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Alan Green reports for the BBC
"Wise took control, along with the excellent Poyet"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 29 December, 1999, 22:37 GMT
Wise weaves Chelsea spell

Tore Andre Flo Tore Andre Flo scores Chelsea's stylish second

Chelsea 3-0 Sheff Wed

Chelsea stepped up their hunt for a Champions League place with a routine victory over rock-bottom Sheffield Wednesday at Stamford Bridge.

First-half goals from substitute Dennis Wise and Tore Andre Flo and a late strike from Jody Morris took the Blues into seventh place in the Premiership table.

And Gianluca Vialli's team, who have been written off by many pundits, still have the luxury of two games in hand.

Match facts
22: Wise replaces Deschamps
31: Wise nets from close range
34: Flo scores an excellent Chelsea second
83: Morris makes it 3-0
Defeat for Wednesday keeps them four points adrift at the foot of the table, following another match in which they promised much but delivered nothing.

Danny Wilson's men started brightly and threatened to catch Chelsea napping.

But as the game went on, the home side took a grip of the contest, and the Owls were snuffed out as an attacking force long before the end.

Little Englander

Chelsea again fielded an all-foreign side for only the second time in Premiership history - but mid-way through the first-half, fit-again Dennis Wise provided some English presence, replacing the injured Didier Deschamps.

Gilles de Bilde holds off Bernard Lambourde Gilles de Bilde holds off Bernard Lambourde
And it was the introduction of Wise that changed the whole tenor of the match.

The arrival of the little midfielder helped give a previously wayward Chelsea outfit a genuinely creative influence in the centre of the park.

Wednesday, whose start to the season has been the worst in Premiership history, have so far won just one point on their travels.

But surprisingly it was Wednesday who came closest to taking an early lead as they caused a host of problems for Chelsea's illustrious defence.

First Didier Deschamps headed over his own bar under pressure, and from the subsequent corner red-faced keeper Ed De Goey nearly dropped the ball in his own net.

Gilles De Bilde then came close with a low drive and De Goey was forced to turn away Lee Briscoe's sharp strike.

But arguably the best chance of all fell to Booth, who headed wide after De Bilde's excellent cross from the left had found him unmarked in the area.

Wise too clever

Somehow, though, Chelsea survived and Wednesday were made to pay for their failure to break through.

Tore Andre Flo Flo celebrates giving Chelsea a two-goal cushion
Pavel Srnicek turned away Gustavo Poyet's header in spectacular style, before skipper Wise put Chelsea in front against the run of play after 31 minutes.

Poyet rose in the area to neatly head Dan Petrescu's cross into the path of Wise, who side-footed past Srnicek from six yards out.

Poyet, playing in an advanced role, was again the creator as Flo made it 2-0 with a superb goal three minutes later.

The Uruguyan stole the ball from Briscoe in his own half then played a slide-rule pass to the feet of Flo, who finished with a flourish.

Petrescu should have given the Blues a three-goal lead, but he shot straight at Srnicek after Wise's through-ball had presented him with a glorious chance.

Wednesday's Jonk evades the tackle of Di Matteo Wednesday's Jonk evades the tackle of Di Matteo
With Wednesday struggling, Chelsea hit cruise control after the break.

The home side dominated possession, but were content to try their luck from long range, Srnieck saving speculative efforts from Roberto Di Matteo, Petrescu and Wise.

The scoreline was given some further gloss seven minutes from time, when substitute Morris scored from point-blank range.

Wise and Poyet were again at the heart of the action, the Englishman chipping the ball into the area, where Poyet headed across the face of the goal for Morris to finish with his first touch after coming off the bench.


Chelsea: De Goey, Lambourde, Thome, Leboeuf, Babayaro, Petrescu, Deschamps, Di Matteo, Ambrosetti, Poyet, Flo.
Subs: Wise, Morris, Cudicini, Zola, Terry.

Sheff Wed: Srnicek, Nolan, Walker, Atherton, Hinchcliffe, Alexandersson, Jonk, Sonner, Briscoe, De Bilde, Booth.
Subs: Sibon, Cresswell, Haslam, McKeever, Pressman.

Referee: A D'urso (Billericay)

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