Tag Archives: ramires

Basle 1 Chelsea 2: David Luiz strikes winner after shocking penalty decision

Basle 1 Chelsea 2: Luiz strikes with last kick of the game after Swiss side level with questionable penalty… but the Brazilian shouldn't have been on the pitch

PUBLISHED:

20:58 GMT, 25 April 2013

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UPDATED:

21:15 GMT, 25 April 2013

David Luiz scored a free-kick at the death to earn a crucial Europa League away win against Basle in the first-leg semi-final.

Moments earlier he had committed a late, high lunge, which should have seen him red carded.

It followed a shocking decision by referee Pavel Kralovec, when he adjudged Cesar Azpilicueta to have committed a foul in the area when it was clear he had not.

Fabian Schar struck from the spot to cancel out Victor Moses' first half header and seemingly earn Basle a draw.

Last gasp: David Luiz struck with what proved to be the final kick of the game

Last gasp: David Luiz struck with what proved to be the final kick of the game

Pure delight: Luiz celebrates wildly after scoring with a low free-kick

Pure delight: Luiz celebrates wildly after scoring with a low free-kick

Tucked away: Fabian Schar converted after a penalty was awarded for very little at all

Tucked away: Fabian Schar converted after a penalty was awarded for very little at all

Match facts

Basle: Sommer, Philipp Degen, Schar, Dragovic, Park, Fabian Frei, Salah, El-Nenny, Die, Stocker, Streller.

Subs: Vailati, David Degen, Diaz, Cabral, Sauro, Steinhofer, Zoua.

Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Luiz, Hazard, Ramires, Lampard, Moses, Torres.

Subs: Turnbull, Mata, Oscar, Mikel, Cahill, Benayoun, Bertrand.

Ref: Pavel Kralovec (Czech Republic)

More to follow.

Away goal: Victor Moses' (right) header opened the scoring for Chelsea

Away goal: Victor Moses' (right) header opened the scoring for Chelsea

Topsy-turvy: The Nigerian winger celebrated in style

Topsy-turvy: The Nigerian winger celebrated in style

Topsy-turvy: The Nigerian winger celebrated in style with some of his trademark acrobatics

Aiming high: Rafa Benitez wants to take Chelsea to Europa League glory this season

Aiming high: Rafa Benitez wants to take Chelsea to Europa League glory this season

Magic man: Until he was substituted, Eden Hazard was the star of the show

Magic man: Until he was substituted, Eden Hazard was the star of the show

Frustration: Marco Streller reacts after missing a good opportunity as Chelsea sat back

Frustration: Marco Streller reacts after missing a good opportunity as Chelsea sat back

Fulham 0 Chelsea 3: Premier League match report – David Luiz and John Terry strike to give Blues victory

Fulham 0 Chelsea 3: Luiz rocket and Terry double give Benitez's boys derby day spoils and Champions League advantage

PUBLISHED:

20:53 GMT, 17 April 2013

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UPDATED:

20:53 GMT, 17 April 2013

David Luiz scored one of the goals of the season and captain John Terry added a further two to give Chelsea a convincing victory and the advantage in the race for the Champions League.

Rafa Benitez's team climb to third ahead of rivals Arsenal and Tottenham and are strongest placed of the three to seal third place.

More to follow…

All smiles: John Terry's double has boosted Chelsea's Champions League hopes

All smiles: John Terry's double has boosted Chelsea's Champions League hopes

MATCH FACTS

FULHAM: Schwarzer, Riise (Rodallega, 67), Senderos, Hangeland, Riether, Karagounis (Frimpong, 76), Emanuelson, Enoh, Berbatov, Petric (Frei, 82), Ruiz

Subs not used: Etheridge, Richardson, Hughes, Manolev

Booked: Senderos, Ruiz

CHELSEA: Cech, Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry, Bertrand, Ramires (Mikel, 75), Lampard, Mata (Ba, 80), Moses, Hazard (Oscar, 69), Torres

Subs not used: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Benayoun, Ake

Goals: Luiz 30, Terry 43, 71

Booked: Ivanovic

Att: 25,002

Referee: Mike Dean

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Spectacular: David Luiz had opened the scoring with a stunning finish

Spectacular: David Luiz had opened the scoring with a stunning finish

Leader: Terry then leapt highest to double Chelsea's lead

Leader: Terry then leapt highest to double Chelsea's lead

.

