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The Camden Cad
Aug 24, 2004
North London
Under ordinary circumstances with an ordinary manager, a 4-0 victory in the Champions League might be considered worthy of celebration. However, it is rapidly becoming apparent that Luiz Felipe Scolari is very far from ordinary.

"We did not play very well," he complained afterwards. "We made many mistakes. We tried to attack without the ball, we did not have good connections. We don't need to score three, four, five goals. It is the same three points."

This was a clash between the runners-up of the EPL and the runners-up of La Ligue, but it appears that the gulf between the two divisions is wider than the English Channel. Bordeaux, who have endured a miserable start to their domestic season, were brushed aside with barely a whimper. Manager Laurent Blanc claimed that his team showed Chelsea too much respect, but it was hard to see what else they could have done. They simply didn't have the class to live with their opponents. Chelsea could have scored more, but they chose to cruise through a second half that was characterised by sloppy passing and casuality, hence Scolari's mood.

"In a different match, we could have been caught," he said. "A quicker team, a more aggressive team than Bordeaux and it would have been dangerous for us."

There was no danger here. Bordeaux were pinned back in their own half by Chelsea, predominantly because of the endeavour of their full-backs who, as Blanc later said, were essentially playing as wingers. With Brazilian midfielder Wendel refusing to track back, Jose Bosingwa and Joe Cole had the time of their lives running at poor Diego Placente. The Argentine full-back had such a sorry evening that he would have been delighted to hear the full-time whistle.

On the other flank, Florent Malouda finally began to show signs that he is settling into life in South-West London. He was given a standing ovation for a barnstorming performance that was capped with a well deserved goal. Far and away the worst player on the pitch at The Middle Eastlands last weekend, this was a much-needed improvement for the Frenchman.

For all of Scolari's concerns, this is still a result that will resonate around Europe. The other superpowers will be alarmed, not just at the margin of victory, but also at the way in which it was achieved. Chelsea are scoring goals from set-pieces, from through balls, from crosses and from darting runs. They are, aside from their second half lapse, passing the ball better and moving better. They dismantled Bordeaux without breaking sweat and they are doing it all without Didier Drogba. Make no mistake, Chelsea are looking good and they are very real contenders for the crown. Maybe then, finally, Scolari will be satisfied.

ELECTRIC - He cost an awful lot of money, so I don't know if you can describe him as a bargain, but Jose Bosingwa is certainly looking like value for money. He is devilishly quick, but he's intelligent as well and never wastes his final ball. On a fine night for Chelsea, Bosingwa tore Bordeaux apart.

WEAK DEFENCE - Bordeaux, as you might expect from a team managed by Laurent Blanc, are supposed to be a well drilled defensive unit. Their backline, and indeed their midfield is staffed almost excusively by very tall, very strong men. How then, did Joe Cole have all the time in the world to head home the second goal from a corner?

SLIP-UP - Marouane Chamakh came a cropper in the second half when he crashed over the advertising hoardings and landed in a heap in front of the Chelsea supporters. A naturally sympathetic bunch, they roared with laughter, but even Ashley Cole could see that the big Morrocan striker was hurt. He continued, to good natured applause, but was substituted not long afterwards

PUNTERS RANT - If you'd done your homework, you wouldn't have had anything to rant about here. Bordeaux were distinctly underwhelming in their weekend stalemate with Marseille and were ripe for a thrashing. Only a madman would have backed the French for a victory.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Once again it was Frank Lampard who pulled the strings in the middle for Chelsea. His set-pieces were excellent, his passing was sublime and he even managed to open the scoring with a rare header. He's in top form at the moment.


Petr Cech 7, Ricardo Carvalho 7, Ashley Cole 7, John Terry 7, Jose Bosingwa 8, John Obi Mikel 7, Frank Lampard 9, Deco 8 (Michael Ballack 7), Joe Cole 8 (Juliano Belletti 7), Florent Malouda 8 (Salomon Kalou 6), Nicolas Anelka 7

Ulrich Rame 6, Souleymane Diawara 5, Diego Placente 5, Franck Jurietti 5, Marc Planus 6, Yoan Gouffran 6 (Gabriel Obertan 6), Alou Diarra 6, Yoann Gourcuff 6, Fernando 6 (Pierre Ducasse 6), Wendel 5, Marouane Chamakh 6 (Fernando Cavenghi)

Bookings - Deco (Chelsea)

Attendence - 39,635