Sunday August 14, 2011 Day 1 Finished Britannia Stadium

  1. Stoke hold Chelsea on AVB debut

    Stoke hold Chelsea on AVB debut

    Andre Villas-Boas's first Premier League game as Chelsea manager ended in a goalless draw against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:90'
    • Stoke City
    • Chelsea
    • - Don't forget you can watch highlights of this match, along with every Premier League game, from 00:01 on Monday morning (UK only).
    • 90+6' Terry clears with his head, and an entertaining but goalless game comes to a close. Good fun.
    • 90+5' Walters wins a free-kick with an exaggerated dive... last chance, can Stoke nick it at the death?
    • 90+5' Flag up against Drogba, who goes flying into Woodgate - just seconds remaining.
    • 90+4' Drogba smacks the free-kick into the wall, then Ramires fires the rebound miles wide from getting on for 40 yards. Drogba has a go at Alex, who he thinks got in his way.
    • 90+3' Woodgate trips Drogba 25 yards out and this is another very dangerous free-kick. Alex fancies it, though whether Drogba will let him have a crack is debatable.
    • 90+2' Chelsea building ominously as Stoke back off them...
    • 90+1' FIVE MINUTES of added time to be played.
    • 90' Robert Huth has been announced as man of the match by the Stoke PA announcer, cocking a snook at satellite TV concention.
    • 89' Chelsea: Yossi Benayoun comes on for Torres, who has played well today.
    • 88' With Delap off, Shotton takes over long throw duties. Cech is sprawled on the floor again, and this time he does win a free-kick.
    • 87' To great acclaim, a yellow card is flourished in the direction of Frank Lampard. Considering some of what the ref has let go, the England midfielder might feel a little aggrieved.
    • 86' Stoke: Ryan Shotton comes on for Kenwyne Jones.
    • 85' Alex blasts a long-range shot into the crowd as Fernand Torres is announced as the man of the match. I might have gone for Woodgate.
    • 84' Whitehead stands the ball up for Shawcross to attack, but Cech leaps highest to make a good claim.
    • 83' Ramires is left in a heap by Pugh... no foul says Halsey, who has done much to let the game flow. Maybe too much?
    • 82' Drogba gets the free-kick on target, but it is an easy save for Begovic.
    • 82' This from Infostrada: Didier Drogba has scored in 3 of the last 4 PL matches against Stoke, including the last two visits to the Britannia Stadium.
    • 82' Foul by Pugh, who trips Ramires 30 yards out, just to the left of centre. Drogba grabs the ball. Danger...
    • 81' Terry and Shawcross are giving it the full Greco-Roman in the Stoke box as Lampard prepares to deliver the free-kick... Halsey tells them to behave.
    • 80' Bosingwa skins Wilson, who cynically (that word again) blocks him off. Yellow card to the Stoke man.
    • 78' Can Stoke hold out? They have been under intense pressure for some time. Torres wins a corner for Chelsea.
    • 77' Torres brings a top save from Begovic, but the flag is up for offside against the Chelsea striker.
    • 77' Good feet from Whelan to shift the ball onto his right foot 25 yards out, but he bends his shot into Cech's arms.
    • 76' Here's Drogba! He replaces the ineffective Kalou, and suddenly Chelsea are playing with three proper strikers.
    • 75' A-ha! My colleague Tom Adams has reminded me that Jermaine Pennant gave his name as 'Ashley Cole' when arrested for drink driving. Hence the animosity... Pennant jailed for drink driving.
    • 74' It's all blue at the moment. Stoke are coming under massive pressure. 75% Chelsea possession in the last 10 minutes.
    • 72' KALOU!! He heads Torres's cross goalwards but it's a weak effort and Begovic is equal to it. Chelsea should be in front, though.
    • 72' ANELKA!! His first meaningful contribution after replacing Malouda is to chip Begovic, and the goalkeeper just manages to palm the ball onto the woodwork!
    • 71' We're going to see another change here, with Danny Pugh replacing the injured Delap.
    • 70' More bad news for Stoke, as Rory Delap pulls up with what looks like a hamstring problem.
    • 68' Cech flaps hopelessly under another Delap throw, but the ball just won't fall to Stoke feet. In fairness, it looked a foul by Huth on Cech.
    • 67' The free-kick is worked to Pennant, who again finds Cole in close attendance as his shot is blocked.
    • 66' Smash. Ashley Cole flies in with a late sliding tackle on Pennant, who has been getting on the England man's nerves. Yellow card.
    • 64' Malouda hits a powerful left-foot drive into the guts of Begovic from long range.
    • 63' Dean Whitehead replaces the injured Etherington.
    • 62' It's bad news for Etherington whose left arm has been put into a makeshift sling. He is coming off.
    • 60' A poor Wilson clearance falls to the feet of Torres whose left-foot shot is blocked. 100mph stuff here, but now Etherington has gone down injured.
    • 59' On we go, and it's end to end stuff now as Ramires tees up Malouda whose shot is blocked...
    • 57' Ooh... just seen a replay of the Lampard incident. There was definitely going to be a foul from Wilson on Lampard, but the Chelsea man began to fall before contact was made. I think he's conned himself out of a penalty, there.
