Chelsea extend Pompey hoodoo
Chelsea thrashed Portsmouth 4-0 at Fratton Park in the third round of the Carling Cup.
By Peter Fraser
Last Updated: 24/09/08 11:09pm
Chelsea stretched a 48-year unbeaten record against Portsmouth as they thrashed Harry Redknapp's side 4-0 at Fratton Park in the third round of the Carling Cup.
The Blues travelled to the South Coast well aware that it was 24 matches since they last suffered defeat at the hands of Pompey and a Frank Lampard double and goals from Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou ensured Luiz Felipe Scolari's side extended that statistic.
Pompey's last victory over their visitors from London came in the same competition in 1960, but as Lampard opened the scoring from the penalty spot on 36 minutes a repeat performance looked unlikely.
Malouda, who is enjoying a new lease of life under Scolari, then added a second with a crisp left-footed strike following good work from Kalou on the stroke of half-time.
Lampard was in the right place at the right time to add a third from close range after the interval, and Kalou helped Chelsea replicate their opening day Premier League victory over Pompey shortly after the hour-mark as he slotted in a fourth.
Scolari, who remains unbeaten since taking up the Chelsea hot-seat in the summer, also inherited a club with an impressive recent League Cup record - with the Stamford Bridge outfit winning the competition in 2005 and 2007, and finishing runners-up last season.
The Brazilian proved he was keen to add to that modern roll of honour as he handed Didier Drogba his first start of the season following a knee injury and Branislav Ivanovic opened his appearance account after joining from Lokomotiv Moscow in January.
Pompey boss Redknapp, who saw his side hit for six in the Premier League by Manchester City at the weekend, also signalled his intent by naming a similarly strong starting XI as Peter Crouch took his place in attack and England No.1 David James began in goal.
But it was the visitors, who also sampled League Cup success in 1965 and 1998, who had the best chance of a lively opening as Ivory Coast striker Drogba whistled an effort just past James' far post.
Pompey were struggling for possession and a shrug of the shoulders from James as he looked for options with the ball at his feet epitomised the home side's frustrations as Crouch was well marshalled by Chelsea centre-back Alex.
Redknapp's men were looking for the aerial route to Crouch, however, the tactic almost came to fruition on 30 minutes when the England international headed into the path of Belhadj and the Algerian rifled just over from range.
Belhadj was again at the heart of the action nine minutes before half-time, but for the wrong reasons as far as Pompey were concerned, as referee Steve Bennett pointed to the spot following the 26-year-old's apparent trip on Michael Ballack in the 18-yard area.
Pompey believed Germany midfielder Ballack made the most of the challenge, with Hermann Hreidarsson booked for his protests, but Lampard remained focused and calmly slotted into the bottom left-hand corner after sending James the wrong way.
And with Redknapp's side still aggravated by Bennett's decision, French winger Malouda doubled Chelsea's advantage on 45 minutes as he made no mistake from 10 yards after a well-timed cut-back from Kalou.
Four minutes after the interval, things got worse for Pompey as Kalou dug out a cross from the right-hand side and Lampard bundled home from close range after James had inexcusably fumbled.
Pompey continued to struggle to penetrate a Chelsea backline superbly guided by captain John Terry and it was only the occasional set piece that looked likely to cause Scolari's side any problems.
And Redknapp then saw his sieve-like defence breached for a fourth time on 64 minutes as Kalou netted from inside the area after Ivanovic had robbed a lazy-looking Sylvain Distin to set up his team-mate.
Chelsea toyed with Pompey, who brought on youngster Marc Wilson for his debut, in the closing stages, but a fifth goal was not forthcoming, or neccesary, as the Blues cruised into the last 16.
|0||1st Half Goals||2|
|0||Shots on Target||4|
|4||Shots off Target||7|