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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007, 21:40 GMT
Chelsea 0-0 Valencia
By Phil McNulty

Chelsea's John Terry battles with Valencia star Sunny
Chelsea's John Terry battles with Valencia star Sunny
Chelsea dominated their final Champions League group game against Valencia - but missed a host of chances and were denied by the woodwork.

Avram Grant's side had already topped their group, but should have ended with a resounding victory.

Valencia keeper Santiago Canizares saved well from Frank Lampard, Andriy Shevchenko and Claudio Pizarro.

Pizarro and Joe Cole also hit the post, while Salomon Kalou struck the bar from only six yards after the break.

Chelsea boss Grant shuffled his side ahead of Sunday's meeting with Arsenal - but they still exerted total superiority against a desperately poor Valencia team.

Shevchenko had a shot saved by Canizares after three minutes and captain John Terry headed the resulting corner just off target.

The veteran keeper then saved brilliantly from Lampard's powerful effort as Chelsea laid siege to the Valencia goal in the early stages.

Valencia's only serious threat came three minutes before the interval, when David Silva played in David Villa, but Petr Cech saved well at his near post.

There was still time for Shevchenko and Pizarro - making a rare start - to test the busy Canizares, but Chelsea had failed to turn their superiority into goals.

Grant removed Lampard from the action after 61 minutes, presumably to ensure he was rested ahead of the game at The Emirates on Sunday.

Pizarro had the chance to make his mark four minutes later when Wayne Bridge crossed from the left-flank, but his side-footed effort was timid and Canizares saved.

Kalou somehow contrived to miss the best chance of the game with 17 minutes left, hitting the bar from six yards after Pizarro headed Cole's free-kick across the face of goal.

Pizarro then struck the outside of the post as Chelsea continued to lack a cutting edge without the injured Didier Drogba.

How Chelsea had failed to score was a mystery, and the woodwork was rattling again after 83 minutes when Cole's 20-yard shot was turned on to an upright by Canizares.


  • Chelsea boss Avram Grant:
    "We want to be in the final. This is our target for the next years, but we want to do it this year.

    "It was not important for qualification here but we wanted to play well and it was great football.

    "We deserved 5-0 at least in this game. It is a good feeling to finish top of the group."

  • Valencia coach Ronald Koeman:
    "I do take some positives from the game. In the last couple of games we haven't conceded. It is important to give some security to our defence.

    "We had problems in attack but you have to remember we were playing a big side who haven't conceded many goals."


    Chelsea: Cech, Ferreira (Belletti 71), Ben-Haim, Terry, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Essien, Lampard (Joe Cole 62), Kalou, Pizarro, Shevchenko (Makelele 46).
    Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Sidwell, Obi, Alex.

    Valencia: Canizares, Miguel (Fernandes 64), Albiol, Helguera, Moretti, Sunny, Marchena, Silva, Villa (Arizmendi 50), Morientes, Vicente (Mata 74).Subs Not Used: Mora, Zigic, Lomban, Montoro.

    Booked: Canizares.

    Att: 41,139

    Ref: Grzegorz Gilewski (Poland).



    SEE ALSO
    Champions League as it happened
    11 Dec 07 |  Europe
    Champions League tables
    29 Nov 07 |  Football
    Champions League photos
    11 Dec 07 |  Europe


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