Chelsea 3 Portsmouth 0

Last updated : 28 December 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Chelsea blew away their Boxing Day blues with a systematic demolition of Portsmouth at Stamford Bridge.

However the title pretenders started ponderously, as if still recovering from their mauling from Charlton on Friday.

It took a full 45 minutes before Chelsea looked anything like the side of early season.

Portsmouth started with five men in midfield, hoping to counter the combined threat of Frank Lampard and Claude Makelele and it worked.

Steve Stone gave Wayne Bridge a torrid time on the right and it was his loss with a hamstring injury on 53 minutes which changed the complexion of the match.

Stone had just produced a glorious chance after latching on to a Yakubu Ayegbeni left-wing cross, but stand-in goalkeeper Neil Sullivan tipped the ball around the post.

With his loss, Portsmouth were without their inspiration and Chelsea took control.

The Londoners first goal came on 64 minutes and was a triumph of perseverance.

Bridge had been given a verbal roasting from the Portsmouth fans because of his Southampton past and he answered them in classic style.

Latching on to a Geremi pass, Bridge ran into the Pompey penalty area and unleashed a vicious low, left-footed shot which beat Harald Wapenaar for pace.

Bridge's sprint to the Portsmouth fans to goad them may be the subject of future action.

Chelsea were now in total control and the second goal was seven minutes away.

Adrian Mutu brilliantly laid the ball into on-running Frank Lampard who blasted the ball from just inside the penalty area past Wapenaar.

The game was all over as a contest but the final goal could very well become a goal of the season contender.

An innocuous chip by Jesper Gronkjaer was headed out by Arjan de Zeeuw, but the ball fell to the right foot of Geremi, whose volley from 22 yards sailed over the Pompey defence and dipped beyond Wapenaar.

A glorious goal sealed a glorious second-half performance by Chelsea.