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Page last updated at 21:38 GMT, Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Chelsea   2 - 1   Portsmouth

Nicolas Anelka
Anelka scored on his 100th appearance for Chelsea

By Caroline Cheese

Chelsea restored their three-point lead in the Premier League - but only after an unconvincing win over Portsmouth.

Nicolas Anelka side-footed Chelsea ahead after good work from Alex as the home side dominated the first half.

But Pompey, managed by former Blues boss Avram Grant, levelled through Frederic Piquionne's fierce finish and even had chances to go ahead.

Frank Lampard saved the hosts' blushes with a 79th-minute penalty after Marc Wilson's lunge on Branislav Ivanovic.

Teenage substitute Fabio Borini could have made the win more comfortable had he not dragged his shot narrowly wide - but that would have masked a curiously flat performance by the league leaders.

Ancelotti impressed with Chelsea strength

They can, at least, celebrate their first win in five matches as they look ahead to Sunday's trip to West Ham, but Carlo Ancelotti must be concerned by his side's stuttering form.

Grant was given a warm reception on his return to Stamford Bridge, but the home fans were probably not feeling quite so charitable when the Israeli's side threatened to deal a stunning blow to the Blues' title chances.

After Mick McCarthy controversially fielded a weakened Wolves side at Manchester United on Tuesday, eyebrows were raised when Grant made seven changes to the side that snatched a late draw against Sunderland at the weekend.

606: DEBATE
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But in reality, two were enforced, David James missing out through illness and Younes Kaboul serving a suspension, while Papa Bouba Diop, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Steve Finnan all returned to the side after injury and illness.

Having watched his side concede three goals at home to Everton on Saturday, Ancelotti brought Alex into his defence to replace Ricardo Carvalho.

Up front, Didier Drogba was also absent, nursing a back injury, but he was not missed in a one-sided first half, while under-pressure keeper Petr Cech was barely tested.

Chelsea dominated the opening 20 minutes, with Michael Ballack and Anelka going close and Lampard spooning a good chance into the crowd.

Anelka finally made the breakthrough, Alex galloping out of defence and holding off Wilson's challenge on the right before cutting back for the Frenchman to score on his 100th appearance for the Blues.

Grant sees positives in defeat

In driving sleet and freezing conditions, it was hard not to feel sympathy for the under-employed Cech, and the keeper almost fluffed his opening lines on 35 minutes when he spilled a well-struck Piquionne shot - but Hermann Hreidarsson could not control the rebound.

Portsmouth, though, improved after the break, as Chelsea appeared to slip into complacency.

The Blues' set-piece defending has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks, so it was no surprise that the equaliser came from a free-kick, but there was a slice of good fortune for Portsmouth.

Jamie O'Hara's 30-yard effort deflected off the end of the wall, and then off Ashley Cole, before falling into the path of Piquionne, who smashed a glorious finish past Cech.

Grant helped me through 'difficult time' - Lampard

The home fans, quiet until that point, suddenly ramped up the noise, but Chelsea continued to toil with Drogba's absence suddenly keenly felt.

Boateng twice had chances to give Pompey a shock lead, but was denied first by a desperate Ashley Cole block and then lost his footing with the goal gaping.

The introduction of Joe Cole for the injured Deco injected some welcome pace and creativity into the Chelsea side.

And the goal they craved arrived with 11 minutes remaining, Wilson diving in wildly on Ivanovic as the right-back burst into the box.

Lampard, whose previous penalty effort was saved in the defeat by Manchester City, made no mistake this time, hitting it high into the roof of the net.


Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti:
"We did well in the first half, played good football, not with great intensity, but good.

"But after they equalised, we lost our confidence, our composure, and it was a difficult game in the second half.

"It was important to win, to maintain our lead. It was not our best moment because we are lacking. But I think we deserved to win."

Portsmouth boss Avram Grant:
"If we continue to play like this, we will be off the bottom.

"We played tactically well. I'm very very proud of our performance today.

"It was nice [to return to Chelsea], the supporters have been very good to me since I left, and I will always have a bond with this club."

Live text and stats

 

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Chelsea 2-1 Portsmouth FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Anelka 23
  • Lampard (pen) 79
  • Piquionne 51

