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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 February 2008, 17:23 GMT
Portsmouth 1-1 Chelsea
by Russell Barder

Jermain Defoe and Milan Baros
Defoe (left) celebrates his equaliser with strike partner Milan Baros
A debut goal from Jermain Defoe helped Portsmouth earn a point against Chelsea in a pulsating game at Fratton Park.

Nicolas Anelka's hooked volley from Joe Cole's lay off gave Chelsea the lead after a goalless first half.

Defoe levelled for Pompey just eight minutes later as he raced on to a Milan Baros flick and coolly slotted the ball past Petr Cech.

Noe Pamarot hit the post for the home side as Chelsea were denied a 10th successive victory.

Defoe replaced Benjani in Pompey's attack with the Zimbabwean striker's future still unresolved amid his on-off deadline-day move to Manchester City.

Portsmouth more than held their own against their visitors in the opening half with the impressive Lassana Diarra pulling the strings in midfield against his former club.

Neither side could gain the upper hand and both sets of players restricted to shots from distance, with Michael Ballack and Florent Malouda shooting well wide for Chelsea and Baros and Niko Kranjcar for the hosts.


The game sprung into life 10 minutes before the interval when Ballack's header was cleared off the line by Kranjcar, while at the other end Portsmouth were unlucky not be given a penalty when Juliano Belletti appeared to handle Baros' attempted flick in the area.

And there was more frustration for the hosts from the resulting corner as Pamarot crashed his header against the post with Cech well beaten.

The best chance of the half was saved for the final minute, but Anelka saw his shot from a tight angle well saved by James and Ashley Cole's effort from the rebound was ballooned well over.

The second half started brightly and Baros should have given Portsmouth the lead three minutes after the restart.

Defoe danced into the penalty area but could not get his shot away in time, and the rebound fell kindly for Baros who saw his tame shot easily gathered by Cech.

At the other end Ashley Cole played a neat one-two with Malouda but the England left-back saw his shot well blocked by Herman Hreidarsson.

However, Chelsea did take the lead 10 minutes into the second period through Anelka from a lightning-quick counter-attack just seconds after Pompey had another penalty appeal turned down for handball.

The home fans and players claimed Claude Makelele handled the ball but referee Howard Webb waved away their protests.

Makelele's clearance found its way to Malouda who raced down the left and crossed for Joe Cole. He expertly played the ball into the path of the former Bolton striker who hooked home his first Premier League goal for Chelsea on the volley from eight yards.

However, Portsmouth were level less than 10 minutes later thanks to Defoe.

David James' long ball upfield was flicked on by Baros and Defoe, played onside by Belletti, raced clear and coolly slotted the ball under the on-rushing Cech.

Defoe went agonisingly close on three occasions late on, but Chelsea had chances of their own with James saving well from Belletti and Alex and an attempted chip from Shaun Wright-Phillips drifted wide of the far post.

Portsmouth were good value for their point, their first ever against Chelsea in the Premier league.

  • Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp:

  • "We've taken a point off all the top four here this season and we're looking a strong side.

    "Jermain did well and took his chance. He'll score lots of goals and he could have had more today.

    "And Diarra is a top player. His performance was fantastic - and that's three like that since he arrived."

  • Chelsea manager and former Portsmouth technical director Avram Grant:

  • "I thought we created the better chances but Portsmouth are a difficult side to face and they did well.

    "Harry is good at getting them going and they are strong, but of course we are not so happy when we don't win.

    "Nicolas Anelka showed a great finish to put us ahead and he's always had that kind of touch in front of goal."

    Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Campbell, Pamarot, Hreidarsson, Davis (Mvuemba 68), Diarra, Hughes, Kranjcar, Baros, Defoe.
    Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Aubey, Lauren, Pedro Mendes.

    Booked: Davis, Pamarot.

    Goals: Defoe 64.

    Chelsea: Cech, Belletti, Ben-Haim, Alex, Ashley Cole, Makelele, Wright-Phillips, Ballack, Malouda (Pizarro 74), Joe Cole, Anelka.
    Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Sidwell, Bridge, Ferreira.

    Goals: Anelka 55.

    Att: 20,488

    Ref: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

    BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Chelsea's Nicholas Anelka 7.38 (on 90 minutes).

  • Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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