Defoe Pegs Back Blues  (Sky Sports)

Portsmouth 1 Chelsea 1

Jermain DefoeJermain Defoe struck on his debut for Portsmouth as the South Coast side came from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Chelsea.

The Blues had led shortly before the hour mark when Nicolas Anelka slotted home his first Premier League goal for the club.

However, Pompey were not to be denied and Defoe's neat finish from Milan Baros' flicked on secured a share of the spoils.

The game was scoreless at half-time although Michael Ballack had an effort cleared off the line while Noe Pamarot saw a header crash off the crossbar.

Despite a frantic finale at Fratton Park, as both sides searched for a winner, the game finished all-square.

Surprisingly, Hermann Hreidarsson partnered skipper Sol Campbell in the centre of Pompey's defence with Sylvain Distin absent for the first time this season with a hamstring injury.

But it was Hreidarsson's block tackle that halted a dangerous advance by Anelka after 10 minutes before Niko Kranjcar drove a good right-footed shot just wide.

Diarra tested Petr Cech with a firm drive from distance and Pompey more than held their own in midfield.

Even so, Ballack soon headed just over from a corner and then beat James with another header only for Kranjcar to clear off the line.

Pompey then appealed for two penalties. Ballack appeared to escape referee Howard Webb's gaze when trampling all over Richard Hughes and a Chelsea hand then seemed to brush the ball in melee on the edge of their area.

Chelsea had their biggest escape so far when Pamarot's glancing header from Kranjcar's corner struck Petr Cech's left-hand post and spun away.

Out of jail

The Londoners were out of jail again when Ballack risked another penalty claim by sliding in to rob Baros after Claude Makelele carelessly conceded possession near his own area.

But Anelka, who had ploughed a lone furrow up front, could have hurt Pompey in added time at the end of the first half when Florent Malouda's perceptive pass set him up for a run on David James, but the keeper stayed big to block the shot and Ashley Cole skied the rebound.

New boy Defoe had been quiet so far for Pompey but three minutes after the break he worked his away through the Chelsea box, defying three challenges, only

for Shaun Wright-Phillips to get a foot in and Baros then wastefully fired the loose ball against the fallen Cech's knee.

Chelsea were finally stirred into their best passage of action by the escape, and after Hreidarsson saved Pompey with a timely intervention after Cole's solo run took out two defenders and stranded James, they struck with a classic breakaway.

Referee Webb waved away yet another mighty roar for a penalty when the ball seemed to bounce up on to Claude Makelele's arm before he cleared in the 55th minute, although replays showed the referee to be spot-on.

Blink of an eye

In the blink of an eye, Malouda was racing away down the left and when his perfect far-post cross was perfectly cushioned by Joe Cole's silky touch, Anelka was on hand to finish with clinical poise.

Home fans chanted "one-nil to the referee" but their dark mood was lightened within nine minutes when Defoe joyfully put away his chance.

It was direct stuff as James boomed a clearance downfield, Baros headed on and Defoe stayed just onside to devour the opportunity.

Both sides went for the winner and Hreidarsson almost got it with a header from one of Kranjcar's quality free-kicks that dropped just wide.

So did Defoe who had a chance almost as easy as the one he scored but he toed it over the advancing Cech and wide of the post.

And right at the end he fired ferociously over from Diarra's pass. But Pompey needed a masterful save by James to defy Juliano Belletti before the finish.


Portsmouth  James, Campbell, Hreidarsson, Johnson, Pamarot, Davis (Mvuemba 68), Diarra, Hughes, Kranjcar, Baros, Defoe
Subs Not Used Ashdown, Aubey, Lauren, Mendes
Booked Davis, Pamarot
Goals Defoe 64

Chelsea  Cech, Alex, Belletti, Ben-Haim A. Cole, Ballack, J. Cole, Makelele, Malouda (Pizarro 74), Wright-Phillips, Anelka
Subs Not Used  Cudicini, Bridge, Ferreira, Sidwell
Goals  Anelka 55

Attendance 20,488

H. Webb

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