The return of The Premiership this weekend saw Chelsea pick up where’d they’d left off last season, scoring for fun at Stamford Bridge.
A hat-trick from Didier Drogba, two goals from Florent Malouda and one from Frank Lampard sealed Chelsea’s biggest opening day win, to send them top of the league, and put Drogba ahead of Jimmy Greaves in our all time top scorers list.
With Ancelotti admitting our players weren’t 100% fit, and following a poor pre-season campaign, this match was in many minds, anything but a formality.
That changed after five minutes though after Malouda got onto the scoresheet after a Drogba free kick was saved, Mikel worked the ball to Malouda to slot home from a few yards.
Chelsea were looking good, especially down the left hand side with Malouda, Drogba and Cole all showing no signs of rustiness, and when Drogba scored in the final minutes of the half the game was all but over as a contest.
Half time came and went, and it wasn’t long before Chelsea scored again, with Drogba netted his second of the afternoon prodding an easy chance past Carson after a Terry header had been saved on the line to make it 3-0.
With the match now beyond doubt Chelsea played with a swagger and the inevitable Frank Lampard goal came not long after, with Cole again involved in the build-up, linking well with Anelka to roll the ball to Lampard who slotted home with ease to make it 4-0.
Drogba completed his hat-trick in the 67th minute with a shot from 25 yards out that took a wicked deflection and straight past the hapless Carson who could only watch it sail past him making the score line 5-0. Lampard and Drogba were withdrawn soon after and replaced by Benayoun and Kalou.
It wasn’t until the final moments that Chelsea registered their sixth and final goal, after more good work by Anelka and Malouda again combined well, with Anelka laying on a perfectly weighted ball for Malouda to slot past Carson to make it 6-0, and send us top of the league.
Ancelotti heaped praise on hat-trick hero Didier Drogba. “He did a fantastic job, not just because he scored but he worked for the team very hard, as did Anelka and Malouda. They all worked very hard defensively. That is the mentality of our strikers, they are working for the team and it was a good start, we wanted to win because we had a difficult pre-season.”
He added; “We played a good game, we showed good football, scored a lot of goals and there are a lot of good things to come from this game. We started the first half well, kept a high tempo on the pitch, but it wasn’t our game until the second goal. Then it was easier for us because there was more space up front and we had a lot of possibility to score.”
Commenting on the fitness levels of the players, the manager remarked; “John Terry, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard also showed good condition today. Also Cech, Alex, Drogba, Essien, all had problems during pre-season but they are all very close to their best condition now.”
“Maybe they are still not in the best condition but they have time now to arrive in the best condition.”
Ok so it was only West Brom, but if this is Chelsea not yet firing on all cylinders, then I can’t wait until we are.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ferreira (Ivanovic 59), Alex, Terry (c), Cole; Essien, Mikel, Lampard (Benayoun 63); Anelka, Drogba (Kalou 69), Malouda.
Scorers Malouda 5, 89, Drogba 45, 55, 67, Lampard 61.