, and Torres's first goal for the Merseysiders was against Chelsea at Anfield, opening the scoring in a 1-1 draw after getting the better of Tal Ben-Haim. It was the first of seven goals in seven games against Chelsea. It is his best return against any English club.

He scored three hat-tricks on the way to 33 goals in his first season in England, becoming the first Liverpool player since a previous wearer of the number 9 shirt, Robbie Fowler, to break the 30-goal mark in one season.
His second season returned 17 goals (injury reducing his number of appearances) as his side finished second, three points and one place above Chelsea in the league table. Last season, despite Liverpool dropping down the table to seventh, Torres accumulated a very healthy 22 goals in 32 games.
He headed to the World Cup in South Africa already a winner of the European Championships at senior international level.
In his teenage years, Torres had achieved top-scorer status for his country in both the Under 16 and Under 19 European Championships and he scored his first goal for the senior side against Italy aged 20, seven months after his first cap.
In the 2006 World Cup in Germany he scored three times in the group stage but Spain were beaten by France in the first knockout round. However there was no stopping his nation two years later at Euro 2008, Torres scoring once on the way to the final and the only goal in that match in Vienna as Germany were defeated. It was Spain's first major piece of silverware since 1964.

Last summer in South Africa, Torres struggled for full fitness and form during the World Cup having undergone surgery in April. As a result, Barcelona's Pedro took his place for a semi-final triumph over Germany.
Coach Vicente Del Bosque also left Torres out of the starting line-up for the final. Instead he came on in extra-time in the 1-0 win over Holland although he tore a muscle before the end.
Back in England this season and before joining the Blues, Torres made 26 appearances for Liverpool, scoring 11 times including both goals in Chelsea's November defeat at Anfield.

Chelsea Sign Brazil international David Luiz


Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of defender David Luiz from Benfica for an undisclosed fee.
Luiz, who has signed a five-and-a-half year contract, joins Chelsea as the third Brazilian in the current squad, linking up with former Benfica team-mate Ramires and fellow central-defender Alex.
He said: 'I am delighted to be joining a big English club, and I know very well the quality that Chelsea has.
'It is a major challenge for me but I am determined and confident in my ability to adapt to this excellent league, and I look forward to meeting my new-team mates.'
Now 23, David Luiz Moreira Marinho was born on April 22, 1987 in Sao Paulo and began his career with Esporte Clube Vitoria in Bahia where he made 47 appearances.
The 6ft 2in defender, who is renowned for his skill on the ball as much as his defensive ability, switched to Benfica, initially on loan in January 2007 before making the move permanent that summer.
In total he made 82 league appearances for the Lisbon club missing just one game last season as they wrapped up a first league title in five years. voted Luiz the league's Player of the Year.
Luiz, who made his Brazil debut against America last year, will not be eligible for Champions League football this season after completing all six of Benfica's group games. They finished third behind Schalke and Lyon.
He also represented his country at the 2007 Under 20 World Cup, and can cover at either left or right-back.
Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said: 'David Luiz is one of the great defensive prospects in world football, and already a Brazilian international. I am sure he will prove a valuable addition to the Chelsea squad.'
Chairman Bruce Buck added: 'It is a delight to have completed this transfer for a fantastic young footballer who we have admired for some time. David has played in the Champions League and the squad now has a more experienced look to it that will hopefully serve us well for the rest of this season and going forward.'
The deal will also take midfielder Nemanja Matic to Benfica in the summer, though the Serbian will remain a Chelsea player until his loan deal with Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem is completed at the end of the season.



Daniel Sturridge has this evening (Monday) joined Bolton Wanderers on loan until the end of the season.
The 21-year-old forward will link up with Owen Coyle's squad hoping to add to his 21 appearances this season, in which time he has scored four times, most recently against Ipswich Town in the FA Cup on January 9.
It represents an opportunity for the Birmingham-born England Under 21 international to try and gain more Premier League starts, as he is yet to begin a league game this season.
In total Sturridge has played 41 times for Chelsea, scoring nine times. We wish him well for the rest of the season.