    • 57' Eventful stuff here, and Chelsea feel more than slightly aggrieved not to be in front!
    • 56' MIKEL!! He hits a dipping volley from long range, and Begovic reacts well to tip it over!
    • 55' AND ANOTHER!! This time Lampard goes down, and it looks like a stonewaller, but Mark Halsey says no dice!
    • 54' Another Chelsea penalty appeal! Terry heads a corner on to Torres, who misses his kick and then falls over under intense pressure from Woodgate! The striker made a meal of it, but Woodgate did have a hand on him...
    • 53' Chelsea build down the left, where Malouda wins a corner off the stumbling Huth...
    • 52' Ashley Cole loses his balance as a high ball drops, and he improvises a pseudo scorpion kick. Not as good as Higuita's. Obviously.
    • 51' This is better from Chelsea, for whom Ramires fires just wide with a low, left-foot shot.
    • 49' Malouda fires a low diagonal ball into danger, and Woodgate makes a sliding clearance for a corner... which Torres flicks on into the arms of Begovic.
    • 48' Torres appears to be poleaxed at the edge of the Stoke box, but no free-kick is forthcoming! In fact, the replay suggests the contact from Shawcross was INSIDE the box - Stoke have got away with one there.
    • 47' Chelsea clear the corner, and Whelan's attempt to put the ball back into danger is a poor one - it goes out for a goal kick.
    • 46' Off we go! Stoke kick off the second half, and Jermaine Pennant immediately wins a corner off Ashley Cole.
    • 45+2' It has been a half of classic Stoke rough and tumble. Great fun, but no goals. Back in a few minutes.
    • 45+1' Mazy dribble inside the box by Torres... it's brilliant until Shawcross gets a slight touch on the ball, disrupting the shot, which bobbles tamely wide.
    • 45' Down goes Ashley Cole at the edge of the Stoke box. It looks an obvious foul but the ref says play on. Cole is incensed. We don't get the benefit of the replay, but if there was no contact it was a fairly brazen dive by Cole...
    • 44' Etherington whips a left-footed free-kick into the box... and it is headed back out again.
    • 43' Ironic cheers as Stoke finally get a free-kick. Terry jumped into Walters and can have no complaint. Although, obviously, he does.
    • 42' Bosingwa shimmies away from two challenges and stands up a cross... it's a poor one, into the arms of Begovic.
    • 41' More fun and games in the box as another throw comes in, with Cech flat out on his back after Shawcross barges into him. This time it is a free-kick to Chelsea.
    • 40' A real wrestling match in the box as Terry and Shawcross grapple each other to the ground. Halsey just ignores it and lets play continue.
    • 39' Although Terry's handball was unintentional, he does have his arms up a lot in the box...
    • 38' Big penalty shout from Stoke, as the ball cannons into Terry's upper arm off Walters. Not deliberate. Corner, though.
    • 37' Etherington crosses from the Stoke left, and Alex deals expertly with it, chesting the ball away from danger.
    • 36' Lampard plays it to the feet of Torres, who looks for a moment like he could escape his marker, but his touch is just fractionally heavy.
    • 35' According to Opta Joe, Stoke City have averaged 29.5% possession in their six previous Premier League games v Chelsea. So it's unsurprising to see Chelsea getting more and more of the ball...
    • 33' Lampard delivers an inswinging free-kick from the Chelsea left... it is met by a firm defensive header.
    • 32' Torres jinks past a couple of challenges at the edge of the box, but ends up going backwards. Then Ramires bustles through before shooting miles wide from a tight angle on the right.
    • 31' Drogba is swigging an isotonic drink, hopefully. 'Look, boss! Look how hydrated I am!.'
    • 30' Torres finds Malouda, who slices a left-foot shot from the left edge of the box. And here come the derisive cheers.
    • 29' Have just seen Roberto Mancini described as 'dressed like Michael Winner'. Bit harsh...
    • 28' Torres has gone missing a little bit after a good start. Certainly Drogba would enjoy the physical challenge here...
    • 27' Walters chases a long ball down the left channel... it bounces through to Cech at the edge of the Chelsea box.
    • 26' Great pressing from Stoke, denying Chelsea time on the ball. As a tactics guru, AVB will surely appreciate this, even if he isn't enjoying it.
    • 25' Roberto Mancini and David Platt are in the crowd - Man City play Swansea tomorrow.
    • 24' It's starting to get a bit tasty - Ramires flies into a challenge on half way, to the fury of the home fans.
    • 23' Great cross from the right by Lampard, and Huth makes a fine defensive header to avert what looked a certain goal.
    • 22' Pennant stands up a cross for Walters, who gets in Cech's face but the Chelsea keeper is equal to it.
    • 21' Cole pushes Etherington with the winger in full flight. Stoke want a booking, but Mark Halsey keeps his cards in his pocket.
    • 20' Stoke continue to give Cech the heebie-jeebies, as he fails to deal with an Etherington free-kick before gratefully diving on the ball at the second attempt.
