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Simon Brotherton
"Champagne Chelsea......feeble Feyenoord"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 24 November, 1999, 22:54 GMT
Blues win Dutch mismatch
Babayaro stoops to score in the final minute of the first half

Chelsea 3-1 Feyenoord

Chelsea were totally dominant as they made a winning start to the second phase of the Champions League.

It is hard to imagine a more one-sided top-level encounter, and Chelsea's only regret will be if their wasteful finishing and a late defensive error costs them in any goal difference shake-up.

Sometimes we are a joy to watch and it was a joy for the supporters because sometimes it's not just about results but how you do it
Gianluca Vialli
After a first half which saw well over ten attempts on goal by the home side, Celestine Babayaro finally found the net in the final minute before the break.

Tore Andre Flo scored twice in a second half which featured almost as many more shots.

Argentinian striker Julio Riccardo Cruz netted an injury time consolation after a mistake from Marcel Desailly, but the Dutch champions fashioned very little else.

Rare Feyenoord possession, watched by Frank Lebouef
Dan Petrescu conjured the first Chelsea chance after three minutes, but Poyet's flick header was not powerful enough.

Some rare Dutch passing and movement resulted in Bonaventure Kalou's shot a minute later but former Feyenoord keeper Ed de Goey stretched across to palm away.

From then it was one-way traffic, with 12 Chelsea corners in the first half alone.

In the 12th minute Poyet's acrobatic volley was blocked and Wise slammed the ball straight at keeper Jurek Dudek eight minutes later.

We didn't have any chance. Chelsea played a very good match
Feyenoord coach Leo Beenhakker
Another clear cut opportunity was flashed wide by Poyet two minutes after that, before Wise blasted over and Zola failed to test Dudek with two free-kicks.

When De Goey fumbled a shot from Feyenoord striker Somalia, home supporters momentarily feared the worst before the danger was cleared.

But as half time approached Chelsea became even more dominant, and Flo and Zola went close before a defender finally foudn the net.

Babayaro crept into the area to bury a far-post header from Petrescu's right-wing cross.

Match facts
Early chances wasted
45 mins: Babayaro heads the opener
67: Flo doubles advantage
85: Zola sets up Flo's second
90: Cruz consolation
The Nigerian's celebratory cartwheel was perhaps as much one of relief as celebration, with Gianluca Vialli's team talk surely softened by his team taking the lead.

After the break, it was more of the same, as Zola put a free kick wide from inches outside the area.

Petrescu then hit the bar with a close range header, while Zola and the Romanian had shots blocked in quick succession.

Flo finally scored the second after 67 minutes, tapping in after the crossbar had again come to Feyenoord's rescue.

Flo challenges former Southampton defender Ullrich van Gobbel
And as the game drifted to a predictable conclusion, a cute Zola backheel set up the big Norwegian with five minutes to go.

Flo was somewhat clumsy as he ran in on goal but still managed to beat Dudek and provide the game with a more accurate scoreline - for five minutes.

Cruz restored Dutch pride and the slightly unrealistic result, latching on to Desailly's error and sliding the ball past De Goey in injury time.


Chelsea: De Goey, Ferrer, Desailly, Leboeuf, Babayaro, Petrescu, Wise, Deschamps, Poyet, Flo, Zola. Subs: Cudicini, Hogh, Goldbaek, Di Matteo, Morris, Della Bona, Harley.

Feyenoord: Dudek, Van Gobbel, Van Wonderen, Konterman, Somalia, Kalou, Bosvelt, Van Gastel, De Visser, Van Vossen, Tomasson. Subs: Graafland, Rzasa, Cruz, Samardzic, Paauwe, Korneev, De Haan.

Referee: Jose Garcia-Aranda (Spain)

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See also:
24 Nov 99 |  Champions League
Lazio bounce back in France
23 Nov 99 |  Champions League
Champions League group tables
23 Nov 99 |  Champions League
Champions League fixtures and results
Links to other Champions League stories are at the foot of the page.