Skip to main content

News

Subscribe to newsfeed 

MATCH REPORT

Posted on 5 November 2006  - 12:00

Michael Dawson and and Aaron Lennon scored the goals that resulted in a first ever Premiership win over Chelsea at the Lane on Sunday.

Michael Dawson and and Aaron Lennon scored the goals that resulted in a first ever Premiership win over Chelsea at the Lane on Sunday.

There could have been no more fitting way to mark Martin Jol's completion of two years in charge and an unwanted record that stretched back to 1990 has now been consigned to the history books.

It looked for a little while as if it might be the same old story when Chelsea took the lead. A response was called for and we got one with interest!

The first couple of minutes was more about the exercising of vocal chords in the stands rather than what was happening on the pitch, as the atmosphere became more and more highly charged. On the pitch the tackles and blocks were snapping in as both teams went about their business with a real purpose - a Hossam Ghaly sortie forward worked a goalkeeper for the first time, with Henrique Hilario being drawn into a pretty routine save.

Pascal Chimbonda was victim of an awful challenge by Frank Lampard just before the ten minute mark and it took some lengthy treatment before the full-back was able to continue.

Ledley King prevented an opener with a superb late interception after Arjen Robben was clean through on goal, but the pain relief was short-lived. The resulting corner was headed out to the edge of the area and bounced towards the feet of Claude Makelele, who curled drive through a crowd of players and past the despairing reach of Paul Robinson down to his right post.

Robbo was then forced into two superb stops in quick succession, from a Michael Ballack free-kick and a point-blank hit from Lampard.

Chelsea had assumed authority in the game and it needed redressing.

It was to an eruption of joy on 24 minutes! A Jermaine Jenas free-kick was zipped into the area and it was certainly a popular head that gave the ball a nudge to divert it past Hilario - that of Dawson and his first competitive goal for the club. It was actually our first success from a set piece this season and it wasn't a bad time to start making the most of them.

The assurance of play was now with the team in white shirts and Chelsea were rattled, not looking quite so sure of themselves defensively and Dimitar Berbatov looked in the mood to increase the uncertainty.

However the next scare was at the end guarded by Robinson and the almost constant threat that was Didier Drogba attempted a scissors kick out of nothing and can only have been a matter of inches away from restoring his side's lead.

Some Lennon magic should have led to the advantage being seized, with the little winger leaving Ashley Cole giddy down the right before flighting over a cross in the direction of Keane. The striker stole in front of his marker and looked set to nod home, but his effort floated agonisingly a little bit too high and landed on top of the net.

A few half-chances followed to crank up the noise levels even further as we drew towards the break after a completely absorbing half of Premiership football.
Chelsea made a change at the interval with Paulo Ferreira - teetering on a yellow card for most of the first half - replaced by one of Martin's former charges, Khalid Boulahrouz.

Darkness by this point had well and truly fallen, but not on the performance-level of the boys. Keane's determination down the left paid off when his cross clipped the head of a Chelsea defender and landed invitingly for Lennon.

There were 52 minutes on the clock and Lennon took the ball under control in a flash, worked himself an extra fraction of space and fired the ball past a helpless Hilario to the backdrop north-headed arms and an of an explosion of sound at the Lane.

Keane and Berbatov combined and almost managed to extend the advantage, but the Bulgarian mis-timed and stepped on the ball in front of goal. Chelsea were making changes and even subbed the sub - Boulahrouz - to bring on an extra attacker in the shape of Salomon Kalou.

There was more drama to follow, John Terry having a red card flashed in his face - a second booking - after a clash with King. It was high-octane stuff as the boys pushed for a third while trying to keep the gate firmly locked at the other end.

The numbers imbalance was never likely to make a big difference in the closing stages with the ball being pumped long by the team in blue. Ghaly nearly paid the price for trying to play his way out from the back when he was dispossessed by Kalou and Robinson was given a hand warming with ten minutes left to play.

It became difficult watching, especially when Lampard worked himself a clearing in front of goal - the 11 were sitting back against the 10 and Martin responded by bringing on Jermain Defoe in place of Keane, who was very much operating from the left.

Robben couldn't believe it when his curler struck an upright with four minutes remaining and the momentum was with the visitors, but not the lead. This was protected and there will be no further entries in one particular record book.