Chelsea (Lampard 14′, J. Cole 30′, Malouda 82′, Anelka 90′ + 2) 4-0 FC Girondins de Bordeaux
Competition: UEFA Champions League, Group A
Stadium: Stamford Bridge, London, England
Date: Tuesday, 16 September 2008
Kickoff: 19:45 BST, 14:45 ET
It’s the first day of Champions League play, and last year’s runners-up, Chelsea, thoroughly dominated Bordeaux, 4-0. Soccerlens had the action live! Click below for the live-blog.
After coming up short in last year’s Champions League final, Chelsea will be more determined than ever to win its first European Cup. Chelsea are in great form, starting off their Premier League campaign unbeaten in 4 matches, including a rousing win at upstart Manchester City on Saturday.
While they would love to win another Premiership title, you can be sure that they’d sacrifice it all for a Champions League title. As such, they reloaded in the off-season with an eye towards Europe, bringing in Deco, a former Champions League winner and a veteran of many European battles in the past.
With Didier Drogba (who is suspended for this match as a result of his red card in the final) and Michael Ballack rounding back into fitness, Chelsea will have many weapons at their disposal as they try to put last year’s heartbreak behind them.
Bordeaux, on the other hand, will start their Champions League campaign on the wrong foot. The Girondins have been struggling in the French Ligue 1 and have lost two out of their first five matches. Laurent Blanc’s boys currently sit in the middle of the French table, and could use a strong effort against Chelsea to jump-start their season.
The Girondins haven’t had much success in Europe, as of late. After reaching the finals of the 1996 UEFA Cup, Bordeaux have been in the Champions League only twice, going out in the group phase in 2006-2007 and in the second group phase in 1999-2000. Nevertheless, Blanc is confident that his team can reach the knockout phase.
Let the games begin!
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Carvalho, Terry (c), A. Cole, Mikel, J. Cole, Deco, Lampard, Malouda, Anelka.
Subs: Hilário, Di Santo, Ballack, Ferreira, Kalou, Alex, Belletti.
No changes from Sunday’s 4-1-3-1 lineup that handled Manchester City. Mikel, once again, will have the defensive duties while Malouda will play behind Anelka. The big news is that Ballack is on the bench while Drogba will miss out completely because of that stupid red card he picked up in last year’s Final.
Bordeaux: Ramé (c), Jurietti, Planus, Diawara, Placente, Diarra, Fernando, Wendel, Gourcuff, Gouffran, Chamakh.
Subs: Valverde, Henrique, Ducasse, Traore, Obertan, Bellion, Cavenaghi.
Bordeaux are expected to line up in a 4-2-3-1 with Chamakh as the lone man up front. The midfield of Wendel, Gourcuff, and Gouffran is very young, but very talented. It should be interesting to see how they match up with Lampard, Deco, and J. Cole. Bordeaux has firepower off the bench with Cavenaghi (who’s been compared to his countryman, Gabriel Batistuta – high praise indeed), and former Man Utd. striker Bellion.
90′ + 2 GOAL Anelka finally gets his goal as Belletti shoots from a good 45 yards away that catches Rame completely by surprise. Rame barely gets a hand on it, and it bounces off the cross-bar. Anelka then cleans up the garbage to get his goal. There’s the whistle, and, mercifully, we’re done.
90′ + 1 Two minutes added on. Belletti makes the run down the right. He sends it back to a wide open Anelka. He shoots, but it’s just wide.
87′ Anelka gets it long and he tries to get around Jurietti. He makes a few moves, but Jurietti knocks it away for a corner. Lampard sends the corner long to a wide open Carvalho. He seemingly has all day to head it, and Rame is completely out of position. What happens? He hits the cross bar, of course. Apparently, the Football Gods weren’t kidding when they said that you should never get that easy of a goal in the Champions League.
86′ Bordeaux try a long pass to Oberton, and he’s one-on-one with Carvalho. Carvalho slides in and knocks it away.
85′ Chelsea on the attack as the Stamford Bridge faithful demand a fourth goal.
84′ Now Malouda will come off and he deservedly gets a great ovation from the fans. It will be Kalou to replace him.
82′ GOAL! Chelsea had several opportunities before Malouda finally knocked it in. Terry has a shot, but he gets blocked. Malouda then gets a great back-heel pass from Malouda, and Malouda beats Rame to the far post. Scolari’s finally smiling.
