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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 November 2007, 19:17 GMT
Derby 0-2 Chelsea
Salomon Kalou celebrates after putting Chelsea in front
Salomon Kalou celebrates after putting Chelsea in front
Chelsea moved into fourth place in the Premier League with a comfortable win over struggling Derby County, but saw Michael Essien sent off late on.

They took the lead after 17 minutes when Salomon Kalou finished calmly from Steve Sidwell's through ball.

Chelsea wrapped up the win after 73 minutes, Shaun-Wright Phillips scoring after Frank Lampard had hit a post.

Essien got a red card in injury time for raising an arm to Derby striker Kenny Miller in a touchline challenge.

The first 45 was largely uneventful, except for the constant loud jeering of Chelsea's England players.

Lampard and Wright-Phillips were singled out, as were John Terry and Ashley Cole, who did not even figure in the defeat against Croatia that meant England did not qualify for Euro 2008.

Chelsea took the lead early on with a goal of stunning simplicity, Sidwell threading the ball through for Kalou to race clear and beat Stephen Bywater with ease.

Derby were not short on effort, but they are desperately lacking in quality and Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini had the easiest of times as Billy Davies' side toiled.

The home side needed to produce something better after the interval, and they at least carried a greater threat.

Giles Barnes fed Craig Fagan in the 47th minute but he shot wastefully across goal, and he then saw a shot blocked by Cudicini as Chelsea were put under pressure at last.

Miller had the ball in the net shortly after when he coolly lobbed Cudicini after taking a Dean Leacock pass on his chest, only to be denied by the linesman's flag - with replays showing he had been onside.

But Chelsea doubled their lead with 17 minutes left - and it was not without a hint of controversy.

Derby appealed for a foul after Andriy Shevchenko left Barnes injured in the build-up following a challenge from behind, but referee Andre Marriner allowed play to continue.

Lampard drove into the area and shot against the post, the rebound falling kindly for Wright-Phillips to provide a simple finish.

Derby's efforts were summed up when striker Steve Howard missed a simple chance after 82 minutes, heading wide from Miller's cross.

Miller was involved again as Essien was sent off in injury time for raising his arm to the Scot in a touchline challenge.

  • Derby manager Billy Davies:
    "We did more than fluster them. The Kenny Miller "goal" was onside and I can't thank the players enough for their effort, energy and commitment.

    "But now is the time to invest in the squad. If we can bring in the six players we need then we can compete.

    "We have already identified three players but the difference between top and bottom is clear and that's down to investment."

  • Chelsea boss Avram Grant on Michael Essien's red card:
    "I don't want to criticise referees because they can make mistakes.

    "I have a feeling we are easy targets in the way they give us red cards. Since I came here we have had three red cards, two that were absolutely not.

    "It was not an easy game, we played against a team that played for their life. We held the ball all the time, the players were patient. We controlled the game totally, the ball was in our control all the time, we were not worried."

    Derby: Bywater, Griffin, Davis, Moore, Leacock, McEveley, Fagan (Earnshaw 86), Oakley (Feilhaber 84), Jones, Miller, Barnes (Howard 75).
    Subs Not Used: Price, Mears.

    Chelsea: Cudicini, Belletti, Terry, Ben-Haim, Ashley Cole, Obi, Lampard (Pizarro 90), Sidwell (Essien 75), Wright-Phillips, Shevchenko, Kalou.
    Subs Not Used: Hilario, Joe Cole, Alex.

    Sent Off: Essien (90).

    Booked: Ashley Cole.

    Goals: Kalou 17, Wright-Phillips 73.

    Att: 32,789

    Ref: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).

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