Time to celebrate: Chelsea looked rather safe after scoring their second goal

Time to celebrate: Chelsea looked rather safe after scoring their second goal

Masked marksman: Fernando Torres was again lively

Masked marksman: Fernando Torres was again lively

Returning to form The Spaniard set up Terry's second goal with this header

Returning to form The Spaniard set up Terry's second goal with this header

Chelsea trio Ramires, Victor Moses and Demba Ba miss trip to Bucharest for Euro tie

Ramires and Moses have a rest as they miss Chelsea's Europa League trip to Bucharest but Terry and Co hope it'll be plane sailing

PUBLISHED:

14:11 GMT, 6 March 2013

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UPDATED:

18:17 GMT, 6 March 2013

Ramires and Victor Moses were left behind by Chelsea as Rafa Benitez's side headed to Romania for Thursday's Europa League with Steaua Bucharest.

The pair were rested ahead of Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Striker Demba Ba also missed the trip because he is cup-tied after playing for Newcastle in the competition.

'We will try to put a very competitive team on the pitch and try to do a good job,' said manager Benitez who was speaking a the pre-match press conference. 'After we will think about United but the main thing at the moment is to progress in this competition.

Net gains: Rafa Benitez appeared in good spirits ahead of Chelsea's Europa League clash tomorrow

Net gains: Rafa Benitez appeared in good spirits ahead of Chelsea's Europa League clash tomorrow

Smooth landing: Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Yossi Benayoun, Marko Marin, Branislav Ivanovic, David Luiz, Oscar, Paulo Ferreira arrive

Smooth landing: Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Yossi Benayoun, Marko Marin, Branislav Ivanovic, David Luiz, Oscar, Paulo Ferreira arrive

A step down Chelsea are European champions but will want to win the continent's second-tier competition

A step down Chelsea are European champions but will want to win the continent's second-tier competition

The leaders: John Terry and Frank Lampard stride ahead of the Chelsea squad

The leaders: John Terry and Frank Lampard stride ahead of the Chelsea squad

Rafael Benitez

Rafa Benitez and Bolo Zenden

Rolling out the red carpet: Chelsea manager Rafa
Benitez receives a better reception in Bucharest than he does at
Stamford Bridge

'We will try to respect every competition. We are here to play Europa League and we will try to win. After, we will concentrate on Old Trafford and then West Ham. We know all the competitions are important and we will try to finish in the top four and everybody will be happy.

'We know how difficult it is to play away in Europe. We know Steaua Bucharest is a good team with good players. Tactically it is a good team. It is a team capable of pressing high or waiting to play on the counter-attack. They have good pace and can play from the back. It is a team with a good balance.

Chelsea's clash with Steaua Bucharest marks their 50th this season, but Benitez doesn't expect fatigue to be an issue.

He added: 'We can see the games and we can watch our players and we will decide which ones play. We have to manage them.

'We know we have played a lot of games and we want to play more. This is the way for a top side in a lot of competitions. If we do it properly, I don’t think fatigue will be a problem.'

Yossi Benayoun (ankle) and Oriol
Romeu (knee) are expected to miss out through injury, but John Terry
(knee) may not be risked following a fairly stuttering return from a
spell on the sidelines

Romanian champions Steaua come into the tie with almost a full squad to
choose from as Laurentiu Reghecampf looks to continue his side's
impressive run in the competition.

Chelsea arrived in Bucharest in good spirits as they look to win a European competition for the second successive season.

Rested: Chelsea midfielder Ramires and (below) forward Victor Moses

Rested: Chelsea midfielder Ramires and (below) forward Victor Moses

Victor Moses

Cup-tied: Demba Ba has also not travelled to Romania

Cup-tied: Demba Ba has also not travelled to Romania

Brentford 2 Chelsea 2:

Brentford 2 Chelsea 2: Torres spares Rafa's blushes as holders are taken to replay

PUBLISHED:

13:54 GMT, 27 January 2013

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UPDATED:

14:14 GMT, 27 January 2013

Fernando Torres rescued Chelsea and Rafael Benitez from FA Cup humiliation today as the holders denied Brentford arguably the biggest scalp of all in this season of shocks.

Torres broke his latest miserable run in front of goal with his first of 2013, and one of the most important of his Blues career, to prevent the European champions crashing out of their second competition in five days and sixth in just six months.

It also stopped Brentford becoming the latest lower-league team to upset Barclays Premier League opponents this season, something they were seven minutes away from doing after a magnificent performance at Griffin Park.

Relief: John Terry celebrates as Chelsea earn a replay against Brentford

Relief: John Terry celebrates as Chelsea earn a replay against Brentford

Match facts

Brentford:
Moore, Hodson, Craig, Dean, Logan, Forshaw (Saunders 84), Douglas,
Diagouraga, Donaldson, Trotta (Adeyemi 70), Forrester (Barron 80).

Subs not used: Lee, Dallas, Reeves, Hayes.

Goals: Trotta 43, Forrester pen 73.

Chelsea: Turnbull, Ivanovic (Azpilicueta 79), Cahill, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Marin (Mata 46), Oscar, Bertrand (Ba 82), Torres.

Subs not used: Hilario, Mata, Ferreira, Benayoun, Ake.