81′ Ashley Cole gets a pass from Terry, who’s advanced pretty far. Cole’s cross goes out for a corner.
80′ Jurietti is down on the turf after Malouda catches him on the foot.
79′ Ballack tries a cross into the box, but Diawara heads it away.
77′ Meanwhile, Scolari is still annoyed. Is he watching the same match we all are?
76′ Cluj is leading Roma, 2-1. That would be quite a shocker.
75′ Apparently, Chelsea gave away free blue and white scarves to all the fans. It could be worse. They could have given out those annoying Thunder-Stix.
74′ Joe Cole will come off and Belletti will come on. For Bordeaux, Fernando is off and Ducasse is on.
73′ Belletti will be coming on soon as Scolari is having an animated coversation with him. They show the replay, and it looks like Carvalho did, indeed, commit a handball. Oh well.
72′ Gourcuff and Obertan try the one-two on the edge of the Chelsea box. Carvalho cuts out the pass and Bordeaux want a hand-ball. No dice, though.
71′ Scolari is yelling at his club. Why Luis? You’re up 2-0. Save it for Man Utd.
70′ Ballack tries to thread a pass into the box, but it gets cut out. Ballack then fouls Wendel.
69′ Malouda with a nice touch to send it in to A. Cole. Cole can’t get to it, and Bordeaux will kick it away. Malouda’s played very well tonight. Then again, so has most of Chelsea.
68′ They show David Bellion on the bench. How many young strikers have Man Utd. given up on in recent years? There’s Bellion, Rossi, Forlan, Smith.
66′ Diarra with an enticing cross to Cavenaghi that would have made Cech sweat had Cavenaghi gotten on the end of it. Luckily for Chelsea, it didn’t come to that.
65′ Diawara shoots it long range and it deflects off a Chelsea defender. As such, Cech has to dive in order to stop it from going out for a corner. Bordeaux make 2 substitutions. Cavenaghi is on for Chamakh and Obertan is on for Gouffran.
64′ Free kick is cleared by Terry. Malouda gets it and tries to center the ball to Lampard, but Bordeaux get there first. Wendel then comes back and shoot from long range. The ball was dipping downward, but it’s well wide of the mark.
63′ J. Cole sends a great through-ball that finds an unmarked Anelka on the right side of the box. Rame goes to cut off the angle and Anelka tries to beat Rame to the near post. His shot hits the outside of the net for a goal-kick. Anelka had Malouda open in the middle, and probably should have passed it. Carvalho is called for a foul on Gouffran, and Bordeaux will get a free kick in Chelsea territory.
62′ Nifty back-heel flick by Malouda to Ashley Cole, but Jurietti gets there and he back-heels it off A. Cole for the throw-in.
61′ Lampard sends in the corner, but it’s cleared away by Bordeaux. Here comes Ballack and he’ll come in for Deco.
60′ Scolari is talking to Ballack. Looks like he’ll be coming in soon. Anelka crosses it to Malouda. Malouda makes a good move into the box and tries to get off his shot. It’s deflected out for a corner, though.
59′ J. Cole is tackled cleanly in the box, but the ball goes to Lampard. Lampard sends it back to Cole, but he’s clearly off-sides.
58′ Deco is booked for after he hip-checks Diarra in the open field.
57′ Juriette tries to send it inside to Chamakh, but he’s covered like a Beatles tune. Chelsea clear it easily.
55′ Chamakh takes a knock and he’s down. Chelsea plays on and the crowd boos Chamakh.
54′ Malouda makes a good run down the left and he whips a cross into the box for Anelka. It’s got a little too much pace to it and Anelka can’t catch up. Still, that was a pretty mean-looking cross.
53′ Camakh makes a good move to get into the box. He lays it off to Gouffran, but the return pass is poor and Chelsea knock it out for a throw.
52′ Fernando tries the long-range shot and it’s pretty close. It’s wide, but a few inches to the right and it would have gone in.
50′ Placente is fouled by Deco from about 35 yards out. Gourcuff’s free kick is into the cheap seats. Poor effort there, but at least Gourcuff showed up tonight. Can’t say the same about many of his teammates.