Chelsea

Substitutes

Portsmouth

Substitutes

Ref: ClattenburgAtt: 40,137
CHELSEA
PORTSMOUTH

Possession

  • Chelsea 57%
  • Portsmouth 43%

Attempts on target

  • Chelsea 8
  • Portsmouth 3

Attempts off target

  • Chelsea 12
  • Portsmouth 4

Corners

  • Chelsea 11
  • Portsmouth 2

Fouls

  • Chelsea 11
  • Portsmouth 11
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+4:07 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
  • 90:00+3:36 Shot from outside the penalty box by Fabio Borini goes wide right of the goal.
  • 90:00+2:51 Foul by Kevin-Prince Boateng on Michael Ballack, free kick awarded. Alex restarts play with the free kick.
  • 90:00+2:34 Shot from just outside the penalty box by Joe Cole misses to the left of the target.
  • 90:00+2:06 Short corner taken by Joe Cole from the right by-line.
  • 90:00+0:33 Fabio Borini produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • 87:32 Nicolas Anelka takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.
  • 86:51 Michael Ballack fouled by Aruna Dindane, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Petr Cech.
  • 84:58 Substitution John Utaka joins the action as a substitute, replacing Aaron Mokoena.
  • 84:31 The ball is delivered by Steve Finnan, clearance made by Branislav Ivanovic.
  • 83:10 Florent Malouda takes the inswinging corner, save by Asmir Begovic.
  • 82:17 Tal Ben-Haim concedes a free kick for a foul on Joe Cole. Free kick crossed by Frank Lampard.
  • 81:19 The ball is crossed by Ashley Cole, clearance made by Tal Ben-Haim.
  • 78:40 Branislav Ivanovic provided the assist for the goal.
  • 78:40 GOAL - Frank LampardChelsea 2 - 1 Portsmouth Penalty taken right-footed by Frank Lampard and scored. Chelsea 2-1 Portsmouth.
  • 77:51 Marc Wilson gives away a Penalty for an unfair challenge on Branislav Ivanovic.
  • 77:03 Corner taken by Florent Malouda, Steve Finnan manages to make a clearance.
  • 76:49 Centre by Fabio Borini.
  • 76:31 The ball is delivered by Nicolas Anelka.
  • 75:23 Fabio Borini fouled by Marc Wilson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Florent Malouda, save made by Asmir Begovic.
  • 75:15 The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Branislav Ivanovic.
  • 74:49 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Hermann Hreidarsson by Fabio Borini. Free kick taken by Tal Ben-Haim.
  • 74:06 The assistant referee signals for offside against Joe Cole. Asmir Begovic takes the indirect free kick.
  • 73:54 Frank Lampard takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.
  • 73:03 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard played to the near post, Tal Ben-Haim manages to make a clearance.
  • 72:59 The ball is swung over by Nicolas Anelka, Aaron Mokoena makes a clearance.
  • 72:42 Frank Lampard fouled by Aaron Mokoena, the ref awards a free kick. Frank Lampard takes the direct free kick.
  • 71:14 Substitution Salomon Kalou goes off and Fabio Borini comes on.
  • 70:23 Substitution (Portsmouth) makes a substitution, with Aruna Dindane coming on for Frederic Piquionne.
  • 66:50 The ball is sent over by Florent Malouda, save made by Asmir Begovic.
  • 65:40 Free kick awarded for a foul by Michael Ballack on Jamie O'Hara. Jamie O'Hara takes the direct free kick.
  • 64:27 Kevin-Prince Boateng concedes a free kick for a foul on Florent Malouda. Free kick crossed right-footed by Frank Lampard.
  • 63:41 Substitution Florent Malouda on for Mikel.
  • 62:12 Effort on goal by Kevin-Prince Boateng from just inside the penalty area goes over the target.
  • 61:18 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Kevin-Prince Boateng from the left by-line, Alex makes a clearance.
  • 61:08 The ball is delivered by Jamie O'Hara.
  • 59:09 Substitution Richard Hughes on for Papa Bouba Diop.
  • 59:09 Joe Cole has an effort at goal from outside the penalty area missing to the wide left of the goal.
  • 57:55 The free kick is swung in left-footed by Hermann Hreidarsson, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ashley Cole by Kevin-Prince Boateng. Free kick taken by Ashley Cole.
  • 57:55 Substitution (Chelsea) makes a substitution, with Joe Cole coming on for Deco.
  • 57:55 Branislav Ivanovic concedes a free kick for a foul on Frederic Piquionne.
  • 56:42 Branislav Ivanovic takes a shot. Save made by Asmir Begovic.
  • 55:50 The assistant referee flags for offside against Salomon Kalou. Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.
  • 55:18 The referee blows for offside against Jamie O'Hara. Mikel takes the free kick.
  • 53:06 Inswinging corner taken by Frank Lampard from the left by-line, Frederic Piquionne manages to make a clearance. Shot from just outside the box by Deco goes over the crossbar.
  • 51:56 Michael Ballack has a header from deep inside the six-yard box and clears the crossbar.
  • 51:37 Frank Lampard decides to take a short corner.
  • 50:18 GOAL - Frederic PiquionneChelsea 1 - 1 Portsmouth Goal scored by Frederic Piquionne from deep inside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Chelsea 1-1 Portsmouth.
  • 49:31 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kevin-Prince Boateng by Ashley Cole. Jamie O'Hara fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
  • 47:05 The assistant referee flags for offside against Frederic Piquionne. Alex takes the indirect free kick.
