Chelsea 4 Portsmouth 0

August 17, 2008 | Filed Under: UK Box, UK Box Update 
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Luiz Felipe Scolari’s first Premier League game at the helm saw the Blues play with more freedom and fluency as they brushed aside the FA Cup winners with ease thanks to three first half goals from Joe Cole, Nicolas Anelka and a Frank Lampard penalty. Man-of-the-match debutant Deco sealed the win with a late 25-yard effort to put them top of the table after the opening game.

Chelsea dominated from the start and it was no surprise when they took a well deserved lead on 12 minutes. Michael Ballack threaded a great ball through for Joe Cole to latch on to and he beat David James with a low angled strike into the far bottom corner of the net.

Lampard set up Anelka in a similar move on 21 minutes but James saved with his leg to deny the French hitman from a tighter angle.

Anelka was not to be denied a goal as he put Chelsea 2-0 ahead on 26 minutes. A cross from the right was knocked back into the centre of the goalmouth by Deco and the former Bolton man out jumped Glen Johnson to head home with James stranded on the floor.

Anelka went close on the half hour as he slid a long kick up field from Peter Cech past James from the edge of the area, but the ball rolled the wrong side of the upright.

Portsmouth’s best chance to get back in the game during the first half came on 43 minutes when Cech did well to block Peter Crouch’s close-range effort after he had spilled a long range drive from Niko Kranjcar. Johnson’s follow up effort was also blocked as the Blues quickly added a killer third.

The referee harshly adjudged that Sylvain Distin willingly handled Joe Cole’s chip into the area in first half stoppage time and awarded a penalty which was fired in by Lampard.

The anticipated second half goals glut did not materialise as Chelsea took their foot off the pedal as it progressed, while Pompey did manage to shore things up.

However there was a deserved first goal for Deco who caught out James with an effort from distance on 89 minutes. The England shot-stopper will feel he should have kept the effort out as he parried it into the top corner of the net.

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