Lacklustre Chelsea do enough to see off Porto

Nicolas Anelka celebrates putting Chelsea ahead

As far as first steps on the road to potential Champions League glory go, this was a fairly uninspiring start for Chelsea.

Carlo Ancelotti will pleased with the three points – which were secured with a strike just after half time from Nicolas Anelka – but he will know that his side can play much better than this. The Italian could counter that at this stage it is points, not performances that matter. And these points were gained without the likes of Didier Drogba, Jose Bosingwa, Joe Cole and Yuri Zhirkov.

Chelsea's transfer ban: a precedent or simply a notable exception?

As the world of football reels from the shock of Chelsea’s 18-month transfer ban, thoughts will now begin to turn to the long-term implications of Fifa’s decision.

The penalty handed down yesterday by the organisation’s Dispute Resolution Chamber isn’t completely unprecedented – Roma were banned from signing players during the January 2006 transfer window as a result of their pursuit of Auxerre’s Philippe Mexes – but there is no doubt the Blues are the most high profile victims to fall foul of Fifa’s attempt to stamp out club’s questionable practices in poaching young talent.

Blues cruise at the Cottage

Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka struck in either half to give Chelsea a comfortable victory over neighbours Fulham at Craven Cottage as Carlo Ancelotti maintained his impressive start to life at Stamford Bridge. The Blues continued where they left off against Sunderland in midweek, spraying the ball across the pitch and dominating possession. Fulham’s players found themselves chasing shadows for much of this contest. But despite Chelsea’s seemingly iron grip on possession, Mark Schwarzer was an untroubled spectator for the majority of the first half.


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