Champions Scrape Past Addicks  (Sky Sports)

Charlton Athletic 0 Chelsea 1

Frank LampardChampions Chelsea continued their winning ways at Charlton, but were made to fight all the way by the Premiership strugglers at The Valley.

It looked like being a routine outing when Frank Lampard fired the visitors ahead with a trademark long-range strike just 18 minutes into the contest.

However, The Blues failed to double their advantage, giving Charlton hope, and while The Addicks failed to bag a leveller they could easily have snatched a point.

Chelsea wasted little time asserting themselves on the contest, penning Charlton back in their own half by controlling the early possession.

Michael Ballack tried a snap-shot from the edge of the box which was deflected over while Didier Drogba dragged his left-footed effort well wide of the far post.

Charlton attempted to hit back, but with Marcus Bent cutting a lonely figure up front The Addicks had few outlets to disperse the incessant Chelsea pressure.

Wayne Bridge, who was in for the injured Ashley Cole, was causing all sorts of problems down the left-hand side with the home team continually fending off dangerous crosses.

Chelsea eventually made their dominance pay when Lampard capitalised on an Amdy Faye mistake by lashing a right-footed shot past Scott Carson from outside the box.

Faye did well to initially halt Andrei Shevchenko's run, but he failed to clear the danger and Lampard, who is deadly from long-range, made no mistake with the half-chance.

The Blues nearly added a quick-fire second with Shevchenko just heading Bridge's cross over in the middle, while Drogba's long-range strike was collected by Carson at his near post.

Charlton nearly squared matters when Talal El Karkouri's cross looked destined for the far post only for the alert Petr Cech to tip the goal-bound effort over for a corner.

The sight of goal gave Alan Pardew's side renewed hope although El Karkouri's free-kick did not have the purchase to beat Cech, while Bryan Hughes also had an effort on goal.

The champions finished the half in the ascendancy with Drogba lashing a left-footed effort high and wide before Lampard's stinging free-kick was superbly kept out by Carson.

Pardew changed things around at half-time by upping their firepower with the introduction of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink for the ineffective Dennis Rommedahl.

The switch gave Charlton added impetus, but in truth Chelsea always looked comfortable at the back, even with captain John Terry on the bench.

Chelsea, and Lampard in particular, continued to probe away at Charlton, but never really looked like adding that crucial second that would settle the contest.

A one-goal advantage is often not enough and Pardew's troops nearly made the visitors pay when Faye collected Bent's neat lay-off and raced towards goal before seeing his effort palmed over by Cech.

Faye continued to look Charlton's likeliest avenue for a goal although his finish from the angle after getting the better of Claude Makelele was not good enough to beat Cech.

Jose Mourinho had seen enough of the home side's resurgence and immediately made a double switch by taking off Shevchenko and John Obi Mikel for Shaun Wright-Phillips and Salomon Kalou.

Kalou nearly made an immediate impact, but his first-time shot from Drogba's left wing cross struck the base of the post with Carson rooted to the spot.

Fellow sub Wright-Phillips nearly wrapped up the points with a fine low drive only for Carson to make a fine save at full stretch in the dying stages.

Terry did make his return late on as Chelsea held on to close within three points of league leaders Manchester United, although The Red Devils do have a game in hand.

Charlton Athletic

Team Name






Shots on target ( Inc Goals )



Shots off Target (inc woodwork)



Blocked Shots



Corners Won



Total Fouls Conceded






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Red Cards







Charlton Athletic Carson, El Karkouri, Hreidarsson, Sankofa, Thatcher, Faye, Holland (Lisbie 78), Hughes, Bent, Rommedahl (Hasselbaink 46), Thomas (Diawara 88)
Subs Not Used Randolph, Ambrose

Chelsea Cech, Bridge, Carvalho, Ballack, Diarra, Essien, Lampard, Makelele (Terry 88), Mikel (Wright-Phillips 75), Drogba, Shevchenko (Kalou 75)
Subs Not Used  Cudicini, Geremi
Booked  Diarra
Goals  Lampard 18

Attendance 27,111

Referee   M. Halsey

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