    • 19' Speaking of throws, here's Delap again, this time on the left... he lobs it short! How novel!
    • 18' Etherington is in a bit of a pickle, surrounded by his own corner flag... he eventually plays it out off Bosingwa for a throw.
    • 16' Cech is under pressure again, and slices his second clearance of the day into the crowd. Welcome to the Premier League, AVB...
    • 15' Yet another Delap missile from the right... Terry misjudges the flight of the ball and he nearly handles. It came off his chest in the end, though.
    • 14' Delap launches another throw from the right... Huth glances a back-header over. Shawcross had handfuls of Cech's shirt there, but the ref seemed to miss it.
    • 13' Kalou goes to ground in the Stoke box. Halsey explains his decision not to award a penalty with a lavish set of gesticulations. I explain by saying Kalou tripped himself up.
    • 12' A mammoth Delap throw nearly clears Cech, who backpedlas frantically to catch. Had it gone in, it wouldn't have counted unless it had got a touch off someone else, mind.
    • 10' Yellow card Ryan Shawcross, and it surely won't be the last we see today. A late and cynical trip on Torres by the Stoke captain.
    • 10' As the Chelsea corner comes in from the right, Begovic tumbles theatrically. Referee Halsey awards the free-kick, though it wouldn't have mattered - Terry heads well over.
    • 9' Bosingwa nearly gets lucky with a mis-hit cross from the Chelsea right, which Begovic has to palm behind via the post for a corner!
    • 8' Torres rides a couple of challenges and clips in a cross from the right... headed clear by Shawcross.
    • 7' Chelsea corner, an outswinger to the near post from the right... Huth glances it away from goal, and Stoke clear.
    • 6' The Drogba/Terry selection controversy has been put down to a mistake on the team sheet in the Stoke press room. Hmm...
    • 5' Better from Chelsea as they build a move down the right, but Kalou overhits his through-pass for Bosingwa. Goal kick Stoke.
    • 4' Great tempo to the game, and Stoke are on top early. Cech slices a routine clearance out for a throw.
    • 3' Cech is forced to clamber over several bodies to punch a Stoke corner away... and ref Mark Halsey decides the goalkeeper was impeded.
    • 2' First throw for Stoke - Delap towels down the ball and lets fly.. Cech looks a little uncertain but is helped out by Alex.
    • 1' Game on! Chelsea kick off, playing from right to left as we see it. Both teams in their 'home' kit. Stoke in red and white stripes, Chelsea all in blue. Colossal noise inside the Britannia Stadium.
    • 13:25 Jermaine Pennant starts on the wing for Stoke. He reportedly told his family he had hit his head to cover up his cosmetic surgery.
    • 13:25 Ray Wilkins has just expressed his disbelief that Drogba is on the bench. All the more so considering Torres suffered a minor concussion on international duty on Wednesday. Torres injured playing for Spain.
    • 13:20 A stat, courtesy of Infostrada Sports: West London clubs have fielded three of the five oldest line-ups in the Premier League this weekend. Chelsea come in 5th, Fulham 1st and QPR 2nd.
    • 13:20 It was a lively old opening day yesterday. Two teams got booed by their own supporters (QPR and Arsenal) and Joey Barton was up to his old tricks. Here's the latest on Joey...
    • 13:15 Villa-Boas has said he is still looking to sign players - the Portuguese claims he needs midfielders.
    • 13:10 Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 12 opening day fixtures since a 2-1 defeat at Coventry City in 1998.
    • 13:05 Chelsea definitely line up as advertised below - some fairly reputable journalists claimed Terry was out, but that seems to be a large red (blue?) herring.
    • 13:00 Confusingly, there is talk on Twitter of Didier Drogba starting and John Terry out. But we have just published the official team sheets. We'll try to get to the bottom of it...
    • 13:00 STOKE: Begovic, Huth, Shawcross, Woodgate, Wilson, Pennant, Delap, Whelan, Etherington, Jones, Walters... Subs: Sorensen, Collins, Pugh, Diao, Whitehead, Wilkinson, Shotton. /// CHELSEA: Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Lampard, Kalou, Torres, Malouda... Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Benayoun, Drogba, Ferreira, McEachran, Anelka... Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)
    • 12:55 Stoke have lost two of their previous three Premier League opening day matches. Their only victory came in the only previous match at home - 2-0 against Burnley in 2009.
    • 12:50 New Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas was unbeaten in all 30 league matches as Porto boss last season - 27 wins, 3 draws. In total, he is unbeaten in his last 33 league matches since his Academica Coimbra side lost 3-2 at home to Benfica on April 18, 2010.
    • 12:45 We're still waiting for official confirmation of the teams, but the word is that Fernando Torres starts for Chelsea and Didier Drogba does not!
    • 12:40 Welcome to LIVE coverage of the Premier League match between Stoke City and Chelsea from the Britannia Stadium!
  • Summary

