Malouda and Anelka Lead Chelsea to Opening Day Victory
August 25, 2011 by TMO
|File: Florent Malouda|
It was an all-Muslim score-sheet for Chelsea Football Club this past weekend as they won their opening English Premier League match 2-1 over West Brom. French striker Nicolas Anelka scored the equalizer, before French midfielder Florent Malouda knocked home the winning goal with seven minutes left in the second half.
This was the first match for new Chelsea manager Andres Villas-Boas, and it looked to be an easy time, with Chelsea having beaten West Brom in all 10 of their English League meetings. But Chelsea started poorly after falling behind 1-0 in the first half, leaving the faithful at Stamford Bridge a little nervous heading into half-time. Malouda had lost his starting place in the midfield, but was inserted into the line-up in the second half.
The home fans screamed for a penalty two minutes later when West Brom goalkeeper Foster clattered into Anelka but referee Lee Mason felt the goalkeeper had got a bit of the ball. There was little improvement from Chelsea at the start of the second half but a slice of luck helped them equalize in the 53rd minute.
Frank Lampard went down in the box laying the ball back to Anelka, who cut inside and unleashed a shot which took a telling deflection off the heel of Jonas Olsson and nestled in the far corner. The goal sparked the game to life, Scharner heading James Morrisonâ€™s cross over the bar and Malouda seeing a half-volley blocked before Lampard played in Anelka, whose shot hit the legs of Foster and rebounded to Malouda, only for Steven Reid to throw his body at the ball.
Lampard and Anelka were linking up well, the latter hooking over under pressure before Drogba just failed to control a great ball from Ivanovic. Anelka wasted a great breakaway chance with eight minutes left, steering the ball into the sidenetting from 35 yards after Foster had come racing off his line. It did not matter as the winner arrived a minute later, Bosingwa skipping too easily between Morrison and Nicky Shorey down the right and producing the ball of the match, swept home by Malouda at the far post.
Villas-Boas had not lost a league match with his former team, Porto, in the Portuguese league in over 16 months. Thanks to Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka, his unbeaten streak continues.