Chelsea maintains pace with Manchester United
Saturday, March 3, 2007
|Portsmouth FC||0||2||Chelsea FC|
|Goalscorers for Portsmouth FC||None|
|Goalscorers for Chelsea FC||Drogba (33), Kalou (82)|
|Bookings (Portsmouth FC)||None|
|Bookings (Chelsea FC)||Ballack, Makelele (Yellow (2))|
Second place Chelsea visited Fratton Park earlier today to take on Portsmouth, who currently reside in eighth position in the league. Chelsea, who watched Manchester United defeat Liverpool earlier in the day, were 12 points behind the leaders and needed a win to ensure a tight race until the end of the season. Chelsea skipper John Terry remained out of the squad after his injury in the Carling Cup final against Arsenal, and Frank Lampard again filled the void as captain.
Portsmouth were the first to threaten goal, as Lua Lua blasted a right footed shot at the Chelsea goal, but keeper Petr Cech was able to make a save to avoid falling behind early. Chelsea soon began to dominate possession, but shots by Ashley Cole and Andriy Shevchenko were sent wide and high of the goal. Shevchenko then tried to become provider, as he swept in a ball for Drogba, but the ensuing shot was off target. Drogba soon made amends, as he knocked in a goal from a deep cross by Ashley Cole. The goal was Drogba's 29th of the season in all competitions.
After the halftime break, Chelsea continued to threaten, and Arjen Robben could have doubled the lead, but his shot hit off the goal post instead. The next goal attempt was a 25 yard shot by Frank Lampard, which keeper David James did well to hold on to. On 57 minutes, Arjen Robben made a run down the sideline and was brought down by a strong challenge. He then appeared to have been struck by an object thrown from the audience, and was booed by the crowd for the rest of the game. Portsmouth nearly stole points from Chelsea minutes later, when substitute Andy Cole headed towards goal, but Cech again was in the right place to see off the danger. With the clock winding down, Chelsea killed off the game when Kalou took advantage of a mistake by James, and slotted the ball into the back of the net.
The win leaves Chelsea still in the running for their third consecutive Premier League title, but their more immediate concerns are their second leg Champions League match against Porto this Tuesday. Portsmouth have only the Premier League to contend with now, and play Reading next at the Madejski Stadium next Saturday.
- Chris Harvey. "Deadly Didier Strikes Again" — , March 3, 2007