Goals: Oscar 55, Torres 83.

Booked: Cahill

Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)

The npower League One high-fliers were one in a line of sides to completely outmuscle Chelsea since Benitez took charge, Marcello Trotta firing them in front moments before half-time and Harry Forrester restoring their lead with a penalty after Oscar had equalised.

They might even have clung on had Ross Turnbull been sent off instead of cautioned for conceding the spot-kick, having already been lucky to escape a booking for holding on to the ball in a bizarre repeat of Wednesday's ball boy incident at Swansea.

As if to drive home the point that their own ball boys had come in peace, Brentford had them form a guard of honour as the European champions took the field, each of them waving a large white flag.

But there was no surrender from the 11 on the field as they tore into a Chelsea side interim manager Benitez admitted may be running on empty.

Over the rainbow: Marcelo Trotta opened the scoring for Brentford at home to Chelsea

Over the rainbow: Marcelo Trotta opened the scoring for Brentford at home to Chelsea

Running on sand was hardly going to
help their energy levels or the passing game Benitez admitted was their
only way of playing, but that was exactly the kind of surface that
awaited them in what was the archetype of the old-fashioned cup tie.

Ironically, the European champions'
millions helped pay for the pitch, as part of an agreement for them to
play under-21 games at Griffin Park.

Torres, whose 50million transfer fee could probably buy Brentford Football Club, was recalled today.

Mob rule: Brentford celebrate their shock goal against Chelsea in the FA Cup

Mob rule: Brentford celebrate their shock goal against Chelsea in the FA Cup

Fit-again John Terry also started his first game under Benitez but it was almost a nightmare return when Turnbull was penalised for clutching his captain's backpass.

Turnbull's refusal to release the ball for a quick indirect free-kick could hardly have been more ironic in the wake of the Eden Hazard saga, Forrester eventually blazing over the crossbar.

Terry and Turnbull continued to look like strangers, with Chelsea knocked out of their stride by relentless Brentford pressing and lightning breaks.

Spot kick: Tom Adeyemi is fouled by Ross Turnbull to earn Brentford a penalty which Harry Forrester scored

Spot kick: Tom Adeyemi is fouled by Ross Turnbull to earn Brentford a penalty which Harry Forrester scored

It almost led to a goal on the half-hour mark when Shaleum Logan won the ball and squared for Adam Forshaw, who drove narrowly wide.

There seemed only one outcome if Brentford could add incision to their industry, and they did just that three minutes from half-time.

Forshaw's sliding tackle robbed Frank Lampard and Forrester unleashed a shot Turbull needlessly parried straight to Trotta, who fired in the rebound.

The Italian delayed his own celebration in fear of an offside flag but the stadium was already in raptures.

Gary Cahill was booked for upending Logan before the break, which saw Marko Marin hauled off and Juan Mata tasked with orchestrating a comeback.

There was plenty of time for Chelsea to get their act together and it took them only 10 minutes to do so, Oscar pouncing on a loose clearance and bamboozling the Brentford defence before drilling into the top corner.

Mata almost finished off a sweeping move and Lampard's header from a corner was kept out by Simon Moore as the visitors began to show the kind of fight completely lacking in the first half.

But Brentford refused to panic, drawing Chelsea's sting before withdrawing Trotta for Tom Adeyemi with 20 minutes remaining.

It was inspired, the substitute winning a penalty almost immediately after being upended by Turnbull racing on to Clayton Donaldson's brilliant through ball.

Turnbull might have seen red but escaped with a booking before Forrester buried the spot-kick right in the bottom-left corner.

Chelsea briefly laid siege to the home goal, Branislav Ivanovic denied by Moore before being taken off for Cesar Azpilicueta.

Forrester followed for Scott Barron with Demba Ba finally arriving for Ryan Bertrand, who had just wasted a glorious headed chance to equalise.

Ba made the difference, challenging for an 83rd-minute ball that fell to Torres, who instinctively curled it into the top corner from 18 yards.

Lampard went close to a winner and Mata appealed furiously for handball in the box against Harlee Dean but that would have been a travesty of justice.

Chelsea 0 Swansea 2 – Capital One Cup match report

Chelsea 0 Swansea 2: Marvellous Michu makes sloppy Chelsea pay before Graham adds late second

By
Matt Barlow

PUBLISHED:

21:37 GMT, 9 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:37 GMT, 9 January 2013

Michu once again underlined exactly why he is being touted as signing of the summer as he plundered his 15th goal of the season to give Swansea the advantage at half-time in the Capital One Cup semi-final.

The 2million man proved to be the best Spanish striker on the pitch as his goal late in the first-half won the match in which 50million Fernando Torres struggled badly to find any rhythm.

Chelsea enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges but failed to beat an inspired Gerhard Tremmel.

