Sheva And Ballack Send Blues Top  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 2 Portsmouth 1

ballack in action against PortsmouthChelsea moved top of the table with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Portsmouth at Stamford Bridge.

Two quick-fire second half goals from Andrei Shevchenko - his first in ten games - and Michael Ballack were enough to give Jose Mourinho's men the points, but they were made to sweat for the victory after Benjani Mwaruwari pulled a goal back for Portsmouth.

The win sends Chelsea three points clear of Manchester United at the summit of The Premiership to complete a good week for The Blues following their midweek UEFA Champions League victory over Barcelona

Portsmouth started the brighter of the two sides and showed they were not afraid to take the game to Chelsea with Kanu heading wide from Gary O'Neil's cross on six minutes.

Chelsea created their first chance of the game two minutes later when Arjen Robben showed Noe Pamarot a clean pair of heels down the left and crossed for Didier Drogba who volleyed over the crossbar.

Benjani wasted a good opening for Portsmouth on 16 minutes when Ricardo Carvalho made a mess of a clearance giving the ball straight to Benjani inside the box, but the African striker drove his shot well over the crossbar.

Chelsea should have broken the deadlock on 20 minutes when Frank Lampard sent Robben clear on goal, but David James was quickly off his line to turn the Dutchman's chip round the post.

From the resulting corner the out-of-sorts Shevchenko should have done better than head straight at James.

Chelsea had a goal disallowed on 27 minutes when James failed to collect John Terry's header, but referee Mark Clattenburg ruled out the goal because of a foul by Drogba on James.

Shevchenko was denied a much-needed goal on the half hour mark when he curled a superb shot towards the top corner only to see James dive full length to push the ball around the post.

A minute later James again came to Portsmouth rescue when Ashley Cole sent Robben through on goal, but James stood up big and kept out the winger's shot with his legs.

Seconds later Ballack dragged his shot just wide of the far post after being picked out by Carvalho inside the box.

Robben was kept out by James for a third time on 34 minutes when the big keeper blocked his close-range shot with his legs.

Shevchenko thought he had finally ended his goal drought four minutes before the break when he scored from close range, but the Ukrainian was rightly adjudged to be offside.

Chelsea continued to pepper the Portsmouth goal before the break and Drogba and Michael Essien both saw long-range shots easily collected by James.

Chelsea picked up where they left off at the start of the second half and Lampard really should have scored on 49 minutes when Cole charged down the left and crossed for Lampard who sent his free header from the penalty spot just wide of the target.

The home side finally made the breakthrough on 55 minutes with Shevchenko scoring only his second Premiership goal of the season.

Robben burst down the left past Pamarot and cut the ball back for Shevchenko who slotted the ball with his left foot into the net via a slight deflection off Sol Campbell.

The goal sparked wild celebrations from Shevchenko with the former Milan ace being booked for diving into the jubilant home crowd.

Two minutes later Chelsea doubled their lead with Ballack netting his first Premiership goal for The Blues.

Robben sent over a deep cross to Drogba at the far post and the Ivory Coast international headed the ball back into the path of Ballack who powerfully nodded his header beyond James and the German was also booked for over-celebrating his strike.

Chelsea thought they had scored a third on 59 minutes when James spilled a fierce strike from Lampard and Drogba smashed home the rebound, but the striker's joy was cut short by the offside flag.

Hilario was called into the action on 61 minutes when he did well to keep out O'Neil's flicked header at the near post from Niko Kranjcar's corner.

Portsmouth pulled a goal back on 69 minutes when Chelsea failed to clear their lines and Matt Taylor managed to scramble the ball to Benjani and the striker coolly slotted his ball into the net from close range.

James kept Pompey in the game on 76 minutes when he kept out Ballack's powerful shot after Shevchenko had picked out the German unmarked inside the box.

Chelsea substitute Joe Cole tried his luck from long range 12 minutes from time, but his shot was straight down the throat of James.

Drogba was unlucky not to score on 87 minutes when he brilliantly controlled Hilario's long clearance down field and fired in a shot which James acrobatically tipped over the crossbar.

From the resulting corner Terry saw his header nodded off the line by O'Neil to keep Pompey in the contest.

Portsmouth won a dangerous free kick wide on the left deep into injury time, but substitute David Thompson wasted the opportunity to test the Chelsea defence by carelessly driving his delivery over the crossbar.


Team Name






Shots on target ( Inc Goals )



Shots off Target (inc woodwork)



Blocked Shots



Corners Won



Total Fouls Conceded






Yellow Cards



Red Cards







Chelsea  Hilario, A. Cole, Ferreira, Carvalho, Terry, Ballack (Boulahrouz 90), Essien, Lampard, Drogba, Robben (J. Cole 66), Shevchenko (Makelele 76)
Subs Not Used  Makaba-Makalamby, Wright-Phillips
Booked  Shevchenko, Ballack, J. Cole
Goals  Shevchenko 55, Ballack 57

Portsmouth James, Campbell, Pamarot, Primus, Taylor, Fernandes (Cole 58), Kranjcar, O’Neil, Mendes (Thompson 83), Kanu (Davis 46), Mwaruwari
Subs Not Used Kiely, O’Brien
Booked  Pamarot, Mendes

Attendance  41,838

Referee  M. Clattenburg

The Soccerlinks Hit List