49′ Jurietti gets turned inside out by a long kick from Cech. Malouda gets around him and tries to cross it into the middle for Anelka. Bordeaux knock it away, but that was a scary moment for them. One of many tonight.
48′ Diawara takes it away from J. Cole and J. Cole tackles Diawara on the legs for the foul. Diawara is a big, strong guy, so J. Cole wisely makes nice afterward.
47′ Chamakh takes a spill over the billboards as he goes for a loose ball.
46′ No changes for either side. Bordeaux kick off and we’re underway! Interesting score out of Rome. Roma are even with CFR Cluj-Napoca, 1-1. That should make Chelsea pleased.
Well, this is about what everyone expected. Chelsea dominated possession, generated many scoring chances, and repeatedly broke down Bordeaux’s defense. Bordeaux hasn’t been able to get anything going, and Blanc will have to work a miracle if his team is to get back in this match.
45′ + 1About 10 seconds added on, and there’s the whistle. Time for a bathroom break.
45′ Deco with another sloppy pass that’s behind Terry. Luckily, Cech is there to cover and he clears it away.
44′ Once again, Gourcuff’s corner doesn’t get past the first guy. It’s been that kind of night for Bordeaux.
43′ Carvalho has a bloody nose and he has to head to the sidelines. Gourcuff shoots from outside the box, and it’s deflected out for a corner.
41′ Joe Cole splits two defenders and breaks towards the box. The third defender’s the charm, though, and Cole loses it. Meanwhile, Drogba is sitting behind the bench and listening to his iPod. I wonder what he’s listening to. Lil’ Wayne? 50 Cent? Barry Manilow?
40′ Chelsea foul gives Bordeaux a free kick from well outside the box. Despite the distance, Gourcuff tries to go for goal, and it’s well over the cross bar. Cech’s booming punt is flicked on by Malouda, and it bounces precariously in front of goal. Rame grabs it in a crowd and averts the crisis.
39′ Bosingwa sends it to Lampard. Lampard tries to go over-the-top back to Bosingwa, but Bosingwa wanders too far past Bordeaux’s offside trap, and he gets called for it.
38′ Bosingwa, who seems to be doing whatever he wants to, tries to thread the through-ball to Deco, but it’s long and Rame takes it.
37′ Terry gives up a corner on Gouffran’s cross. Gouffran takes the corner, and it doesn’t get past the first defender. Poor effort from Gouffran.
36′ Gourcuff takes the free kick and curls it left, barely missing the top corner by a few inches. That would have changed things considerably.
35′ Deco gives it away badly and Chamakh streaks towards the goal. Carvalho tackles him hard and I have no idea how Carvalho didn’t get a yellow there. He didn’t get the ball at all and he got plenty of Chamakh.
34′ Bosingwa with another great cross into the box towards Malouda. Malouda knocks it down to an unmarked Lampard (how do they keep missing this guy?). Lampard has the angle and should have scored, but he knocks it wide. He’ll never have a easier chance.
32′ Another giveaway by Bordeaux as Deco gets the gift from Diarra. Blanc’s got some work to do with his midfield.
30′ GOAL! Lampard’s corner finds Joe Cole, and Cole heads it past Rame on the near post. The rout is on.
29′ More sloppy play by Bordeaux and they give it away. Malouda sends a cross into the box, and it’s deflected out for a corner.
26′ Bad giveaway by Gourcuff and Deco sends a through-ball to Anelka. Anelka tries to cross it back into the box to Malouda, but it’s behind him and there’s no one in a blue shirt to pick it up. Bordeaux survives the bad turnover.
25′ Bordeaux win a free kick in the Chelsea half of the field. No idea what happened since ESPN was showing the replay of the Lampard goal. Gourcuff lifts a high arcing cross into the box. Cech is out to grab it and Bordeaux waste it.
24′ Bosingwa makes a good move to win a corner that he had no business winning. Short corner and Bosingwa makes another good cross into the box. Terry tries to flick it on to Anelka, but it’s out for a goal-kick.
22′ Bosingwa sends in a throughball towards Anelka, and Fernando nearly puts it past his own keeper. Luckily, Rame makes the great diving save. That might have been Rame’s best save of the night so far.
21′ Anelka is fouled near the sideline. Lampard’s free kick goes into the box to an unmarked Terry. He’s got the free release and he heads it just wide of the mark. Terry always gets 3 or 4 of those every year.