And they made to pay the ultimate price when a Branislav Ivanovic mistake was pounced on by Michu.

Danny Graham then doubled the lead in stoppage time.

More to follow….

Red action: Swansea have the lead at half-time in their Capital One Cup clash with Chelsea

Red action: Swansea have the lead at half-time in their Capital One Cup clash with Chelsea

MATCH FACTS

CHELSEA: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole, Luiz, Ramires (Lampard 71), Hazard, Oscar (Marin 83), Mata, Torres (Ba 81). Subs: Hilario, Ferreira, Bertrand, Ake.

SWANSEA: Tremmel, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Britton, De Guzman, Ki, Routledge (Tiendalli 63), Hernandez, Michu (Graham 84).
Subs: Vorm, Dyer, Monk, Shechter, Agustien.

Goal: Michu 39, Graham 90

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

Star man: Michu proved to be the difference, as so often he has been since he joined the Swans

Star man: Michu proved to be the difference, as so often he has been since he joined the Swans

Star man: Michu proved to be the difference, as so often he has been since he joined the Swans

Rough and ready: Swansea matched Chelsea every step of the way at Stamford Bridge

Rough and ready: Swansea matched Chelsea every step of the way at Stamford Bridge

Rough and ready: Swansea matched Chelsea every step of the way at Stamford Bridge

Rough and ready: Swansea matched Chelsea every step of the way at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea 0 QPR 1 match report: Shaun Wright-Phillips scores winner

Chelsea 0 QPR 1: Wright-Phillips scores on Stamford Bridge return to give Rafa the Blues

PUBLISHED:

21:36 GMT, 2 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:46 GMT, 2 January 2013

Shaun Wright-Phillips scored the only goal of the game against his former club as QPR pulled off one of the shock results of the season to all but end Chelsea's title challenge.

Blues boss Rafa Benitez opted to rest key men Juan Mata, Ashley Cole, Eden Hazard and Ramires from the start and he was made to pay the price for that gamble by Harry Redknapp's resurgent Rs.

Bolt from the blue: Wright-Phillips' 79th-minute strike stunned the hosts

Bolt from the blue: Wright-Phillips' 79th-minute strike stunned the hosts

Match facts

Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Bertrand, Luiz, Lampard (Ramires 79), Marin (Hazard 60), Oscar, Moses (Mata 75), Torres.

Subs not used: Hilario, Cole, Ferreira, Piazon.

Booked: Marin.

QPR: Julio Cesar, Onuoha, Nelsen, Hill, Da Silva, Mbia, Derry, Hoilett (Wright-Phillips 15), Granero (Park 90), Taarabt (Dyer 90), Mackie.

Subs not used: Green, Ferdinand, Cisse, Faurlin.

Booked: Hill.

Goal: Wright-Phillips 79.

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)

Attendance: 41,634

The latest Premier League table, fixtures and results

More to follow…

Lucky boy: Marko Marin was fortunate not to see red for this challenge on Stephane Mbia

Lucky boy: Marko Marin was fortunate not to see red for this challenge on Stephane Mbia

Lucky boy: Marko Marin was fortunate not to see red for this challenge on Stephane Mbia

Back with a bang: Harry Redknapp's men recovered from their humiliating defeat at home to Liverpool

Back with a bang: Harry Redknapp's men recovered from their humiliating defeat at home to Liverpool

Rock solid: Ryan Nelsen impressed at the back for QPR

Rock solid: Ryan Nelsen impressed at the back for QPR

Gamble: Benitez rested several key men for the west London derby

Gamble: Benitez rested several key men for the west London derby

Bad day at the office: Chelsea couldn't break QPR's resistance

Bad day at the office: Chelsea couldn't break QPR's resistance

Right place, Wright time: Former Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips lashes home the winner

Right place, Wright time: Former Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips lashes home the winner

Right place, Wright time: Former Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips lashes home the winner

Happy New Year: QPR are now five points from safety

Happy New Year: QPR are now five points from safety

Everton 1 Chelsea 2: Frank Lampard double helps Blues to victory

Everton 1 Chelsea 2: Lampard delivers again as Blues recover from early blow to move back into third place

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UPDATED:

21:50 GMT, 30 December 2012

Frank Lampard has made a habit of being in the right place at the right time over his years at Chelsea.

How peculiar, then, that from the end of this season, he will probably be somewhere else entirely.

Of all the bizarre events that have characterised Chelsea’s recent history, the apparent decision to jettison one of their most important players next summer is among the more perplexing.

At the double: Lampard celebrates his second and decisive goal

At the double: Lampard celebrates his second and decisive goal

MATCH FACTS

Everton: Howard, Jagielka, Heitinga, Distin, Baines, Naismith (Vellios 76), Osman, Hitzlsperger (Barkley 78), Pienaar (Oviedo 80), Anichebe, Jelavic.
Subs not used: Mucha, Gueye, Duffy, Browning.
Goal: Pienaar 1.
Bookings: Distin, Pienaar.

