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July 26, 2012 6:00 AM IST
 

MLS All Stars 3-2 Chelsea: Lampard influential but Blues suffer late setback in USA

Roberto Di Matteo's side struggled to reach top form despite coming from behind and suffered their first defeat on tour after a disappointing performance

By Joe Krishnan

John Terry, Chelsea, MLS All-Star Game
Drew Hallowell
Chelsea succumbed to a last-gasp 3-2 defeat against the MLS All Stars after a disappointing performance in Philadelphia.

Chris Wondolowski opened the scoring for the All Stars after 20 minutes when John Terry failed to clear Thierry Henry's low cross and the American international coolly slotted home to stun the Blues.

But Terry made amends for his error just 11 minutes later, meeting Frank Lampard's deep corner with a fine header that flew into the top corner to level the match.

Midway through the second half, Chelsea took the lead after Ramires' flighted ball was misjudged by Dan Kennedy, and Lampard sublimely tucked home a decent effort.

Chris Pontius then pegged back the Blues with just 18 minutes remaining after a glorious pass from David Beckham was met by Dwayne DeRosario, who picked out Pontius and he slotted past Turnbull.

And just as the game was heading towards a penalty shootout, former Fulham striker Eddie Johnson saw his effort deflected by David Luiz past the helpless Ross Turnbull to give the All Stars an unlikely victory.

Chelsea decided to rest Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres as expected, and opted to go with Romelu Lukaku as the lone striker, while MLS All Stars had the luxury of fielding worldwide names such as Beckham and Henry in their starting line-up.

But it was the lesser known American midfielder DeRosario who had the first opportunity of the match after just 90 seconds, bursting forward after Chelsea lost possession in their own half, but his shot was comfortably handled by Blues keeper Hilario.

Chelsea looked to control possession, with Lampard regularly spraying passes out to the flanks, with Marko Marin looking particularly dangerous.

However, it was Yossi Benayoun, a surprise inclusion for the game, who managed to find young Belgian striker Lukaku. But the 19-year-old was to be denied the chance to continue his pre-season goalscoring form, with former Watford defender Jay DeMerit making an excellent recovery to clear the danger.

The west London club continued to press forward and England left-back Ashley Cole should have done better with his chance, but blazed his effort over from 12 yards out.

MLS All Stars started to get into their stride after a slow start, and when Landon Donovan cleverly flicked a header into Henry's path, the former Arsenal man was unlucky to see his through ball blocked by Terry.

But the MLS All Stars took the lead shortly afterwards. Henry burst away on the left-hand side after being picked out by Landon Donovan, and the 34-year-old found Wondolowski with a left-footed cross. Terry slipped and the ball fell kindly to San Jose Earthquakes striker Wondolowski, who turned well and stabbed home from six yards.

Chelsea looked to hit back immediately and could have levelled, but Osvaldo Alonso's brilliant challenge denied Lampard after Lukaku squared to the England international.

Lampard was involved again minutes later, this time after conjuring up a one-two with new signing Marin, but saw his deflected effort sail wide. But it was from the 34-year-old's corner that Chelsea got the equaliser.

The former West Ham playmaker delivered a looping corner into the MLS All Stars' penalty area, and after gaining half a yard on Aurellien Collin, Blues captain Terry produced a terrific header which sailed into the top corner past the helpless Jimmy Nielsen.

The tempo slowed after Terry's leveller, and Chelsea were guilty of wasting chances with Marin and Lukaku failing to show the cutting edge in the final third.

And despite the lack of chances in the match, Henry had a golden chance to put the All Stars back in front. Beckham ran down the right wing unchallenged and picked out Henry with a brilliant pass, and the France legend's curled effort fizzed narrowly past the post.

Di Matteo made four changes at the break, bringing off Terry, Cole, Hilario and Benayoun, and replacing them with Luiz, Paulo Ferreira, Turnbull and Florent Malouda, while the All Stars brought off goalkeeper Nielsen and replaced him with Dan Kennedy.

But Kennedy was under pressure just minutes after coming on, nervously crashing his clearance against Malouda. The ball fell to Lukaku, but the £18 million signing from Anderlecht was easily disposessed.

Chelsea began to feel the momentum swinging in their favour, and a fine through pass from Marin found Lampard, whose shot was excellently saved by Kennedy.

However, Chelsea took the lead shortly after, when tireless midfielder Ramires battled his way down the right hand side and floated a ball to the far post. Kennedy launched himself at the ball but missed the interception, and this allowed Lampard to finish from close range.

It was to be Lampard's last action, with Eden Hazard among the substitutes brought on as Di Matteo looked to inject some energy into a somewhat stale encounter with very few clear-cut chances.

The All Stars were beginning to get back into the contest despite the substitution of Henry and Wondolowski, and their equaliser materialised from nowhere.

Beckham's wonderful crossfield pass found the influential DeRosario, who cut back to Pontius, and the American made no mistake with the finish, unleashing a low, powerful effort past Turnbull.

With their starting line-up overhauled, Chelsea sought to respond to the setback, and Kevin De Bruyne's cross was palmed away well by Kennedy, while young striker Lucas Piazon attempted to get on the end of Ferreira's short cross.

The All Stars were looking dangerous on the counterattack and DeRosario again troubled the Chelsea defence, but Eddie Johnson could not latch onto his cross.

And with chances becoming increasingly seldom, the game looked to be heading towards a penalty shootout, until Johnson's late winner.

Some nice football from the MLS All Stars resulted in Johnson given a chance to shoot on goal, and despite Luiz making the block, the Brazil defender could only watch as the ball looped over Turnbull into the back of the net to send the crowd wild, and to condemn Chelsea to their first defeat on tour in the USA.



MLS All-Stars

1
Jimmy Nielsen
Goalkeeper
45′
2.50
33
2.50
78
1.50
6
Jay DeMerit
Defender
3.00
2
Justin Morrow
Defender
56′
3.00
14
Dwayne De Rosario
Midfielder
3.50
32
David Beckham
Midfielder
74′
2.50
6
Osvaldo Alonso
Midfielder
56′
2.50
10
Landon Donovan
Midfielder
45′
3.00
8
4.00
14
Thierry Henry
Striker
57′
2.50

Chelsea FC

2.00
-
2.00
2
2.00
24
Gary Cahill
Defender
76′
3.50
26
John Terry
Defender
32′ 46′
3.00
3
Ashley Cole
Defender
45′
3.00
7
Ramires
Midfielder
61′
3.00
-
Michael Essien
Midfielder
61′
2.50
21
Marko Marin
Midfielder
61′
3.50
8
Frank Lampard
Midfielder
58′ 61′
2.00
30
Yossi Benayoun
Midfielder
2.50
17

Substitutes

1
Dan Kennedy
Goalkeeper
45′
2.50
22
3.00
26
Michael Farfan
Midfielder
74′
2.50
13
Chris Pontius
Midfielder
45′ 73′
3.00
7
4.00
5
Kyle Beckerman
Midfielder
56′
 - 
8
 - 
-
 - 

Substitutes

1.00
21
Ross Turnbull
Goalkeeper
46′
2.00
20
 - 
-
2.00
4
David Luiz
Defender
46′
 - 
14
2.50
15
 - 
-
 - 
17
Eden Hazard
Midfielder
61′
 - 
12
John Obi Mikel
Midfielder
61′
 - 
14
Raúl Meireles
Midfielder
61′

Coach/Manager

2.00
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
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Striker
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1 0
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