Chelsea Record Flattering Victory
By Jim Bonner
Updated Sunday, 8th January 2012
Chelsea 4 Portsmouth 0
For 84 minutes, Pompey were being beaten by a single goal at Stamford Bridge and hope remained that an equaliser could be found, only for the defence to crumble and concede three late goals.
The 4-0 defeat was extremely harsh on a hard working Pompey side who were comfortable in the first half. In fact, when Marko Futacs flicked on a long ball for Dave Kitson in the first minute, it looked like there may well have been a shock on the cards.
Unfortunately, Kitson's shot went wide of the far post and we'll never know just how the game might have turned out if Pompey stunned Stamford Bridge in the very first minute of the game.
As it was, that effort seemed to wake the home side up and they dominated possession for the next 15 minutes or so without creating any real chances due to a poor final ball.
Pompey were defending well but Ashley Cole and Florent Malouda were exploiting our right hand side, giving Aaron Mokoena a testing time and the only save Stephen Henderson had to make was when Malouda's cross was headed on target by Fernando Torres but the Pompey 'keeper palmed the ball to safety.
The £50 million man would have no real effect on the rest of the game apart from diving in a desperate attempt to win a penalty under Jason Pearce's challenge. It was funny to listen to the Pompey fans behind him sing "We'll have you on loan..."
Pompey grew into the game and created a couple of chances on their rare surges forward. Mokoena headed over Liam Lawrence's corner whilst David Norris' shot from the edge of the box flew just wide.
It was a very pleasing first half performance from Pompey but unfortunately the second would start on a bad note after Bosingwa beat Mokoena on the left and cut back for Juan Mata to finish and give Chelsea the lead.
That setback did not deter Michael Appleton's men, however, and they came extremely close to grabbing an equaliser soon after conceding.
Kitson robbed the ball from David Luiz and fed Futacs who forced a decent save out of Petr Cech, the ball looped up to Joel Ward whose header was cleared off the line by the roundly booed John Terry and then the rebound from Norris was again saved by Cech.
Pompey continued to push for an equaliser but lacked the killer pass to create any real chances, so 'Appy decided to switch Hayden Mullins for Erik Huseklepp and the injured Ricardo Rocha for Ryan Williams.
Pompey's last chance of the game came when Greg Halford headed over a corner but because there were so many men in red and black shirts pushing forwards, gaps in the defence would open and Chelsea exploited them.
Ramires scored on 84 minutes when he finished from close range after a quick piece of play in our box, despite the possibility of the offside flag being raised.
A 2-0 defeat would probably have been fair on balance of play but football is a cruel game when playing against the best teams in the country and Ramires scored again three minutes later when Pompey were caught high up the pitch and the Brazillian sprinted away from them before finishing.
Then, deep into stoppage time Frank Lampard got his customary goal against Pompey after some tentative defending allowed him to turn and shoot in the box with virtually the last kick of the game.
That late flurry of goals added a flattering gloss to the result for Chelsea who were really sub-par whilst Pompey played far better than the 4-0 scoreline suggested.
There may be gripes about Cole's supposed handball before the first goal and Terry's nasty challenge on Williams but the bottom line is simply that we've been beaten by a side that started the game with eleven full internationals in their team.
It would have been nice to score and our support certainly deserved it on the day but it wasn't to be. We can be proud of the showing today despite the result and look forward to more important games ahead, starting with West Ham this coming Saturday.
Pompey Player Ratings
Stephen Henderson: 6 - Will be gutted to have been beaten four times having only had one real save to make.
Aaron Mokoena: 6 - Could be blamed for the opener but wasn't afraid to get stuck in and block some passes that would have led to danger.
Ricardo Rocha: 7 - Defence struggled without him.
Greg Halford: 6 - Did well.
Jason Pearce: 6 - Showed plenty of fight as usual.
Joel Ward: 7 - Worked hard and got forward when he could.
David Norris: 6 - Will think he should have scored today.
Hayden Mullins: 6 - Hit and miss performance.
Liam Lawrence: 6 - Occasionally wasteful but still improving.
Dave Kitson: 6 - Did the donkey work well as usual but really should have scored in the first minute.
Marko Futacs: 6 - Linked play well.
Erik Huseklepp (Mullins 67): N/A - Maybe should have been given more time, but did waste one great opportunity when players were piling forward.
Ryan Williams (Rocha 70): N/A - Didn't see much of the ball at all.
|08 Jan 2012|
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