Chelsea: Cech (Turnbull 46), Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole, Ramires, Luiz, Lampard, Mata (Oscar 85), Torres, Hazard (Moses 74).
Subs not used: Ferreira, Marin, Piazon, Ake.
Goals: Lampard 42, 72.
Bookings: Cole, Luiz, Cahill.

Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

Lampard has made almost 400 Barclays
Premier League appearances for Chelsea as the club have established
themselves as one of the best in Europe. He has been a cornerstone of
all that has been achieved in the Roman Abramovich years. However, those
who suggest that Lampard should be rewarded for his loyalty with a new
contract miss the point.

He should be invited to stay at
Stamford Bridge not out of sentiment but simply because he still has
something to offer a squad that needs continuity more than most others.

Lampard’s two goals at Goodison Park
yesterday were certainly timely. They enabled his team to recover from a
second-minute Everton goal to continue their impressive recent
progress and they also provided a reminder of his enduring worth as a
footballer. At 34, Lampard may not be as mobile or as dynamic as he once
was. Time has inevitably diminished him.

Nevertheless, the England midfielder’s ability to pass and read and anticipate play remains undimmed.

One senses that Rafael Benitez
recognises this and it is a shame that it is someone else other than the
club’s interim manager who would appear to be making the decisions
about players at Chelsea.

Certainly, yesterday, Benitez will have been grateful.

Giving Everton the Blues: Lampard scores Chelsea's winner

Giving Everton the Blues: Lampard scores Chelsea's winner

Heads up: Frank Lampard scores Chelsea's first half equaliser

Heads up: Frank Lampard scores Chelsea's first half equaliser

Chelsea fell behind after only 63
seconds and then had to withstand something of a blitz from David
Moyes’s progressive Everton team.

That they did so says much for the
manner in which Benitez has organised his team and the confidence that
has come from recent victories.

Putting eight goals past a poor Aston
Villa team at home is one thing but moving forward to win at Norwich and
then here on Merseyside is arguably more impressive.

Get in there, Frank: Lampard is congratulated after scoring

Get in there, Frank: Lampard is congratulated after scoring

Are you listening, Roman A Chelsea fan holding up a special banner at Goodison Park

Are you listening, Roman A Chelsea fan holding up a special banner at Goodison Park

The first half-hour belonged to
Everton. Unfortunately for the home side, it brought them only one goal.
Ultimately, that proved critical.

A good goal it was, though, as Everton
took advantage of Eden Hazard’s misplaced early pass to sweep down the
right through Phil Jagielka.

The emergency right back’s cross was a
good one, and it enabled Victor Anichebe to climb above Cesar
Azpilicueta — with the help of a shove in the back — and head powerfully
against the post. If Chelsea thought the danger had passed, they were
wrong. Steven Pienaar was lurking 12 yards from goal and the technique
he showed in drilling the ball low past Petr Cech was exemplary.

What a start: Steven Pienaar fires Everton in front after just a minute

What a start: Steven Pienaar fires Everton in front after just a minute

Pure delight: Pienaar celebrates his goal

Pure delight: Pienaar celebrates his goal

A goal to the good so quickly, Everton
were effervescent and inventive. For a while, Chelsea had no answer.
The likes of Lampard, David Luiz and Juan Mata were slow into the game,
and they were almost invisible as the hosts swept forward.

Moyes’s players created chances but
couldn’t take them. Nikica Jelavic struck a free-kick against the post
with Cech stranded before Anichebe headed over after a throw-in was
flicked on from the right.

Perhaps the turning point arrived in
the 24th minute, though, as another Jagielka cross reached the
impressive Leon Osman and Cech somehow managed to smuggle a fierce low
drive past his left-hand post.

Had Chelsea fallen two goals behind at
this point, there might have been no way back. They really had offered
very little at this point.

As it was, though, Cech touched a
Jelavic cross-shot wide after a superb Pienaar pass, and Chelsea sprung
forward to equalise just before half-time.

The goal hadn’t exactly been coming, but Chelsea had been improving quietly as time went on.

Making his point: Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez (right) and Everton boss David Moyes on the sidelines

Making his point: Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez (right) and Everton boss David Moyes on the sidelines

Battle: Sylvain Distin clashes with Fernando Torres

Battle: Sylvain Distin clashes with Fernando Torres

In the 34th minute, Ashley Cole had
been an inch away from diverting a low Azpilicueta cross into the net at
the far post, and they equalised when Fernando Torres ran the ball down
the right, fed Ramires and watched the Brazilian drop a right-foot
cross on the forehead of Lampard eight yards from goal. He simply wasn’t
going to miss.

