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Chelsea blank Hull City 3-0
London, Oct 30 (Agencies):
Published on 30 Oct. 2008 11:51 PM IST
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Chelsea bounced back from their home defeat to Liverpool and ended Hull’s sequence of four straight wins with a deserved victory at the KC Stadium. Frank Lampard’s brilliant early lob put Chelsea ahead but Daniel Cousin almost equalised with a low strike from 20 yards that hit the post. Suicidal hesitation in the Hull defence allowed Nicolas Anelka to steel in and smash home Chelsea’s decisive second. Florent Malouda then converted Ricardo Carvalho’s cross from six yards. Hull had beaten the four previous London clubs they had met this season - Fulham, Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham - but they were brought back down to earth by Chelsea. Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team put in a thoroughly professional performance, regularly cutting open Hull and always appearing to be in control. Chelsea could not find the net against Liverpool last Sunday as their long unbeaten home record fell by the wayside but it took them just three minutes to breach the Hull defence. If there was a hint of fortune when Paul McShane’s interception fell invitingly to Lampard, there was nothing but pure class about the England midfielder’s finish. Lampard deceived the Hull defence as his delicious chip floated from one corner of the penalty area and into the top of the net with goalkeeper Boaz Myhill reduced to the role of unwilling spectator. It was the first time the Tigers had conceded a Premier League goal in five hours and 12 minutes but despite their sensational recent form the home team had looked nervous before conceding and were even more so afterwards. Phil Brown’s team surrendered possession far too easily, while two awful kicks up field from Myhill did little to help them settle. And by the break Chelsea really ought to have extended their advantage. A goalmouth scramble was eventually cleared by a Hull defender, while Malouda twice shot wide and missed a header from a Lampard cross that was slightly behind him. Myhill saved a Joe Cole snap-shot and, later, brilliantly tipped over a blistering strike from Anelka. Yet despite Chelsea’s superiority, Hull did have their moments and came perilously close to an equaliser when Cousin dribbled across the face of the opposition box before drilling the brilliant low strike that rebounded off the foot of the post. Geovanni, displaying self-belief of staggering proportions, forced a save from Petr Cech with a free-kick that must have been 40 yards from goal while Marlon King headed straight at the Chelsea keeper from eight yards. However, any hopes the home team harboured of forcing their way back into the contest ended minutes into the restart after a moment of defensive madness. Kamil Zayatte, Michael Turner and keeper Myhill all stood and waited for someone else to deal with a long ball forward, that was allowed to bounce and then intercepted by the alert Anelka, who slotted home from a tight angle. The off-colour Malouda smashed another good opening over the Hull goal and dragged another shot wide. Chelsea continued to possess the greater threat without ever really giving the impression of over extending themselves. Anelka should have doubled his tally but opted for placement instead of power and was denied by Myhill but Malouda finally found the net, slotting home from six yards after a superb low cross with the outside of his boot by Carvalho. Hull, who play Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday, continued to press forward whenever possible and almost crafted an equaliser but substitute Richard Garcia headed wide of Cech’s goal.

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