Blues stroll to opening win
Chelsea began their quest for UEFA Champions League glory with a 4-0 win over Bordeaux.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 16/09/08 9:51pm
Chelsea began their quest for UEFA Champions League glory with a 4-0 win over hapless Bordeaux.
Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka were all on the scoresheet as Stamford Bridge witnessed a European treat.
Having come within the width of a post of taking the crown last season the Blues began in a manner which suggested they had unfinished business.
Bordeaux struggled to get close to Jose Bosingwa and Deco in the opening exchanges and were made to pay the price inside 14 minutes.
Bosingwa's pinpoint cross from the right found Lampard unmarked in the box and the England international made no mistake with a firm header.
Luiz Felipe Scolari's men then doubled their lead on the half-hour make when Cole escaped his marker from a Lampard corner to flick a near-post header past a helpless Ulrich Rame.
Bordeaux came back into the game after the break and almost snatched a lifeline when Menegazzo sent a low drive skidding past the post on 55 minutes.
However, it was the hosts who wrapped up the points eight minutes from time when Lampard's delightful flick allowed Malouda to drill a firm effort into the bottom corner.
There was still time for Ricardo Carvalho to plant a header against the top of the crossbar as Bordeaux's fragile defence verged on the point of collapse, before Anelka bundled home a fourth after Juliano Belletti's long-range striker had been pushed onto the woodwork by Rame.
Although the scoreline was predictable, it was a minor surprise Scolari named an unchanged starting line-up, the first time Chelsea had done so in 18 months.
More of a shock was the fact Chelsea's goals in the first half came from Lampard and Cole headers, with neither midfielders known for their aerial ability.
It would be enough to enrage Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc, the World Cup-winning defender with France who has been tipped to take charge of Les Bleus.
It was also Blanc's first match in the Champions League and his team looked like a Premier League graveyard - ex-Liverpool midfielder Alou Diarra was in midfield and Souleymane Diawara, who was relegated with Charlton, was in defence. He even had David Bellion on the bench.
Brazilian Wendel had an early shot from long range that dipped over following a sloppy pass from John Mikel Obi - but after that it was all Chelsea.
They were ahead in the 14th minute when Lampard finished off a crisp move for his third goal of the season.
Deco had moved the ball inside to midfielder Cole, who in turn fed Bosingwa on the right flank.
The Portuguese full-back drove his cross in first time and Lampard sent his header in the far corner before wheeling off in celebration.
Anelka, looking to atone for his penalty miss in the final last season, forced a save from Rame when he cut inside from the left and drove towards the near post, and the Bordeaux goalkeeper also had to work when Cole tested his reflexes with a clever flick.
Captain John Terry then went close when he met Lampard's free-kick with a header.
The French runners-up had no answer to Chelsea's attacks, with Menegazzo almost scoring an own goal trying to cut out a Bosingwa through-ball.
The second goal came on the half-hour mark through Cole, with the England midfielder beating centre-backs Menegazzo and Franck Jurietti at the near post to nod home Lampard's corner.
Chelsea's own wastefulness kept the scoreline down - Anelka raced beyond the Bordeaux defence and passed into open space when he could have shot, then Lampard screwed a volley wide from six yards.
Bordeaux's attempts to fight back consisted of three Yoann Gourcuff free-kicks, each of which was increasingly speculative and Petr Cech remained untroubled.
The visitors showed ambition to get back into the game after the interval but it left them prone to Chelsea counter-attacks.
Scolari gave Michael Ballack the final half-hour as he made his comeback from a foot injury, with the Germany captain replacing Deco in midfield.
Anelka came close to adding another, latching onto Lampard's reverse ball but firing into the side-netting.
Malouda added the third after a run from Mikel that took him around three defenders. He passed to Lampard, whose back-heel invited Malouda to fire into the far corner.
Carvalho hit the crossbar with a header before the end, and a goal would not have flattered the hosts.
Then Belletti saw his ambitious effort striker the crossbar and Anelka tapped in the fourth.
|2||1st Half Goals||0|
|7||Shots on Target||0|
|6||Shots off Target||6|