No doubt relieved to be level, Chelsea
began the second half the stronger, even though they had lost
goalkeeper Cech at half-time to an ankle injury.

With Luiz, Mata and Ramires now
looking more like themselves, a Luiz chipped pass deserved better than a
poor Torres touch while Chelsea’s centre forward found a much better
contact in bringing a superb save from Tim Howard in the 67th minute.

At the other end, Everton’s threat was
by now more sporadic, but they remained very much in the game and
superb work from Leighton Baines down the left enabled Jelavic to head
against the bar as the game hung in the balance with 20 minutes left.

Moyes was later to rue his team’s failure to follow up rebounds.

It was pertinent, then, that Chelsea
won the game just minutes later when a superb move involving Ramires,
Torres, Mata and Hazard ended with Lampard bundling the ball in from
close range after Howard had saved.

Still there was time for Jelavic to
dawdle over a late chance after another Baines cross, and perhaps
Everton would have deserved a point.

Chelsea, though, are threatening to become as ruthless on the field as they are off it.

Frank Lampard knows this well.

Fan-tastic: Everton supporters watch the action unfold on the final Sunday of 2012

Fan-tastic: Everton supporters watch the action unfold on the final Sunday of 2012

Des Kelly: Christmas gift guide for all sports fans

All you need for the festive season… my Christmas gift guide for all sports fans

|

UPDATED:

00:44 GMT, 22 December 2012

Christmas is a time for giving. It’s a time for giving your work colleague a seasonal dose of the Noro-virus. Giving the pungent postman a wide berth. And giving children chocolates you secretly suspect may have been hanging in that old sock since last year.

Giving is what the season is all about. However, if you haven’t bought anything by now, it may be too late already. Nobody goes shopping in actual shops these days. Shops are merely places where you inspect the things you intend to buy online for less money when you get home.

If my experience last year is anything to go by, these are delivered sometime around January 4, long after family members gather around a tree to sing carols, notice there are no presents and cry ‘Santa is dead!’ or ‘You obviously don’t love me!’

So which gifts are perfect for the sports fan Here is my Christmas Gift Guide.

Lance Armstrong Chemistry Set
The Ramires-izer Translation Machine
Follow Des on Twitter

More from Des here: @DesKellyDM

We live in the age of the iPhone and the App. But this magnificent device takes us to another level of sophistication. New voice recognition software doesn’t just interpret what any ‘foreign’ individual says; it takes a perfectly ordinary remark and transforms it into a damaging racial slur.

Allow me to demonstrate the power of the Ramires-izer:
Speaker A: What a lovely evening we’re having.
Ramires-izer translation: Shut up you monkey.

This brilliant gadget can generate endless hours of misinformation, huge FA inquiry costs, massive lawyers’ fees and career-threatening hostility for those who have been Ramires-ized.

Use it NOW — and issue a mealy-mouthed statement of ‘regret’ a few weeks later.

Price: a considerable amount of lost credit.

On sale at the Chelsea Megastore.

Having a word: Mark Clattenburg and Ramires during Chelsea's clash with Manchester United earlier this season

Having a word: Mark Clattenburg and Ramires during Chelsea's clash with Manchester United earlier this season

The Inflatable Anfield Striker

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Take the concept of playing a ‘false No 9’ to a whole new level with this revolutionary invention, one that is certain to shake the world of football to its foundations.

Are you tired of seeing your team run out without a recognised centre forward like Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers Do you worry other clubs might spot the owners are trying to bluff their way through a Premier League campaign on the cheap

Fear no more. Just ask the board to pump some of their hot air into the Inflatable Anfield Striker.
It will fool opposition defenders and confound Arsenal’s zonal marking tactics.

And our Inflatable No 9 is GUARANTEED to be faster than Per Mertesacker; CERTAIN to seize on a careless error by David Luiz and HIGHLY LIKELY to drink less than Andy Carroll.

Available for a bargain price of 50million. Order now to avoid disappointment in the January sales.

Mario’s Man-Maps

Are
you lost Are you too dim to operate a satellite navigation device Are
you male and, therefore, genetically prevented from asking for
directions Scientific studies prove men are biologically incapable of
admitting they are unable to find their way.

This
is why, during reproduction, millions of male sperm cells are released
in a desperate attempt to find a female egg placed directly ahead of
them that, in relative terms, is also the size of Wales (it’s always
‘the size of Wales’).

Even then, only one completes the journey.

We have the solution men have been
looking for, but refused to admit they couldn’t find. You will never be
lost again with Mario’s Man-Maps, officially endorsed by the
hard-of-thinking Manchester City footballer Mario Balotelli.

Like
Mario, simply turn off the SatNav in your vehicle, reach for your
detailed map, open it carefully — and then wave it around out the window
of the car until it attracts the attention of a passing taxi driver.

