Breaking News
Nagaland Post Logo
You are here:  Skip Navigation LinksHome » Show story
Drogba, Lampard dazzle in Chelsea win in ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
London, Dec 26 (Agencies):
Published on 26 Dec. 2008 10:30 PM IST
Print  Text Size

First-half goals from Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard elevated Chelsea to the top of the Premier League table as they comfortably beat West Bromwich Albion. Drogba’s looping header after three minutes, his first league goal of the season, set up a dominant performance. However, Albion fought hard until Frank Lampard’s close-range finish in first-half stoppage time killed them off. West Brom had a little more of the game after the break but Chelsea were able to cruise to victory in second gear. Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari chose to pair Premier League top scorer Nicolas Anelka with Drogba up front, and the decision paid immediate dividends. Drogba met Joe Cole’s swirling cross from the right and delivered a well-placed header past the helpless Scott Carson. West Brom barely had a sniff of the first half action as Chelsea engineered time and space on both flanks, with Albion striker Craig Beattie alone and frustrated up front for the visitors. But the home side sometimes struggled to convert their possession into shots on goal, Lampard the chief culprit as a succession of chances lacked the telling finish. Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech dealt comfortably with Albion’s few opportunities, Do-Heon Kim’s bundled half-chance their only first-half strike of note. Ashley Cole forced Carson into a superb double save, first tipping Cole’s lethal left-footed strike onto the post, then pouncing on the rebound. And West Brom’s back line, struggling to keep pace with Chelsea’s passing and movement, soon suffered another blow as centre-half Abdoulaye Meite pulled up while chasing down Lampard. It was Lampard who crushed the visitors’ resistance as they tried to hold on for half time. Chelsea’s last attack of the half found Lampard surging on to a loose ball in the Albion area. He negotiated the flailing leg of Paul Robinson with precision footwork before finishing from a matter of yards. Drogba and Juliano Belletti, who replaced the vibrant Jose Bosingwa at the break, began the second half in lively style for Chelsea. But it was Michael Ballack who combined with Anelka to create an early opportunity for a third, Anelka threading the ball through for Lampard, who failed to weight his chip well enough to clear Carson. West Brom slowly inched forward as the second half wore on, earning enough possession to threaten the Chelsea goal. But Chris Brunt’s wildly optimistic 30-yard drive into the crowd summed up Albion’s frustration at their lack of clear-cut opportunities, and it was no surprise when the exhausted Beattie came off for Luke Moore on the hour mark. Each attack for the visitors left Chelsea space to exploit on the break, and Drogba should have done better when he blazed wide having had time to steady himself. Moments later Drogba again found himself with all the time in the world following sterling work from Anelka, only to be denied by Carson from close range, with Robinson getting a foot in front of the rebound. That marked Drogba’s last contribution of the game in his first Premier League start since September, Scolari replacing the 30-year-old with Florent Malouda. Robinson saw his late strike blocked by the flying body of Alex as West Brom tried to steal a goal from their rare forays into the Chelsea half. But the remainder of the second half dissolved into a tame victory parade for the home side, and Anelka’s low, rasping strike into the body of Carson proved the last touch of the game.

Comments:(0) Login or Register to post your Comment
(Available for registered users only)
More News
  • 1
  • 2