Blues Bridge The Gap On Leaders  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 3 Portsmouth 0

Wayne Bridge scores Chelsea's first goal.Chelsea returned to winning ways as they comfortably beat Portsmouth 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues suffered a nightmare start to their festive period fixtures when they were beaten by Charlton on Boxing Day, but grabbed the three points that keeps them in touch with the top two in the Premiership.

The result had been in doubt after the first half, with Portsmouth more than matching their hosts.

Frank Lampard came the closest to breaking the deadlock when he fired in a 25-yard effort that crashed off Harald Wapenaar's right post and back out to safety.

Eidur Gudjohnsen and Adrian Mutu also wasted decent chances for a Chelsea side clearly lacking confidence after a disappointing run of results.

Portsmouth's best chance of the game fell to Yakubu Aiyegbeni after excellent work by Steve Stone, but the Nigerian tamely shot straight at Neil Sullivan when he had time to do better.

Chelsea started the second half much brighter and grabbed the first goal of the game from an unlikely source.

Geremi chipped a pass over the Pompey rearguard and Wayne Bridge ran on to fire into the bottom right hand corner on 65 minutes.

The full-back was clearly delighted to score and silence the away fans who had been reminding him of his Southampton connections every time he touched the ball.

Claudio Ranieri's side were now beginning to show their class and did not take long to double their advantage.

A classic counter attack saw Mutu play in Lampard who rammed home a first time shot from 15-yards out high into the roof of the net on 73.

The goal killed off any hopes of a Portsmouth comeback and the game was settled by a stunning volley from Geremi with eight minutes remaining.

The Cameroon international reacted to a poor clearance and sweetly struck the ball from just outside the area over the head of Wapenaar to make it three.


Chelsea:  Sullivan, Bridge, Gallas, Melchiot, Terry, Geremi, Gronkjaer, Lampard, Makelele, Gudjohnsen, Mutu
Substitutes Not Used:  Ambrosio, Desailly, Johnson, Cole, Hasselbaink
Goals: Bridge 65, Lampard 73, Geremi 82

Portsmouth:  Wapenaar, Zeeuw, Primus, Stefanovic, Zivkovic, Berger, Hughes, O'Neil (Robinson 85), Stone (Schemmel 54), Roberts, Yakubu (Taylor 85)
Substitutes Not Used:  Srnicek, Sherringham
Goals:  None

Attendance: 41,552

Referee:  Graham Barber

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