Now
pass the cabbie the address of the destination and follow him. This
gives you the dual comfort of never having to leave your Bentley AND
never having to use your brain.

Price: 500, cash only, from Manchester to London.

Flammable. Keep away from fireworks. Can also be used when you take your employer to a tribunal and they tell you to ‘get lost’.


Super Mario: Balotelli often has his own special way of travelling

Super Mario: Balotelli often has his own special way of travelling

Lance Armstrong Chemistry Set

Create cocktails of drugs in the comfort of your own home with Lance Armstrong’s amazing chemistry set. If, like Lance, you have spent years living a lie and covering up a career built on the illegal use of blood-boosters, steroids, human growth hormones and masking agents, there is only one way to forget the humiliation. More drugs! Spend your retirement years mixing mind-bending substances that completely erase the concept of guilt from your memory.

This allows you to spout blanket denials, pledge to take lie detector tests and pose in front of Tour de France yellow jerseys boasting of your ‘victories’ without any sense of shame whatsoever. What better way to show the drugs do work

Price: about 100m of sponsorship.

Available from all good… bad chemists.

Previously sold as the Ben Johnson Chemistry Set. Syringes not included.

British Swimming Lead Medals
Former performance director of British Swimming Michael Scott

Former performance director of British Swimming Michael Scott

Who needs gold medals Who needs to stay afloat British Swimming will take you under with their lovingly crafted, heavy lead gongs.

Former performance director Michael Scott inspired Team GB to new lows in the pool at London 2012 with his unique coaching mantra ‘I’d rather do it Down Under’.

In honour of the ex-coach, who is now back in Australia, where he appeared to be living most of the time anyway, you can go ‘down under’ too.

Just hang this expensive dead weight around your neck in honour of the pathetic splash that swimming bosses delivered despite 25m of public funding.

Price: 8.4m per medal.

Special offer: To sink without trace, add a pair of concrete boots branded with the name of British Swimming CEO David Sparkes — and receive a chauffeur-driven Mercedes FREE!

The ‘BaleBag’ safety shirt

Based on the latest automotive airbag technology and championed by Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale, this innovative football jersey automatically senses when a player has thrown himself through the air.

In the moment after a player dives — I mean ‘protects himself from injury by evading contact from a defender’, this shirt registers the change in gravitational force and air pressure and immediately inflates.

This prevents the player suffering further injuries during contact with the turf from a great height. The BaleBag Safety Range includes inflatable elbow and kneepads as optional extras.

Price: contact your insurers.

Also available: the YoungBag Safety Shirt, endorsed by Ashley Young.

Gareth Bale
The FergieTime Chronograph

Liverpudlians have long suspected the concept of time has a Manchester bias — which they have sought to correct by trying to turn the clock back to the 1980s, when they were good. But Sir Alex Ferguson’s new range of watches will extend time like never before and comes with a host of new features:

The in-built calendar not only adds minutes to real time, but entire days. So while the record books say Ferguson’s birthday is December 31, in FergieTime this becomes November 61.FergieTime watches link directly with a referee’s timepiece and fourth official’s electronic scoreboard, to allow the manager to directly input the minutes he wishes to add.Alternatively, you can press FergieTime’s unique ‘Play Until We Score’ feature and just let the timepiece do its business automatically.

Price: 25 years at the top.

Retirement clocks not available until 2014.

What's the time, Sir Alex: Ferguson and his watches have become part of folklore

What's the time, Sir Alex: Ferguson and his watches have become part of folklore

Italian Football Yearbook 2013-14
HEAR DES ON THE RADIO

Don’t miss the ‘Christmas edition’ of The Press Pass on talkSPORT on Sunday at 6pm — by Christmas edition, I mean we’ll do most of the usual stuff, but with a sleighbell sound effect in the background. I’ll also be wrestling on air with
Micky Quinn on Christmas Eve from 10am until 1pm. Verbally, not in reality. That’s a horrible
image at any time of year.

No football fan or player can live without this superb guide to Italian football’s season ahead. It is in the style of England’s famous Rothmans Yearbook, once prized by collectors. Unfortunately, most of those collectors are now dead due to their susceptibility to cigarette brand sponsorship.

But the Italian Football Yearbook not only beings you all the teams, fixtures, players and statistics —but ALL THE RESULTS for next season as well! Take a look…

September 29, 2013 — Juventus 3 Napoli 0. Scorers: Vucinic, Pirlo, Marchisio. Half-time: 1-0.

This guide taps into the Italian game’s unique tradition where clubs, referees and directors decide the outcome of matches well in advance and Juventus collect the Scudetto.

Price: How much have you got

Coming soon: the 2013 Pakistani edition of Wisden, edited by former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt. With all the results for the coming year, including our new dot-ball feature for spot- betting success.

