Chelsea 4-0 Atletico Madrid: Blues Bounce Back In Style
Chelsea made it three wins out of three in Group D, with a comfortable win over disappointing Spaniards Atletico Madrid.
It was Salomon Kalou who was the Chelsea hero with two goals either side of the break, plus a first goal in ten matches for Frank Lampard and an Atletico own goal, that erased some of the woe from Saturday’s defeat at Villa Park and sees Chelsea top of their group, with one foot firmly in the next round.
Chelsea made four changes from the side that lost to Aston Villa at the weekend, with Branislav Ivanovic, Juliano Belletti, Michael Ballack and Kalou coming in – Ricardo Carvalho, Florent Malouda, the injured Jose Bosingwa and the suspended Didier Drogba making way.
Former Manchester United striker Diego Forlan returned to the Atletico Madrid side after being rested for the 3-0 loss against Osasuna. Raul Garcia started his first game since the opening day of the season, while Jose Antonio Reyes, formerly of Arsenal, and Florent Sinama-Pongolle – once of Liverpool and Blackburn – were on the bench.
Both teams were looking forward to the break from domestic concerns and it was Chelsea who almost opened the scoring immediately. Juliano Belletti’s cross-cum-shot flashed across the penalty area, before Sergio Asenjo could gather. Atletico Madrid quickly replied with a header from Forlan that forced Petr Cech into a save and Aguero then shot wide despite appearing to be offside, in what was a bright opening exchange.
On twelve minutes Chelsea had the ball in the back of the net. Frank Lampard’s floating free kick was misjudged by Asenjo and sailed into the net, but the goal was ruled out due to an offside against Kalou. Kalou then had a golden chance to put Chelsea ahead but somehow he could only drag his shot wide of the left-hand post after a neat move involving Michael Essien and Ballack.
The Ivorian went close again just after the half hour, when a mix-up just outside the box saw Kalou in space in the edge of the area but his deflected shot was well saved by Asenjo. From the resulting corner John Terry rose highest but couldn’t find the target and Kalou once again failed to help it on its way.
Five minutes before half-time, Kalou finally got his name on the score-sheet. Lampard fed Ashley Cole via a Belletti dummy on the left flank, and the England left-back’s ball across the six-yard box was slammed into the roof of the net by the persistent Kalou.
Chelsea started the second period just as they had finished the first and doubled their lead within five minutes of the restart. Nicolas Anelka had already had a stinging shot saved by Asenjo, before another Chelsea corner was floated in by Lampard and Kalouwas on hand to head the ball downwards and into the net for his second of the game.
Aguero could have got Atletico back in it straight away but his delayed shot was too easy for Cech and from then on the visitors never looked like threatening and Chelsea wrapped up the game with 20 minutes to go. Essien played a neat one-two with Lampard on the edge of the box and the England man let fly with a shot from 20 yards that flew past Asenjo into the bottom corner. It was Lampard’s first goal since his strike against Sunderland on August 18.
A minute before the end Chelsea added the fourth, when substitute Florent Malouda’s free-kick was headed into his own net by Colombian Luis Perea, summing up a disappointing night for the Spanish side.
Another three points for Chelsea and another clean sheet, their passage to the knock-out stages is almost assured.