Derby Drowned 6-1

Scorers: Lampard(28',57',65',72' ), Kalou(41'), J.Cole(63'), Jones(73')

Starting Eleven:

Ferreira, Terry, Carvalho, A.Cole
Ballack, Makalele. Lampard
J.Cole, Anelka, Kalou

That fantastic scoreline on Wednesday afternoon may lift the spirits of the blue fans a little bit. But I guess thrashing Derby is no reason for getting carried away. It was clinical, it was professional and it was expected. I always believed Chelsea plays the best football these days when Lampard is around and the England International showed why.

Grant picked the best eleven for this match, except maybe the goalkeeper. Cech is injured and may return for the next match, which meant Carlo Cudicini started. He had nothing much to do in the match because Chelsea dominated possession. His ball distribution was superb as always, something Cech can learn from.

Chelsea attacked from start with Lampard hitting the post in the 3rd minute. Derby were forced into an early substitution with Alan Stubbs coming off for Dean Leacock on 16 minutes. Leacock then gave away a penalty after forcing Lampard to ground in the area. Lampard slotted home his 104th goal for the Blues by sending Carroll the wrong way and nestling the ball into the left-hand corner of his net. Goal number two came four minutes from half-time when Carroll came racing out of goal to intercept a through ball but instead slid the ball into the path of Kalou 25 yards out and he send the ball back into the empty net.

Derby boss Paul Jewell replaced midfielder Hossam Ghaly with striker Robert Earnshaw on 52 minutes and then brought on Jones for Eddie Lewis after the third goal from the Blues. The third came when Joe Cole sprinted through the right to feed Lampard with a horizontal ball. Lampard had ran in late, unmarked and slotted the ball home easily. Joe then scored himself when Anelka was fed by Makalele but his shot was saved by Carroll. Cole was first to anticipate and react. Joe danced around the ball and wrong-footed the Derby defenders a number of times and reminded Avram again about him being kept in sidelines for the League Cup final.

A minute after Chelsea's fourth, Lampard completed his hat-trick after belting a right-footer from the edge of the penalty area which bounced over the hapless Carroll and into the net. Drogba came on for Ballack but he didn't look in great nick. If he was in form, even 15 minutes would have been enough for him to get on the score sheet against this invisible Derby defense.

Lampard hit his fourth of the night and Chelsea's sixth with a low left-footed rasper on 72 minutes from the edge of the penalty area. Essien came on for Makalele only to deflect a pass into Jones' way who converted the chance from eight yards out. Essien, one of my favorite players in EPL, looks a mere shadow of the Essien we know. Lets hope that he and Drogba are back to top form soon. Maybe Derby didn't deserve a goal for their performance and the Stamford Bridge Crowd gave an ironical applause.

The last fifteen minutes was boring as Grant brought Shevchenko for Joe Cole and switched to a 4-2-4 from 4-3-3 which meant there were huge gaps in the midfield. That was not the case when Ballack and Makalele marshalled the area and allowed Lampard to make great runs. Frank was superb and his touch was exquisite. Grant said that like him, Lampard would stay at the Bridge after this season. Lets hope Frank stays, not so sure about the Israeli's plans though. Grant also announced that Chelsea are not interested in Diego, the Brazilian midfielder from Werder Bremen.

The only negative aspect of yesterday's match was the substitutions Grant made, which made the game boring in the closing stages. Maybe this was done to please the benchers. Another saddening thing was the number of empty seats. Though I believe this wont be the atmosphere when Arsenal visit in a few weeks time, now that we are just 5 points behind, and with an extra game in hand. Before that, visits to Stadium of Light and White Hart Lane would decide if we are really upto the task because these are tricky fixtures.


  Vinay Nihalani

13 March 2008 at 14:36

Nice Blog...its truly Blue.
Chelsea is My Fav Club too.
Go Chelsea.... Go Chelsea