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Chelsea   1 - 0   FC Porto

Nicolas Anelka scores for Chelsea
Anelka show both great skill and composure to finish from a tight angle

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea started their quest to claim the Champions League crown that has remained tantalisingly out of reach with a hard-fought victory against Porto at Stamford Bridge.

Nicolas Anelka's strike early in the second half proved decisive against a dangerous Porto side that even threatened to snatch a point as Chelsea survived anxious moments in the closing stages

Anelka fired a powerful finish high past Porto keeper Helton after he had saved his first effort in the 48th minute - and that was enough to give Chelsea three points from their opening Group D game.

Carlo Ancelotti's side were efficient as opposed to spectacular as both sides struggled to come to terms with a Stamford Bridge surface made greasy by a torrential downpour.

PHIL MCNULTY BLOG

Ancelotti - a two-time winner of the Champions League as manager at AC Milan - has been brought to Stamford Bridge with a brief to bring the trophy to west London. And while this was not a convincing opening to the campaign, he will be relieved to have claimed a crucial three points.

And Chelsea were able to achieve it without the talismanic figure of the suspended Didier Drogba against a Porto team who had Fernando sent off in the closing seconds after receiving a second yellow card for a foul on Florent Malouda.

Helton kept Chelsea at bay with fine stops from Frank Lampard in the first half and Salomon Kalou after the interval - but Petr Cech was also kept busy and made crucial interventions late on when he saved well from Fredy Guarin and Silvestre Varela.

But at this stage of the Champions League, points must be placed above performance in Chelsea's list of priorities, so ultimately this was a satisfactory evening for Ancelotti and his team.

Chelsea were without Drogba and Jose Bosingwa as they served suspensions imposed in the aftermath of last season's acrimonious semi-final elimination to Barcelona.

And they missed Drogba in particular in a frustrating first 45 minutes in which Chelsea struggled to exert their authority on a Porto side who were providing stubborn, and occasionally adventurous, opposition.

The Stamford Bridge surface was treacherous as the game was played in a torrential downpour, and the conditions encouraged Lampard to test Helton with a low shot from 20 yards that the Porto keeper dealt with in less than convincing fashion.

Result is what counts - Ancelotti

Porto were in progressive mood themselves in the opening exchanges and Chelsea keeper Cech looked uncertain as he blocked Hulk's effort with his legs.

Lampard, as ever, was prominent in Chelsea's better moments, and he brought a fine diving save from Helton with a header when he got on the end of Branislav Ivanovic's cross as Porto appealed in vain for offside.

Chelsea's early promise evaporated as the first half progressed and they were fortunate not to be punished eight minutes before the interval when the unmarked Guarin headed over from only eight yards.

Ancelotti's side needed to make a powerful statement after the break - and they did it in the most eloquent fashion when Anelka put them ahead after 48 minutes.

Helton did well to block Anelka's initial effort when he was put clear by Kalou, but the striker reacted first to the rebound to steer a finish high into the net from an angle.

Ancelotti spent much of the first half pleading for width from his side in an attempt to take advantage of Porto's obvious vulnerability to crosses.

And the message got home. although Malouda could only find the side-netting from Ashley Cole's delivery and Helton saved magnificently when Kalou met Ivanovic's cross with a powerful header.

Ivanovic should have done better when he stole in on the resulting corner from Lampard, but directed his header wastefully over the top.

Frank Lampard in action against Porto
The match was played in extremely heavy rain

Chelsea were in charge, but could not rest with only a single goal lead to protect and Guarin gave Stamford Bridge a sharp reminder of the lingering threat with a long-range shot that was gratefully gathered by Cech, before forcing the keeper to save with his legs once more.

And Cech was in action again with nine minutes left, coming to Chelsea's rescue with a fine one-handed save from Porto substitute Varela.

Porto will have taken encouragement from their performance despite the defeat - but their night ended on a sour note with that red card for Fernando after he flattened Ashley Cole to earn a second yellow card from Austrian referee Konrad Plautz.

For Chelsea, it was simply a matter of seeing out the final moments and claiming the victory - something they were able to achieve as the hoped-for march towards the final in Madrid began with three points.

