Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chelsea 1 - 0 Porto

Chelsea defeated FC Porto 1 - 0 in the UEFA Champions League last night. Nicolas Anelka proved Chelsea can survive and prosper without banned Didier Drogba as the France international settled their opening Champions League qualifying game against Porto with a second half winner.

Anelka, given the task of filling a lone role in attack in the absence of the suspended Ivory Coast international, struck three minutes after the interval to dispel any lingering doubts that Chelsea cannot cope without the talismanic Drogba.

Drogba is banned for the first three Group D games following his foul-mouthed rant after the semi-final defeat to Barcelona last season, but Anelka, as he has so often done in the past, made the most of his opportunity to shine.

For the first time in the game, Carlo Ancelotti's side looked distinctly vulnerable as Porto launched a succession of counter-attacks.

They almost equalised when Guarin tested Cech with a powerful drive in the 75th minute and the Chelsea goalkeeper then produced another superb save to prevent substitute Silvestre Varela from finding the net with an angled drive.

It was an anxious time for the home side and Ancelotti was quick to see the danger, taking off Kalou and replacing him with defender Juliano Belletti.

Regarding the win, Ancelotti claimed the result was good, but added that the performance was not worthy of commendation. However, he claimed that Porto were the toughest contenders in their group, so it was important to start by accumulating maximum points in the first round of group action.

Regarding the performance of Salomon Kalou, who was deputising for the suspended Didier Drogba, Ancelott said: "Didier is an important player for us but Kalou did a very good job.

"Nicolas is a great player. He can play without Didier and with Didier. He has no problem."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chelsea Vs Porto FC Match Review

"Hello guys, sorry for not updating the blog for a long time. It has been a hectic days, weeks and months for all of us as we are busy with our school work, assignments, projects and works. Yeah its been a while now, but hey, we are back, so we will keep on updating this blog again, finally, as we have our people able to manage this blog, so bear with us cos we are back now." - Message from the admin


Europe's premier club competition is back, as Chelsea begin their march towards the one title they have not yet laid their hands on

Chelsea first opponent are a side who have won it twice. FC Porto quite sensationally clinched the trophy in the 2003-04 season, when our boys crashed out in the semi-finals to AS Monaco. The season after that Jose Mourinho left the Portuguese club to take charge at the Bridge, and although he went on to win back to back league titles, failed to bring European success to West London, as did the three people who succeeded him in the hot seat.

And so it all begins again, and this time in our relentless attempt to go the distance, we've got another Champions League winning coach, Carlo Ancelotti. He has overseen a fantastic start in the Premiership, where Chelsea lead the standings having won all five games so far, and now he will try to keep the momentum going against Porto.

Although we did not meet Porto in that 2003-04 season, we faced them twice since. Three seasons back we needed Michael Ballack to take us past them in the round of 16 stage, and in the 2004-05 season, where they were ofcorse the defending champions, we met them once again in the group stage. In those four meetings, we've won two games, drawn one and lost one. Both those wins however were at the Bridge.

Our form going into this game is as mentioned above, fantastic. 100% record in the league, top of the table, life could not be any sweeter. But we had to wait till the 94th minute to get the three points against Stoke City in the weekend, and if Porto employ the same tactics as Stoke, then it might again become difficult for us. But I dont think any team would want to play like that, and am pretty sure Porto wont.

We wont have the services of Didier Drogba and Jose Bosingwa though, both suspended from last season. Deco, Alex, Paulo Ferreira, Joe Cole and Yuri Zhirkov are all out with injuries, and as a result Carlo has had to name three youngsters in the squad in Sam Hutchinson, Jeffrey Bruma and Fabio Borini. Don't think it will reach a point where we will actually have to play them, but still its a great opportunity for them to get a taste of this massive competition.

For Porto, they will hope to progress to the quarter finals after they were edged out 3-2 by Manchester United last season. Currently they are unbeaten in their first four domestic matches of the season and have no major injury problems after welcoming back Cristian Rodriguez into the side.

Which team do you think will win the match? I'll pick Chelsea, what about you guys?