FC NORDSJAELLAND 0 vs CHELSEA 4
CHELSEA manager Roberto Di Matteo pushed his players to be more clinical in front of goal after leaving it until the final 10 minutes to secure a Champions League victory away in Denmark.
The tournament’s defending champions took the lead in the 33rd minute through the classy Spaniard Juan Mata but their underrated opponents could conceivably have equalised on several occasions before David Luiz scored what was effectively the winning goal in the 79th minute when Mata again and then Ramires scored to ultimately flatter them.
“You just need to score to close the game off,” Di Matteo said after an evening in which Nordsjaelland struck the post and posed a constant threat when Chelsea looked far from certain of victory.
“All-in-all it is a pleasing night. Petr Cech made a crucial save. We are pleased he made it as it was 1-0 at the time, and then we scored a few goals in the end.”
Chelsea’s fine, if unconvincing, start to the season appeared set to continue when Fernando Torres and Frank Lampard combined to set up Mata for the simple finish that gave them the lead.
Oscar, Victor Moses and Torres all went close to adding a second but the Danes also grew in confidence as the game progressed and looked as capable of an equaliser as Chelsea did of scoring again.
It was a superb, dipping free-kick from Luiz that went in off the post that gave Chelsea true comfort before another passing move was elegantly finished by Mata for Chelsea’s third, and Brazilian Oscar crossed for compatriot Ramires’s tap-in for the away side’s fourth with only a minute to go.
MANCHESTER United fell behind in the 14th minute after a goal from Pantelis Kapetanos but two from Robin van Persie rescued them from a potentially damaging loss.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson had chosen to rest midfielders Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs for the arduous trip to Romania but in the absence of their Champions League knowhow his judgement at one rare point looked to have been misguided when a cross from the right from Modou Sougou was neatly converted first-time past the otherwise impressive David de Gea.
Van Persie scored an unorthodox equaliser in the 29th minute when an attempted header bounced off of his shoulder and looped over goalkeeper Mario Felgueiras, and five minutes after half-time a delightfully-exquisite touch from a superb Wayne Rooney pass beyond the out-of-position goalkeeper gave United a lead they would not lose.