Live text and stats

 

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Champions League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Chelsea 1-0 FC Porto FT
(HT 0-0)
  • Anelka 48

    Chelsea

    Substitutes

    FC Porto

    • 01 Helton
    • 02 Bruno Alves
    • 13 Fucile
    • 14 Rolando
    • 03 Raul Meireles
    • 06 Guarin
    • 10 Rodriguez (Varela 64)
    • 11 Gonzalez (Garcia 54)
    • 15 Pereira
    • 25 Fernando yellow card, red card
    • 12 Hulk

    Substitutes

    • 33 Nuno,
    • 16 Maicon,
    • 21 Sapunaru,
    • 07 Belluschi,
    • 20 Costa,
    • 09 Garcia,
    • 17 Varela
    Ref: PlautzAtt: 39,436
    CHELSEA
    FC PORTO

    Possession

    • Chelsea 46%
    • FC Porto 54%

    Attempts on target

    • Chelsea 7
    • FC Porto 7

    Attempts off target

    • Chelsea 8
    • FC Porto 7

    Corners

    • Chelsea 7
    • FC Porto 4

    Fouls

    • Chelsea 15
    • FC Porto 21
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+2:40 The match has reached full-time.
    • 90:00+2:02 Petr Cech takes the direct free kick.
    • 90:00+2:02 Sent off Francisco Fernando is sent off by the referee for second bookable offence.
    • 90:00+1:33 Francisco Fernando gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ashley Cole.
    • 89:42 Silvestre Varela sends in a cross, clearance by Branislav Ivanovic.
    • 88:46 Corner taken by Jose Raul Meireles, clearance by Branislav Ivanovic.
    • 88:00 Nicolas Anelka delivers the ball, Alvaro Pereira makes a clearance.
    • 87:20 Ricardo Carvalho fouled by Radamel Falcao, the ref awards a free kick. Petr Cech restarts play with the free kick.
    • 86:54 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Givaldinho Hulk by Ashley Cole. Fredy Guarin takes the direct free kick.
    • 86:18 Silvestre Varela gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Branislav Ivanovic. Direct free kick taken by Ricardo Carvalho.
    • 85:55 The ball is crossed by Branislav Ivanovic.
    • 84:44 Frank Lampard takes a shot. Save by Da Silva Helton.
    • 84:14 Branislav Ivanovic fouled by Silvestre Varela, the ref awards a free kick. Michael Ballack takes the direct free kick.
    • 83:48 Juliano Belletti produces a right-footed shot from a long way out which goes wide right of the goal.
    • 82:56 Centre by Nicolas Anelka, clearance by Jorge Rolando.
    • 81:44 Jorge Fucile concedes a free kick for a foul on Florent Malouda. Free kick taken by Petr Cech.
    • 81:14 The ball is swung over by Alvaro Pereira, Silvestre Varela takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.
    • 80:18 A cross is delivered by Silvestre Varela, clearance made by Ricardo Carvalho.
    • 80:02 The ball is swung over by Jorge Fucile, Branislav Ivanovic makes a clearance.
    • 79:02 Givaldinho Hulk has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
    • 78:01 The ball is swung over by Silvestre Varela, John Terry manages to make a clearance.
    • 77:10 Free kick taken by Ashley Cole.
    • 77:10 Booking Booking for Francisco Fernando for unsporting behaviour.
    • 77:03 Francisco Fernando concedes a free kick for a foul on Michael Essien.
    • 76:06 Substitution Salomon Kalou leaves the field to be replaced by Juliano Belletti.
    • 75:40 The assistant referee signals for offside against Florent Malouda. Fredy Guarin takes the free kick.
    • 75:05 Corner from the left by-line taken by Jose Raul Meireles, save made by Petr Cech.
    • 74:27 Unfair challenge on Givaldinho Hulk by Branislav Ivanovic results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Givaldinho Hulk.
    • 74:17 Frank Lampard produces a cross, Da Silva Helton makes a save.
    • 74:04 Drilled right-footed shot by Fredy Guarin. Save by Petr Cech.
    • 72:16 Shot from just outside the box by Salomon Kalou goes over the bar.
    • 71:13 Givaldinho Hulk takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.
    • 70:20 Fredy Guarin takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.
    • 69:23 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Florent Malouda from the right by-line to the near post, Jose Raul Meireles manages to make a clearance.
    • 68:47 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard from the left by-line to the near post, Da Silva Helton makes a save.
    • 68:25 Unfair challenge on Ashley Cole by Jorge Rolando results in a free kick. Florent Malouda takes the free kick.
    • 67:22 Radamel Falcao takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.