    • 72' KALOU!! He heads Torres's cross goalwards but it's a weak effort and Begovic is equal to it. Chelsea should be in front, though.
    • 72' ANELKA!! His first meaningful contribution after replacing Malouda is to chip Begovic, and the goalkeeper just manages to palm the ball onto the woodwork!
    • 56' MIKEL!! He hits a dipping volley from long range, and Begovic reacts well to tip it over!
    • 55' AND ANOTHER!! This time Lampard goes down, and it looks like a stonewaller, but Mark Halsey says no dice!
    • 54' Another Chelsea penalty appeal! Terry heads a corner on to Torres, who misses his kick and then falls over under intense pressure from Woodgate! The striker made a meal of it, but Woodgate did have a hand on him...
    • 48' Torres appears to be poleaxed at the edge of the Stoke box, but no free-kick is forthcoming! In fact, the replay suggests the contact from Shawcross was INSIDE the box - Stoke have got away with one there.
    • 45+1' Mazy dribble inside the box by Torres... it's brilliant until Shawcross gets a slight touch on the ball, disrupting the shot, which bobbles tamely wide.
    • 38' Big penalty shout from Stoke, as the ball cannons into Terry's upper arm off Walters. Not deliberate. Corner, though.
    • 9' Bosingwa nearly gets lucky with a mis-hit cross from the Chelsea right, which Begovic has to palm behind via the post for a corner!
    • 13:00 STOKE: Begovic, Huth, Shawcross, Woodgate, Wilson, Pennant, Delap, Whelan, Etherington, Jones, Walters... Subs: Sorensen, Collins, Pugh, Diao, Whitehead, Wilkinson, Shotton. /// CHELSEA: Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Lampard, Kalou, Torres, Malouda... Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Benayoun, Drogba, Ferreira, McEachran, Anelka... Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)

Team Line-up & Ratings

  • Line-up

  • Rate Players

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    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      Goalkeeper
      - -
      Defenders
      - -
      Yellow Card - -
      - -
      Yellow Card - -
      Midfielders
      Substitution Out71′ - -
      - -
      - -
      Substitution Out62′ - -
      Strikers
      Substitution Out86′ - -
      - -
      Subs
      Substitution In71′ - -
      Substitution In62′ - -
      Substitution In86′ - -
    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      Goalkeeper
      - -
      Defenders
      - -
      - -
      - -
      Yellow Card - -
      Midfielders
      - -
      - -
      Yellow Card - -
      Strikers
      Substitution Out76′ - -
      Substitution Out65′ - -
      Substitution Out89′ - -
      Subs
      Substitution In65′ - -
      Substitution In76′ - -
      Substitution In89′ - -