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Chelsea creep to three points...

By Andrew Southwick

Chelsea 2-1 Portsmouth: Line ups & Stats
Premier League Standings

Frank Lampard's late penalty denied former Chelsea manager a dream point at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea had dominated the game, however stand in goalkeeper Asmir Begovic pulled off a string of saves before Lampard's winner gave all three points to the home side.

The home side began convincingly, and the one-way traffic kept stand in goalkeeper Asmir Begovic busy in the visiting goal.

However, the home side were guilty of passing up the number of opportunities coming their way. First Frank Lampard missed the target in the third minute when he really should have done better, before Deco, Salomon Kalou and Nicolas Anelka all had chances in a bright opening.

It was a wonder if Avram Grant's side could get forward at all and it was no surprise when Anelka finally broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute.

Brazilian defender Alex got down the right, found Anelka who finished inside the six yard box to set Chelsea on their way.

There was no let up following the opening goal, and midfield due Michael Ballack and Frank Lampard both had chances shortly afterwards, though Lampard especially was struggling to find his range.

After that brief flurry, the visitors began to see more of the ball and slowly imposed themselves on the game; and Peter Cech became the busier of the two goalkeepers.

In 34 minutes he saved well from a low drive from Frederic Piquionne, but was helpless as Tal Ben Haim found himself space to power a header on goal that he couldn't quite direct on target.

Lampard again had a sight of goal in the 42nd minute and this time found the target but was to be denied by Begovic.

Ashley Cole also could have made it 2-0 when he narrowly unleashed a low shot wide from inside the area.

Five minutes into the second half and Portsmouth were on level terms, through another set-piece disaster for Carlo Ancelotti's men.

Jamie O'Hara's free-kick hit Cole, and Piquionne made no mistake as he drilled in the equaliser.

To goal certainly seemed to unsettle Chelsea who were reduced to a few poor efforts on goal, and it wasn't long before Ancelotti began to ring the changes, bring on Joe Cole for Deco with just over half an hour left.

It was Portsmouth who looked more likely to grab a stunning second, with Kevin-Prince Boateng twice in a minute causing problems for Chelsea, and in 62 minutes lashed a shot over the bar from inside the area.

The frustration was evident from the home support, but the nerves around Stamford Bridge were almost settled through an own goal; a deflection off Ben Haim almost deceiving the goalkeeper who did well to stop it heading over the line.

Begovix was going to be a busy man inside the last quarter of an hour, and two saves in as many minutes from Malouda's free-kick and another Lampard chance kept Pompey on level terms, but he was finally beaten by the England midfielder from the penalty spot.

The visitors could have no complaints at the award, with Marc Wilson clearly fouling Ivanovic, and Lampard made no mistake.

Begovic has certainly enhanced his reputation though, and he made another fine save from Malouda's corner as Chelsea seeked a third goal.

 

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