Blues Grind Down Brave Addicks  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 2 Charlton Athletic 1

Frank Lampard in action against CharltonChelsea registered their third win of the season as they overcame Charlton 2-1, but were given a run for their money by their London neighbours who stunned Stamford Bridge with a second half equaliser.

It was former blue Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink - applauded for his strike by home fans - who cancelled out Didier Drogba's first half opener, but Ricardo Carvalho ultimately ensured that the points stayed in West London.

After a one-sided first period, Iain Dowie's troops deserve credit for a display full of spirit in the second, but Chelsea's ability to grind out results at home won out and, following the setback at Middlesbrough, normal service now seems to have been resumed.

The Blues were out of the blocks much the quicker and Wayne Bridge served early notice of his attacking intentions with a run and cross that presented Andrei Shevchenko with a headed opportunity at the far post.

The Russian opted to head back for a team-mate and although the Charlton defence managed to thwart the onrushing Lampard, the reprieve proved temporary as Chelsea moved ahead from the subsequent corner.

Lampard's set-piece found the head of Michael Ballack; the German's diving effort was blocked by Bryan Hughes, but his weak clearance fell kindly for Drogba who stabbed home first-time past Darren Ambrose on the line.

Wave after wave of blue attacks followed and Drogba really should have doubled his tally on 12 minutes after a Shaun Wright-Phillips cross had broken to him on the edge of the box, but the striker's placed effort did not contain sufficient power to beat Carson who got down well to save.

With Chelsea dominating, Ballack - making his home debut - and Lampard needed no invitation to bomb forward at every opportunity and after the former had rifled a long-ranger narrowly over, Lampard bobbled one narrowly wide following another surging run and pass from Bridge.

However, the full back almost blotted his copybook with a lax clearance that presented the ball to Dennis Rommedahl. The Dane placed a pinpoint cross on to the head of Darren Bent, but the striker fluffed the chance as the ball skimmed off his forehead and wide.

Drogba enjoyed his third clear-cut chance of the afternoon on 34 minutes courtesy of a neat Lampard through-ball, but the Ivorian again demonstrated his rather profligate nature in front of goal as he slid wide with just Carson to beat.

Ballack struck another long-ranger in considerably more convincing style but was unlucky to see his curling effort slide past the upright.

The half finished almost as it had started with another buccaneering run down the left from Bridge, another fine cross presented another very presentable headed chance for Shevchenko, but the former Milan man could not provide the finish the approach play deserved as he headed weakly at Carson.

The chances continued to arrive after the break and Drogba really ought to have done better as the Charlton defence parted invitingly, but drove his shot straight at a grateful Carson.

With the hosts seemingly in cruise control it came as real bolt from the blue as Charlton hauled themselves on terms on 54 minutes.

The busy Rommedahl created the goal with a run down the right, his pass found Hasselbaink who cleverly evaded the challenge of Carvalho on the edge of the box before planting a low left-footed drive past Petr Cech and into the corner.

Pleasingly, the initial groans of the Chelsea fans were rapidly replaced by applause for their former favourite who was, in turn, noticeably restrained in his celebrations at his former stamping ground.

On the hour mark Jose Mourinho opted to shuffle his pack and handed a home debut to Ashley Cole who was afforded a predictably rapturous reception as he replaced Bridge, while Wright-Phillips was sacrificed for Salomon Kalou.

While Cole was not involved, the change had the desired effect as Chelsea restored their lead two minutes later.

Lampard slung over a corner from the right and it was Carvalho who got up highest to power a header towards goal, but the defining touch was an inadvertent one from the head of Amdy Faye which rendered Carson helpless.

The visitors thought they had climbed Everest for a second time on 70 minutes as substitute Marcus Bent swivelled neatly and fired home in the box, but referee Alan Wiley spotted a handball from the front man and celebrations were cut short.

With Charlton very much in the game, Chelsea did have the chance to kill them off once and for all when Wiley pointed to the spot for what appeared a rather innocuous block from Talal El Karkouri on Kalou, but Carson continued his impressive display with a splendid diving stop to his right.

In the end, Mourinho's men rather crawled over the line as Charlton battled right to the end, but with yet another three points now safely garnered the West Londoners will be worrying not.

Chelsea Team Name Charlton Athletic
2 Goals 1
8 Shots on target ( Inc Goals ) 2
14 Shots off Target (inc woodwork) 3
1 Blocked Shots 2
6 Corners Won 3
12 Total Fouls Conceded 9
3 Offsides 1
2 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
54% Possession 46%


Chelsea  Cech, Boulahrouz, Bridge (A. Cole 62), Carvalho, Terry, Ballack, Essien, Lampard, Wright-Phillips (Kalou 62), Drogba, Shevchenko (Mikel 86)
Subs Not Used  Cudicini, Geremi
Booked  Ballack, Carvalho
Goals  Drogba 6, Carvalho 63

Charlton Carson, Diawara (M. Bent 64), El Karkouri, Traore (Kishishev 49), Young, Ambrose, Faye, Hughes, Reid (Rommedahl 30), D. Bent, Hasselbaink
Subs Not Used Myhre, Holland
Booked  Faye
Goals  Hasselbaink 54

Attendance  40,194

Referee  A. Wiley

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