  • 45:01 The second half has started.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+2:48 The referee calls an end to the first half.
  • 45:00+1:15 Short corner taken by Frank Lampard from the left by-line.
  • 45:00+1:07 Deco produces a cross, clearance by Papa Bouba Diop.
  • 43:35 Ashley Cole has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the target.
  • 42:36 Shot on goal by Kevin-Prince Boateng from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
  • 42:11 Unfair challenge on Hermann Hreidarsson by Mikel results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jamie O'Hara.
  • 41:38 Frank Lampard takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.
  • 39:25 Free kick awarded for a foul by John Terry on Hayden Mullins. The ball is crossed by Jamie O'Hara, Header from close range by Tal Ben-Haim clears the bar.
  • 38:38 Hermann Hreidarsson crosses the ball, Effort on goal by Jamie O'Hara from outside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.
  • 37:44 Shot from outside the penalty box by Alex goes wide right of the goal.
  • 36:48 Papa Bouba Diop concedes a free kick for a foul on Frank Lampard. Michael Ballack takes the direct free kick.
  • 35:23 Mikel concedes a free kick for a foul on Papa Bouba Diop. Jamie O'Hara crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel, Petr Cech makes a save.
  • 34:02 Corner from the left by-line taken by Jamie O'Hara, Petr Cech makes a save.
  • 33:38 Frederic Piquionne takes a shot. Petr Cech makes a save.
  • 32:52 Branislav Ivanovic produces a cross, clearance made by Steve Finnan.
  • 28:40 Michael Ballack delivers the ball, clearance made by Marc Wilson.
  • 28:21 Michael Ballack challenges Papa Bouba Diop unfairly and gives away a free kick. Kevin-Prince Boateng takes the free kick.
  • 26:43 Effort on goal by Frank Lampard from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
  • 26:34 Ashley Cole crosses the ball.
  • 25:06 Salomon Kalou is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Tal Ben-Haim.
  • 24:13 The ball is crossed by Nicolas Anelka, Papa Bouba Diop manages to make a clearance.
  • 23:43 The assistant referee signals for offside against Frederic Piquionne. Petr Cech restarts play with the free kick.
  • 22:27 GOAL - Nicolas AnelkaChelsea 1 - 0 Portsmouth Nicolas Anelka gets on the score sheet with a goal from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Chelsea 1-0 Portsmouth.
  • 22:06 Unfair challenge on Hayden Mullins by Michael Ballack results in a free kick. Hayden Mullins takes the direct free kick.
  • 21:55 The ball is sent over by Nicolas Anelka, Tal Ben-Haim makes a clearance.
  • 19:42 Branislav Ivanovic produces a cross, save made by Asmir Begovic.
  • 17:58 Frank Lampard takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.
  • 17:46 Foul by Papa Bouba Diop on Frank Lampard, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Frank Lampard.
  • 16:19 Effort from outside the box by Michael Ballack goes wide right of the target.
  • 15:46 The ball is delivered by Branislav Ivanovic, blocked by Jamie O'Hara.
  • 14:08 Papa Bouba Diop concedes a free kick for a foul on Ashley Cole. Free kick taken by Deco.
  • 12:55 Free kick awarded for a foul by John Terry on Jamie O'Hara. Free kick crossed left-footed by Jamie O'Hara from right wing, save by Petr Cech.
  • 11:40 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Frederic Piquionne by John Terry. Jamie O'Hara crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel, save by Petr Cech.
  • 9:31 The assistant referee flags for offside against Nicolas Anelka. Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.
  • 8:34 Corner taken by Deco from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Steve Finnan.
  • 7:39 Nicolas Anelka takes a shot. Blocked by Hermann Hreidarsson. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Deco, Hermann Hreidarsson makes a clearance.
  • 5:23 Corner taken right-footed by Deco from the right by-line to the near post, Close range header by Salomon Kalou goes over the bar.
  • 4:54 Corner from the left by-line taken by Frank Lampard, Steve Finnan makes a clearance.
  • 4:42 Nicolas Anelka takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.
  • 3:02 The ball is swung over by Deco, Effort on goal by Frank Lampard from just inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.
  • 1:32 Michael Ballack has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the goal.
  • 0:00 The referee gets the game started.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Premier League results

16 Dec 2009 23:59 UK


Premier League table

Wednesday, 16 December 2009 23:12 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Premier League table
1 Chelsea 17 28 40
2 Man Utd 17 23 37
3 Arsenal 16 21 32
4 Aston Villa 17 14 32
5 Tottenham 17 16 30
6 Liverpool 17 11 27
7 Birmingham 17 1 27
8 Man City 16 5 26
9 Fulham 16 3 23
10 Sunderland 17 -2 21
11 Stoke 16 -4 21
12 Blackburn 17 -13 19
13 Burnley 17 -14 19
14 Wigan 17 -18 18
15 Everton 16 -8 17
16 Hull 17 -17 17
17 Bolton 16 -10 16
18 Wolves 17 -16 16
19 West Ham 17 -9 14
20 Portsmouth 17 -11 11

see also
Wednesday's football photos
16 Dec 09 |  Football
Wednesday football as it happened
16 Dec 09 |  Football
Alan Hansen's tactical view
16 Dec 09 |  Chelsea



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