    • 64:35 Jose Raul Meireles decides to take a short corner. The ball is swung over by Alvaro Pereira, save by Petr Cech.
    • 63:28 Branislav Ivanovic restarts play with the free kick.
    • 63:28 Substitution Silvestre Varela comes on in place of Cristian Rodriguez.
    • 63:28 Free kick awarded for a foul by Alvaro Pereira on Salomon Kalou.
    • 62:36 Free kick awarded for a foul by Eduardo Bruno Alves on Branislav Ivanovic. Petr Cech takes the direct free kick.
    • 62:08 John Terry gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Cristian Rodriguez. Free kick taken by Jose Raul Meireles.
    • 61:32 The ball is crossed by Frank Lampard, Eduardo Bruno Alves makes a clearance.
    • 60:56 Givaldinho Hulk gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michael Ballack. Free kick crossed by Florent Malouda, Da Silva Helton makes a save.
    • 59:18 Alvaro Pereira produces a cross, John Terry makes a clearance.
    • 57:51 Branislav Ivanovic delivers the ball, Salomon Kalou takes a shot. Save by Da Silva Helton. Corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard from the right by-line to the near post, Branislav Ivanovic produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.
    • 56:59 Florent Malouda fouled by Fredy Guarin, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ashley Cole.
    • 56:30 Jorge Fucile crosses the ball, Ricardo Carvalho manages to make a clearance.
    • 55:26 Foul by Jorge Fucile on Florent Malouda, free kick awarded. Petr Cech takes the free kick.
    • 54:21 Salomon Kalou challenges Alvaro Pereira unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Alvaro Pereira.
    • 53:27 Substitution Radamel Falcao comes on in place of Mariano Gonzalez.
    • 53:27 The ball is crossed by Ashley Cole, Florent Malouda has a headed effort at goal from close range which goes wide left of the target.
    • 53:10 Foul by Givaldinho Hulk on Ricardo Carvalho, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Ricardo Carvalho.
    • 52:01 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard, Header from deep inside the area by Branislav Ivanovic goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
    • 50:51 Jose Raul Meireles concedes a free kick for a foul on Michael Essien. Michael Essien takes the direct free kick.
    • 50:22 Alvaro Pereira sends in a cross, Ashley Cole makes a clearance.
    • 48:33 Branislav Ivanovic gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Cristian Rodriguez. Strike comes in from Eduardo Bruno Alves from the free kick.
    • 47:40 GOAL - Nicolas AnelkaChelsea 1 - 0 FC Porto Nicolas Anelka finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Chelsea 1-0 FC Porto.
    • 47:27 Nicolas Anelka takes a shot. Save made by Da Silva Helton.
    • 46:50 Jorge Fucile takes a long range shot clearing the bar.
    • 46:20 A cross is delivered by Branislav Ivanovic, save made by Da Silva Helton.
    • 45:01 The referee gets the second half started.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+2:25 The referee calls an end to the first half.
    • 45:00+2:02 Nicolas Anelka gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jorge Fucile. Direct free kick taken by Fredy Guarin.
    • 45:00+0:49 Jose Raul Meireles takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.
    • 44:38 The ball is swung over by Nicolas Anelka, clearance by Jorge Fucile.
    • 43:20 John Terry challenges Givaldinho Hulk unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jorge Fucile takes the direct free kick.
    • 40:34 A cross is delivered by Branislav Ivanovic, save made by Da Silva Helton.
    • 39:16 Shot by Florent Malouda from outside the box goes high over the target.
    • 39:10 A cross is delivered by Nicolas Anelka, clearance by Jorge Rolando.
    • 38:38 Free kick awarded for a foul by Jorge Rolando on Frank Lampard. Michael Ballack takes the direct free kick.
    • 37:23 The ball is delivered by Jose Raul Meireles, Fredy Guarin produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.
    • 35:15 Alvaro Pereira crosses the ball, Ricardo Carvalho makes a clearance.
    • 31:42 The assistant referee flags for offside against Givaldinho Hulk. Petr Cech takes the indirect free kick.
    • 30:42 The ball is crossed by Branislav Ivanovic.
    • 29:31 Shot from long range by Jose Raul Meireles goes wide of the left-hand upright.
    • 28:57 Givaldinho Hulk gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ricardo Carvalho. Direct free kick taken by Ricardo Carvalho.
    • 28:19 The ball is sent over by Branislav Ivanovic.
