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Chelsea 3 Rovers 0


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match report by Brian Potter

Well, that was my third trip up in that direction from here on the south coast in eight days, and I didn't travel home anywhere near as dissapointed as I did from Watford.

In the end, Chelsea's class came through - we've got to be realistic when you look at the value invested in each side, with that in mind they really should be beating us more convincingly than they did.

I must say I was a little surprised when the team was announced, Gallagher, Tugay, Bentley and Pedersen is a very light weight midfield but I could sort of see where Hughes was coming from in terms of an attacking formation.

Rovers started very brightly, and then shot ourselves in the foot. Conceding that first goal was the pivotal point as we had started the better side and (although only 5 minutes in) the goal was against the run of play. The poor defending was the real problem all night. With the ball we were pretty good, without the ball we really struggled to contain chelsea and I think that stemmed from the midfield line up. It offered very little bite and no protection to the back four. Should Mokeana have started? For me no, not after Watford last week. Would it have been a different result if he did - again probably not - we might not have been as open but we would have created much less.

We also lacked composure in front of goal, but also we were maybe a little unlucky. Certainly the Warnock foul looked like a penalty from where I was sitting.

Second half, Chelsea upped the tempo and to be honest, a combination of this and Rovers not playing as well we were always chasing the game. We still had a lot of the ball, but really had to work to create any openings.

The one thing that stood out being at the game was the number of corners we had - it must have been 10 or 11 compared to a handful for Chelsea. However, we rareley threatened from them and far from wanting to become a team that relies on set pieces, in games like this they can be a make weight for the gap in class.

All in all, I thought it was a decent Rovers performance, and 3-0 flattered Chelsea a little bit.

Nothing to worry about for me, based on last night we will win far more than we lose between now and the end of the season.

Post match comment from Mark Hughes:

"They have individual talent that is able to turn a game and get the points for them.

"I feel that's what has happened. We were very much in this game and ended up losing 3-0.

"We are scratching our heads somewhat because we have performed but, more often than not, great players will produce for you when you need them to."

Chelsea: Cech, Diarra, Essien, Carvalho, Ashley Cole (Bridge 55), Ballack, Makelele, Lampard, Mikel (Ferreira 87), Shevchenko (Kalou 84), Drogba.

Subs Not Used: Hilario, Wright-Phillips.

Goals: Drogba 6, Lampard 67, Kalou 90.

Rovers: Friedel, Emerton, Nelsen, Henchoz (Samba 79), Warnock, Gallagher (Nonda 62), Bentley, Tugay, Pedersen, Derbyshire (Jeffers 78), McCarthy.

Subs Not Used: Enckelman, Mokoena.

Booked: Samba.

Att: 38,000

Ref: G Poll

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