Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thailand All-Stars 0-4 Chelsea


Having recorded an unconvincing victory over Malaysia XI last time out, Andre Villas-Boas' Chelsea side looked to hammer home their dominance in Bangkok, with a 4-0 victory over the Thailand All-Stars XI.

Goals from Frank Lampard and second half strikes from Jose Bosingwa, Branislav Ivanovic and Florent Malouda sealed a comfortable victory for the Stamford Bridge outfit.

The first half kicked off in sweltering conditions in Thailand’s capital, and Chelsea dominated the early exchanges. In the opening 10 minutes, John Obi Mikel went close from a testing cross, while Bosingwa had a shot well saved by Thai keeper, Pattarakorn Tanganurat.

At the other end, fit-again Petr Cech did well on the rare occasions he was tested, but the visitors soon began to dominate possession and the chances.

Their dominance saw Nicolas Anelka unleash two efforts on goal, both of which were subsequently blocked by the All-Stars. Moments later, the heavily marked Fernando Torres went down under a strong challenge in the penalty area, but the referee waved away Chelsea's penalty protests.

In the 24th minute, captain John Terry had a goal ruled out for offside as Villas-Boas men appeared to go up another gear, and it would only take another 13 minutes for them to find their breakthrough, with Lampard firing home from the edge of the area.

Having made 11 changes against Malaysia XI at the interval, Villas-Boas was content with just one in Bangkok, with Cech being replaced by Hilario, as a tepid performance from Fernando Torres was prolonged into the second 45.

And it wasn't long before the Stamford Bridge side accelerated into a three-goal lead, with a quickfire double within seven minutes of the restart.

Bosingwa, having been denied in the first half, saw his luck change as his 30-yard effort was diverted off the post after a lapse in concentration from the All-Stars' keeper. With the 52nd came Chelsea's third, as a deft exchange of passing between Josh McEachran and Ivanovic saw the Serbian apply the finish.

Nevertheless, Hilario was called into action soon after, as the Portuguese shot stopper showed no signs of pre-season rustiness to deny Chaiman a consolation.

And that flourish from the hosts seemed to spark Chelsea into life. First, Villas-Boas made sweeping changes to refresh the side, with goalscorer Ivanovic one of several players making way, before Chelsea added their fourth.

Mikel, impressing in the middle of the park, found substitute Malouda's darting run with his crosshairs, and the Nigerian's inch-perfect pass allowed the winger to rifle home on 72 minutes.

And Chelsea went close to adding a fifth, when Drogba latched onto a Paulo Ferreira free kick, but was unable to keep his header down, as it drifted over the crossbar.

Starting XI

Chelsea XI: Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Van Aanholt; McEachran, Mikel, Lampard; Anelka, Torres, Sturridge.

Thailand All-Stars XI: Tanganurat; Iamwiroj, Dos Santos, Florent, Prakopkong; Siaka, Chaiman, Khonchan; Acheampong, Onmo, Kumbe.

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