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Chelsea 2-0 Stoke: Not quite playstation but could have been!

Chelsea took another three points at Stamford Bridge yesterday by beating a plucky Stoke side 2-0 with goals from Florent Malouda and a D...

Stamford Bridge, Chelsea v Stoke City, Premier League 28/08/2010  Florent Malouda of Chelsea celebrates with Didier Drogba & John Terry Chelsea after scoring the 1st goal Photo Marc Atkins Fotosports International Photo via Newscom


Chelsea took another three points at Stamford Bridge yesterday by beating a plucky Stoke side 2-0 with goals from Florent Malouda and a Didier Drogba penalty. It wasn't the 6-0 win we had become accustomed to in recent weeks but if we had taken our chances in the first half we could and should have been 4-0 up at half time!.

As predicted in my match preview yesterday Paulo Ferreira came into replace the injured Ivanovic in the only change to the starting eleven from last week and played well.

Chelsea started better in the game compared to the two games we have played so far and should have been a goal up after just five minutes. A ball played through to Ashley Cole found him wide open in the box and Cole screwed his shot wide of the far post when it was much easier to score!.

Chelsea's Frank Lampard (L) is consoled by teammate Didier Drogba after Stoke City's goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen (R) saves a penalty during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge in London August 28, 2010. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) NO ONLINE/INTERNET USAGE WITHOUT A LICENCE FROM THE FOOTBALL DATA CO LTD. FOR LICENCE ENQUIRIES PLEASE TELEPHONE ++44 (0)


Chelsea should have scored a second as Ryan Shawcross brought down Malouda in the box. Lampard stepped up to take the penalty and went to the keepers left (the opposite to where he normally goes) and it was a easy save for Sorensen in goal. Not a great pen from Frank (more on Frank later today).

Chelsea took the lead as John Terry won the ball on half way and brought it forward, saw Malouda had made a run off the shoulder of the defender and played a perfectly weighted pass through to him and Malouda fired home past the keeper as he ran onto the ball and made it 1-0 Chelsea.

Soon after that Didier Drogba found himself on the left wing with the ball and played a delightful ball over the top to Cole in the box once more and his first time volley rattled the Stoke crossbar from 10 yards.

Stoke also had a couple of half chances in the first half, first early in the half when Dean Whitehead played a one two with Kenwyne Jones at the edge of our box and smacked a shot towards Cech's near post that was saved at the second attempt by Cech. Matthew Etherington also got the better (and that was the only time I could remember) of Ferreira and crossed for Walters to lob the ball onto the roof of the net.

Stoke were outplayed by Chelsea and looked like they struggled against our counter attack but to their credit tried to play football when they had the ball and managed to create a couple of chances. They had not come to lie down and allow Chelsea all the possession of the ball and at times Chelsea had difficulty finding that killer ball (apart from the chances I have described already).

Second half started the same with Chelsea once more dominating possession. Just eight minutes into the second half Didier Drogba headed straight into the arms of Sorensen when you have put money on him to score from 10 yards.

Glenn Whelan smacked a 25 yarder onto the crossbar with Cech beaten and that was as close as Stoke would get in the rest of the game. Kalou came on for Lampard and Malouda switched into the central midfield position.

Chelsea's Nicolas Anelka (R) earns a penalty after being fouled by Stoke City's goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge in London August 28, 2010. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER IMAGES OF THE DAY) NO ONLINE/INTERNET USAGE WITHOUT A LICENCE FROM THE FOOTBALL DATA CO LTD. FOR LICENCE ENQUIRIES PLEASE TELEPHONE ++44 (0)


Shortly after a ball through to Anelka wide left of the box had the forward in on goal, Sorensen came out and as Anelka pushed the ball passed him and away from goal, Sorensen took him out and another penalty was given. Some of us in the stand were surprised to see not even a yellow card given to the keeper. Drogba slotted the penalty home and made it 2-0 Chelsea.

Stamford Bridge, Chelsea v Stoke City, Premier League 28/08/2010  Didier Drogba of Chelsea celebrates scoring the penalty Photo Marc Atkins Fotosports International Photo via Newscom


Stoke did look to threaten Chelsea in the second half and a great tackle from Alex in the box like he had done all game continued to shut them out and Chelsea remained comfortable.

Stamford Bridge, Chelsea v Stoke City, Premier League 28/08/2010  Ramires of Chelsea in action Photo Marc Atkins Fotosports International Photo via Newscom


With about 7 minutes to go the sight us fans had been looking forward to. Essien was replaced by new man Ramires who showed one or two nice touches but to be fair he had little time to really make an impact.

Chelsea had two more chances in the closing stages, once from Danny Sturridge who shot well wide from a narrow angle and finally Saloman Kalou dribbled his way through the defence and when he was one on one with the keeper couldn't beat Sorensen to make it 3-0.

So all in all its a win for Chelsea. At times we looked good but also we looked sluggish and Ancelotti knows it wasn't our best performance. Carlo spoke after the game and he said:
'I am happy when we are able to do our best, Today was not our best performance, there was a lot of difficulty in the game. We didn't have a high tempo in the game and we conceded a lot of throw-ins so the tempo couldn't get high. But I am happy because we won, we didn't concede a goal, we maintained a clean sheet and we maintained the top of the table.

The first-half was the better performance, We had opportunities to score more than once. The second-half was more difficult but this can happen. We worked very hard this week because it is the week before the international break and then the start of the Champions League. So the players had a very tough week and they were not so sharp"

Stamford Bridge, Chelsea v Stoke City, Premier League 28/08/2010  Stoke Manager, Tony Pulis throws away his water bottle in frustration Photo Marc Atkins Fotosports International Photo via Newscom


Tony Pulis also spoke about the game and gave a realistic view. He said:
"They worked their socks off and we had our moments, If Whelan's shot had gone in it would have been an interesting final 18 minutes. We haven't played too bad this season, we played really well against Tottenham but overall Chelsea were the better team. At the end of the day they scored and deserved to win."
(Source: Chelseafc.com)

Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ferreira , Alex, Terry (c), Cole; Essien (Ramires 84), Mikel, Lampard (Kalou 71); Anelka (Sturridge 80), Drogba, Malouda.
Scorers Malouda 31, Drogba pen 76.
Unused subs Turnbull, van Aanholt, Zhirkov , Benayoun.

Stoke (4-4-2): Sorensen; Huth, Shawcross (c), Ab Faye, Collins; Wilkinson, Delap (Pugh 83), Whitehead, (Whelan 50), Etherington; Walters, Jones (Fuller 67).
Unused subs Begovic, Higginbotham, Tonge, Tuncay.
Booked Whitehead 36, Etherington 44.

Referee Martin Atkinson
Crowd 40,931

Shots on Chelsea6 Stoke 3
Corners Chelsea 6 Stoke 1
Fouls Chelsea 5 Stoke 10
Offsides Chelsea 2 Stoke 1
(Stats from chelseafc.com)

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