    • Correction - 27:40 Alvaro Pereira produces a cross.
    • 27:40 The ball is delivered by Alvaro Pereira.
    • 27:01 Florent Malouda gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jorge Fucile. Jorge Fucile restarts play with the free kick.
    • 26:15 The assistant referee signals for offside against Frank Lampard. Da Silva Helton takes the indirect free kick.
    • 24:05 Givaldinho Hulk concedes a free kick for a foul on Ricardo Carvalho. Ricardo Carvalho restarts play with the free kick.
    • 23:24 Free kick awarded for a foul by Michael Essien on Fredy Guarin. Direct free kick taken by Francisco Fernando.
    • 21:29 The ball is sent over by Florent Malouda, Headed effort from inside the area by Frank Lampard misses to the left of the target.
    • 20:55 A cross is delivered by Nicolas Anelka, Alvaro Pereira makes a clearance.
    • 19:41 The ball is sent over by Frank Lampard, save by Da Silva Helton.
    • 19:01 Michael Essien takes a shot and went wide of the left-hand post.
    • 18:39 Jose Raul Meireles gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ricardo Carvalho. Free kick taken by John Terry.
    • 18:09 Direct free kick taken by Da Silva Helton.
    • 18:09 Booking Booking for Florent Malouda for unsporting behaviour.
    • 17:57 Florent Malouda challenges Fredy Guarin unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 17:27 Florent Malouda crosses the ball, Jorge Fucile makes a clearance.
    • 16:59 Centre by Michael Ballack.
    • 16:33 Florent Malouda takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, save by Da Silva Helton.
    • 16:09 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Salomon Kalou by Eduardo Bruno Alves. Frank Lampard has a direct shot on goal from the free kick, Jose Raul Meireles manages to make a clearance.
    • 14:53 Jose Raul Meireles takes the free kick.
    • 14:53 Booking The referee shows Michael Essien a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 14:48 Unfair challenge on Givaldinho Hulk by Michael Essien results in a free kick.
    • 13:24 Mariano Gonzalez fouled by Ashley Cole, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jose Raul Meireles.
    • 12:40 Cristian Rodriguez produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.
    • 10:31 Branislav Ivanovic gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Cristian Rodriguez. Free kick taken by Eduardo Bruno Alves.
    • 10:19 Free kick awarded for a foul by Fredy Guarin on Florent Malouda. Direct free kick taken by Florent Malouda.
    • 7:10 Branislav Ivanovic crosses the ball, Alvaro Pereira gets a block in.
    • 6:17 Branislav Ivanovic delivers the ball, Frank Lampard takes a shot. Save by Da Silva Helton.
    • 5:33 Jose Raul Meireles takes a outswinging corner to the near post, Header from deep inside the area by Cristian Rodriguez goes over the bar.
    • 5:16 Givaldinho Hulk takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.
    • 4:55 A cross is delivered by Fredy Guarin.
    • 3:51 Frank Lampard takes a shot. Save made by Da Silva Helton. Inswinging corner taken by Frank Lampard from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Jorge Rolando. Florent Malouda takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Jorge Rolando makes a clearance.
    • 3:22 The ball is crossed by Alvaro Pereira.
    • 2:22 Free kick awarded for a foul by Florent Malouda on Jorge Fucile. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Jose Raul Meireles, Frank Lampard manages to make a clearance.
    • 1:00 Salomon Kalou gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Eduardo Bruno Alves. Free kick taken by Eduardo Bruno Alves.
    • 0:42 Nicolas Anelka delivers the ball, Eduardo Bruno Alves makes a clearance.
    • 0:11 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Branislav Ivanovic by Cristian Rodriguez. Direct free kick taken by Ricardo Carvalho.
    • 0:00 The game begins.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Champions League results

    15 Sep 2009 23:59 UK

    Home Team Score Away Team Time
    Atletico Madrid 0-0 Apoel Nicosia R
    Besiktas 0-1 Man Utd R
    Chelsea 1-0 FC Porto R
    FC Zurich 2-5 Real Madrid R
    Juventus 1-1 Bordeaux R
    Maccabi Haifa 0-3 Bayern Munich R
    Marseille 1-2 AC Milan R
    Wolfsburg 3-1 CSKA Moscow R


    see also
    'Great' Anelka wins Blues praise
    16 Sep 09 |  Chelsea
    Tuesday football as it happened
    15 Sep 09 |  Football
    Champions League photos
    15 Sep 09 |  Europe


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