Luiz Felipe Scolari’s reign at Chelsea started with a powerful win against a poor Portsmouth side.
Joe Cole connected with Michael Ballack’s pass and slid the ball home just after 12 minutes had gone. It was a sign to show that Pompey were going to be in for a difficult game ahead. Chelsea doubled their lead 14 minutes later when French forward Anelka capitalised on a defensive error by James by heading into an empty net.
Frank Lampard celebrated his new contract by converting a penalty on the stroke of half-time after Pompey defender Distin was judged to have handled inside the penalty area.
New signing Deco was the star of the show and deservedly got a goal just minutes before full time, scoring aÂ 25 yard shot that swerved into David James’ top right-hand corner.
It was a performance that will leave manyÂ Pompey fans feelingÂ disheartened and manyÂ Chelsea fans feelingÂ ecstatic.Â In truth, Pompey never looked as though they’d threaten the Chelsea goal.
Scolari said earlier in the week that he’d hope to bring entertaining, attacking football to Stamford Bridge, something Chelsea fans hadn’t seen since the earlyÂ days of Mourinho’sÂ management.Â Scolari got exactly what he wished today as his Chelsea sideÂ looked as though they’d been playing together since the dayÂ theyÂ first all kicked a ball.
After ten minutes of the match, it was a question of when and not ifÂ Chelsea would score. It was clear that pace was going to be a key asset of Chelsea’s tactics today, something the Portsmouth defence failed to handle.
Ballack played in a neat ball toÂ Joe Cole using the outside of his foot, who thenÂ calmly slid the ball pastÂ David James after escaping from Sol Campbell’s reach.
Anelka then had a chance to double Chelsea’s lead after Cech’s long kick down field found it’s way to the Frenchman, however unfortunately for him his touch was too strong and the ball rolled out for a goal kick.
The Â£15 million man did get Chelsea’s second minutes later though afterÂ he headed in a precise cross fromÂ new manÂ Deco into an empty net. David James was nowhere to be seen.
Florent Malouda came on for the injured Michael Ballack after 37 minutes and had an immediate impact. He drove in a cross from the left-hand side that only needed a touch to see it cross the goal line, however no Chelsea players were there to do so.
Portsmouth recorded their first real chance of the game when Niko Kranjcar forced Petr Cech to block one of his driven shots. Crouch was there to try and tap it in but Cech was aware and successfully kept him out.
Chelsea got their third goal of the game when defender Sylvain Distin handled a Joe Cole cross inside the penalty area. A penalty was given and Lampard easily slotted the ball home past England team mate, David James.
After the second half got under way, Chelsea kept pressing, looking for that fourth goal to finish the game off once and for all. Anelka and Joe Cole both had chances but failed to put them away.
There was a lot of anticipation to see the new look strike force of England duo, Crouch and Defoe. Unfortunately, neither of them had the chance to show what they could do with lack of midfield support.
Defoe had a half chance late on after a long ball was nodded on by Crouch to the former West Ham player, however the 25-year-old hooked it around the wrong side of the post.
With only a few minutes to spare, Chelsea got their fourth goal. Portugese maestro Deco swerved a shot in from 25 yards, which caught many, including David James, by surprise. The England international got a hand to the ball and perhaps should have done better keeping it out.
The final whistle soon went and whilst many Chelsea fans went home feeling optimistic for the season ahead, Pompey fans were feeling the opposite.
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