20′ Short corner and Deco goes for the shot from the left wing. It trickles to Joe Cole, who’s at the near post, but Diawara is there to defend it.
19′ Gourcuff fouls Mikel, and it looks like Gourcuff didn’t even touch him. Great acting job by Mikel. Like when he fooled Manchester United into believing that he wanted to play for them. Anelka comes back with a strong shot from long distance. It’s on target and Rame has to make a diving stop to concede the corner.
18′ Wendel’s free kick is into the wall. So much for that.
17′ Terry is called for the foul, and Bordeaux will have a good free kick chance from about 30 yards out. Let’s see if Terry and Cech will yell at each other like they did last weekend.
16′ Chelsea come back and Joe Cole gets a chance that is deflected by Diawara. The ball goes up in the air, but Rame gets to it first. Suddenly, Bordeaux look really shaky.
14′ GOAL! Bosingwa with a great cross into the box that finds an unmarked Lampard. Frank calmly heads it down and it bounces past Rame for the score. That’s how quickly they can score.
13′ Bosingwa puts the ball through Placente’s legs and gets around him. His cross into the box is cleared away, but that was a nifty move.
11′ Bordeaux have had quite a bit of possession thus far. Both teams are still feeling each other out, though, so that stat doesn’t mean much.
10′ Poor giveaway by Mikel leads to a chance for Wendel. Wendel tries the long-range shot, but it’s just over the crossbar.
8′ Malouda with a good pass into the box that, unfortunately for him, goes between Joe Cole and Anelka. While they both hesitate, Bordeaux are able to clear it away.
7′ Bosingwa tries the through-ball to Joe Cole deep down the right flank. It’s a little long, but Cole gets on his horse and keeps it from going out. Planus has to kick it out to concede the throw.
5′ Jurietti gives it away, and Chelsea go on the attack. Deco with a nice over-the-top lob into the box for J. Cole. It’s long, though, and Rame takes it.
4′ Great tackle by Wendel to take it away from Deco. Placente tries to cross it into the box from deep on the left flank, but it’s cleared by Chelsea.
3′ Tommy tells us that the Girondins are named after one of the factions in the French Revolution. Duh. You can’t exactly name a team after the Jacobins. Wendel tries to cross into the box, but Carvalho heads it out for a throw.
2′ Interesting fact: Bordeaux have never scored on English soil. The Girondins would love to break that streak tonight. Lampard is called for a foul on Jurietti.
1′ Chelsea will kick off, and here we go! Bosingwa is called for the early off-sides.
0′ Here they come out of the tunnel. Time to line up and listen to that weird “Champions League” anthem. I wonder if UEFA employees have to bow their heads in respect or put their right hands over their hearts when the “anthem” plays.
0′ The teams are warming up on the field. Predictably, ESPN shows the highlights from last year’s Champions League Final. Good times. I could watch that shootout all day.
0′ Let’s see if Chelsea can continue their excellent early-season form. They’ve looked like the best team in England, so far.
0′ Hello and welcome to Soccerlens’ 2008-2009 coverage of the UEFA Champions League! I’m Victor, and I’ll be your intrepid live-blogger.
Well, this was about what we expected. Bordeaux were never really in this match and Chelsea cruised to the easy victory. With Roma’s loss, Chelsea are firmly in the driver’s seat in Group A. I said before the match that Chelsea look like the best team in England. They may have taken on an inferior side, but good teams win the matches that they are supposed to. Especially in the Champions League, where you want to qualify for the knock-out stage as quickly as possible.
Bordeaux will have an uphill climb to get to the next round. It’s hard to evaluate their merits based on this match, considering the quality of their opponent, but there isn’t much to be optimistic about if you’re a Bordeaux fan. Still, they have a match against a suddenly suspect Roma, and if they win that match, then this one will be all but forgotten.
Man of the Match
There were no shortage of candidates here. Bosingwa dominated play on the right side and pretty much did whatever he wanted. He sent in a number of great crosses and set up Lampard’s opening goal. Malouda played very well, constantly getting open down the left flank and scoring on Lampard’s assist. Lampard, however, showed why he is one of the best in the business. He scored one (and should have had another one) and assisted on two goals. He made a number of good passes that nearly led to goals, and really controlled the action in midfield, making up for uneven performances by Deco and Mikel.