Monday, April 22, 2019

7-Up Chelsea put Chengdu Blades to the sword

SoccerNews in English Premier League 26 Jul 2008

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Joe Cole struck twice as Chelsea hammered Chengdu Blades 7-0 on Saturday in a stylish rout which indicated new coach Luiz Felipe Scolari may be about to throw off the team's “boring” tag.

Cole scored with his first touch after coming on and added a classy backheel as the glamorous London team notched three before half-time and powered away after the break.

Salomon Kalou, Frank Lampard, Franco Di Santo and Shaun Wright-Phillips all scored for the second time on tour while Nicolas Anelka also got in on the rout.

“The players looked much better than the match on Wednesday — they are more free on the pitch, they played more freely, their bodies are now in better condition,” Scolari said.

“They took one step forward, that's what pleased me the most.”

Scolari has rebuffed demands for more attacking play but Chelsea put four past Guangzhou Pharmaceutical mid-week and quickly had the champagne football flowing here as Lampard, Kalou and Michael Essien went close early on.

Wright-Phillips was causing havoc down the right and opened up the defence for Anelka to round Chengdu goalkeeper Lan Yi and prod the opener on 15 minutes.

Both players had chances before combining to create the second as Wright-Phillips found Anelka, who passed across the face for Kalou to bag the second.

Lampard's half-volley after work from Kalou on the left kept the scoreboard ticking over on 38 minutes.

With the Chinese Super League team pinned in their own half, a rash of substitutions failed to slow the momentum and Cole was put through by Anelka to score number four 10 minutes after the break.

Anelka headed over from close range on the hour-mark before yielding to Argentine teen Di Santo, who pounced on a defensive fumble to claim his second goal in his second start.

Cole flicked in Essien's cross with his right heel before Wright-Phillips was rewarded for an influential display when Florent Malouda's cross bizarrely ricocheted off his chest and into the net in the closing stages.

Billionaire owner Roman Abramovich has reportedly demanded more attractive football from Chelsea, who earned a reputation for solid rather than entertaining play under Scolari's predecessors Jose Mourinho and Avram Grant.

Saturday's match, played in front of a half-full Macau Stadium, was used to raise funds for victims of the Sichuan earthquake in May. Chelsea now head to Malaysia before rounding off their tour in Russia.

Scolari added that new signing Jose Bosingwa was out for at least three weeks with a torn thigh muscle, ruling him out of the first game of Premier League season. The right-back lasted just 20 minutes of his debut this week.

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