And One Genuine Suggestion…

If you do want a small sporting gift for yourself, download the Hillsborough Justice Collective’s cover of The Hollies’ He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.

They aim to top the UK singles charts on Christmas Day and all the proceeds will go to the families of 96 fans who died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final — and help them continue to fight one of the most disgraceful establishment cover-ups in British history.

Well done to Everton chairman Bill Kenwright for choosing the song. And not only will you be helping the noblest of causes, but you will also be keeping a Simon Cowell act off the top spot as well.

* Happy Christmas to you all and many thanks for all the emails, tweets, the handwritten letters, books, holiday offers, complimentary sporting goods, recommendations, anonymous tips, nude photographs and unsolicited bundles of cash that you send to me throughout the year. I cherish each and every one of them.

QPR want Frank Lampard; Chelsea interested in Miralem Pjanic

Lampard considering QPR deal as Chelsea legend heads towards January exit – with 14m Pjanic lined up to replace him

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UPDATED:

09:23 GMT, 16 December 2012

Out of favour: Lampard

Out of favour: Lampard

Frank Lampard is weighing up a move to QPR after falling out of favour at Chelsea.

The veteran midfielder is out of contract in the summer but he may hasten his exit after being snubbed by Rafael Benitez for Chelsea's Club World Cup semi-final against Monterrey, reports the Sunday People.

Despite Ramires being out injured Benitez opted to use David Luiz in an unfamiliar midfield role rather than turn to the 34-year-old England international.

Rangers boss Harry Redknapp is looking to strengthen his squad in January and he is thought to be interested in a deal to bring his nephew to Loftus Road.

The Blues are interested in bringing Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic to Stamford Bridge as a replacement for Lampard. The 22-year-old Bosnian international is rated at 14million.

Highly-rated: Pjanic has starred for Roma this season

Highly-rated: Pjanic has starred for Roma this season

Rafa Benitez"s bowling trip the new secret to success ahead of Monterrey clash

Is this Rafa's secret to success Benitez's bowling trip ahead of Monterrey clash worked a treat

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UPDATED:

18:54 GMT, 13 December 2012

He came to Chelsea with a reputation as a tactical genius. He introduced unorthodox zonal-marking and squad-rotation systems when he took charge of Liverpool in 2005. Now, though, it seems Rafa Benitez has uncovered a new winning formula.

The Blues boss took his team bowling on Tuesday night as they prepared for their Club World Cup semi-final tie against Mexican outfit Monterrey.

Chelsea won 3-1, Torres was back among the scorers and the players were having fun. Was this another Benitez tactical masterstroke

Tactical masterstroke Rafa's Ten-pin tactics paid off as Chelsea beat Monterrey

Tactical masterstroke Rafa's Ten-pin tactics paid off as Chelsea beat Monterrey

Having fun Oscar, David Luiz, and Ramires seemed to enjoy themselves

Having fun Oscar, David Luiz, and Ramires seemed to enjoy themselves

Ashley Cole didn't impress with his bowling technique and he was forced to wait on the team as punishment

Ashley Cole didn't impress with his bowling technique and he was forced to wait on the team as punishment

I know what I'm doing: Benitez may have lifted the Chelsea players' spirits

I know what I'm doing: Benitez may have lifted the Chelsea players' spirits

Not a lot has gone right for Rafa since he took over from Roberto Di Matteo as Chelsea manager. He started with back-to-back 0-0 results in the league followed by a 3-1 defeat at West Ham and an embarrassing early exit from the Champions League, the first time the holders have ever fallen this early.

And, of course, all this with the boos and groans of discontent from Chelsea fans in the background.

But in the last few days things appear to be looking up for the ‘fat Spanish waiter’. They won 3-1 at Sunderland and set off for Japan for what must feel like welcome relief from the scrutiny back home.

Above all, it appears the Blues are having fun in the Far East. They were mobbed by adoring Premier League fans when they arrived and now it looks like Rafa has found the secret formula to make Chelsea fire again.

Wrong sport: Juan Mata tries the shot-put with a bowling ball

Wrong sport: Juan Mata tries the shot-put with a bowling ball

Good technique: David Luiz shows off his bowling skills

Good technique: David Luiz shows off his bowling skills

Good job son: Torres was amongst the goals in Yokohama as Chelsea won 3-1

Good job son: Torres was amongst the goals in Yokohama as Chelsea won 3-1

All smiles: Whatever happened at bowling must have worked as Chelsea brushed aside the Mexican side

All smiles: Whatever happened at bowling must have worked as Chelsea brushed aside the Mexican side

But if the Blues come back having lost to Corinthians in the final it will be perceived as a worthless trip, as was the case when Liverpool lost to Sao Paulo in 2005.

At least Benitez has got Torres scoring again and team morale looks to be the best it has been since that famous night in Munich in May.