Middlesbrough 0-2 Chelsea (Sky Sports)
Chelsea Beat Boro To Stay 5th
Chelsea remain 5th in the Premiership with a 2-nil away win at Middlesbrough. Debutant, Carlton Cole scored in the 38th minute with Boudewijn Zenden adding the second in the 43rd.
Things didn't start off well for Chelsea with their prolific striker,
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, pulling out of the match at the last minute with
a calf injury. Youngster Carlton Cole took his place to make his
premiership debut with Gudjohnsen restored to the bench after initially
being left out.
But once Claudio Ranieri's side started the match they very nearly scored after only 4 minutes with Boudewijn Zenden bursting through, but the Boro' goalkeeper, Mark Schwarzer, made a fantastic save.
From that early scare Middlesbrough pushed forward and were unlucky not to take the lead after 19 minutes through Cooper who put the ball in the net at the far post from a cross. But the referee judged a push had taken place, much to Chelsea's relief, but with the home fans feeling rightly hard done by.
The first booking of the game came for Middlesbrough's Noel Whelan for a foul on Jesper Gronjkaer in the 34th minute.
Chelsea seemed to be missing Hasselbaink up front, but took the lead against the run of play in the 38th minute. A free kick by Emanuel Petit, out on Chelsea's right, was met at the near post by Carlton Cole, who's precise, slightly loping, header beat the keeper for a terrific goal from 12 yards out.
Chelsea's Boudewijn Zenden became the second player to enter the ref's book after a late and rash challenge on Paul Ince.
The Dutch international went from villain to hero in the space of a minute when he added Chelsea's second goal in the 43rd minute. The midfielder taking the ball to the edge of the penalty area with his left foot shot taking a deflection past the keeper.
Boro' manager, Steve McClaren, made a triple substitution at the start of the second half with Szilard Nemeth, Stewart Downing and Michel Debeve replacing Windass, Mustoe and Carbone.
The second half was a much better affair, especially for the home fans, with both sides having chances, but without any being converted. Middlesbrough did win the yellow card battle, 3-1, with Paul Ince going into the book for a foul late in the game joining Robbie Stockdale who was booked earlier in the second half.
Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Stockdale, Ehiogu, Cooper, Queudrue,
Mustoe (Nemeth 45), Ince, Greening, Whelan, Carbone (Debeve 45), Windass
Chelsea: Cudicini, Gallas, Desailly, Terry, Melchiot, Gronkjaer (Dalla
Bona 78), Lampard, Petit (Jokanovic 70), Zenden, Zola, Cole (Stanic 75).