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Tuesday, 22 August, 2000, 22:20 GMT 23:20 UK
Buoyant Bradford stun Chelsea
Bradford 2-0 Chelsea
Chelsea suffered the sort of defeat that has dogged their Premiership pretensions for the last couple of years as Bradford took their first points of the new season in confident and competent fashion.
A goal in each half from Dean Windass and Benito Carbone, his first for the club on his first start, earned the home side a notable victory at Valley Parade.
Last season Chelsea lost at Watford, Derby and Sheffield Wednesday, a failing that is perceived to be their major fault - losing to teams of a supposedly lesser status.
Gianluca Vialli's side failed their first such test of the current campaign, exposing familiar frailties as Bradford hurried and harried them out of their stride over the course of a brisk, entertaining but muddled encounter.
It was a deserved first Premiership win for Chris Hutchings as Bradford manager. Stuart McCall and David Hopkin closed down the midfield and with Lee Sharpe, Carbone and Windass a continual threat to an unusually flat-footed Chelsea defence, Bradford were the better side for long periods.
Hutchings had made one change from the side that frustrated Liverpool for long spells on Saturday, giving Carbone that first start and in front of his former manager John Gregory too.
Chelsea, who were without the injured Mario Stanic, fashioned the first opening when Dennis Wise's cute chip set up Gastavo Poyet for an early header, which bounced harmlessly wide.
Bradford's response was prompt with Sharpe finding Hopkin unmarked on the penalty spot, but the Scot could only volley tamely wide.
But those early incidents apart, there was no shape to the opening stages as play raged frantically from end to end with little in the way of creativity or clear-cut chances.
Chelsea were unable to develop any rhythm with a stream of passes going astray, but after 20 minutes Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was finally worked clear on the left.
The Dutch striker crossed low but the lunging Poyet just failed to make contact in front of a vacant home goal.
Four minutes later Bradford took the lead with their first goal of the Premiership season.
McCall worked Sharpe into space on the left of the box and the former Manchester United winger swung a tempting cross to the far post where Windass was allowed the freedom to head past Ed de Goey.
Chelsea were rattled - Hopkin failed to finish from an acute angle after a fluent passing movement, then Emerson Thome and de Goey nearly handed the home side a second as Thome headed just past his own post with the keeper out of position.
The visitors' first-half performance was summed up when Gianfranco Zola twisted his way into a shooting position only to screw his effort out for a throw in, while Bradford's determination was illustrated by Carbone working back to the edge of his own area to break up a Chelsea attack.
Vialli was forced to withdraw Hasselbaink barely ten minutes into the second half, replacing him with Tore Andre Flo
The Norwegian was soon presented with Chelsea's best chance, but after being sent clear he could only shoot straight at Matt Clarke.
Christian Panucci was also introduced - in place of Mario Melchiot - and the other substitute's first touch was to volley narrowly wide from distance.
Chelsea continued to press for the equaliser and Zola should have provided it but after being set up by Flo, he too shot straight at Clarke.
Carbone, whose influence grew throughout the contest, wrapped up the points for Bradford 15 minutes from the end, unleashing a swerving shot from the edge of the area that a bemused de Goey could only push into his own net.
Bradford: Clarke, Nolan, McCall, Wetherall, Carbone, O'Brien, Windass, Sharpe, Atherton, Petrescu, Hopkin.
Chelsea: de Goey, Babayaro, Desailly, Poyet, Hasselbaink, Wise, Melchiot, Di Matteo, Morris, Zola, Thome.
Referee: M Halsey (Welwyn Garden City)
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