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Football

Chelsea overpower champions Porto


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Chelsea players celebrate after Smertin's opening goal against Porto

LONDON, England -- Jose Mourinho's new club Chelsea defeated his old side Porto 3-1 to leave the European champions with an uphill battle to qualify from Group H of the Champions League.

Porto, who won five trophies in two seasons under Mourinho climaxing with the European Cup last May, were no match for the London side who dominated in the drizzle at Stamford Bridge after goals from Alexei Smertin (7th), and Didier Drogba (50th) put them in command.

Substitute Benni McCarthy's 68th minute reply gave Porto a brief ray of hope, but captain John Terry's 70th minute header quickly restored Chelsea's two-goal lead.

With Chelsea now on six points from their opening two matches they are almost certain, even at this early stage of the competition, to advance to the last 16.

Porto, beaten for the first time in 13 Champions League matches, have only one point from two games after their opening goalless draw against CSKA Moscow and while Mourinho can dream of winning the Champions League again, they would appear to have little chance of progressing.

Chelsea top the standings with six points, followed by CSKA Moscow with four after their win over PSG on Wednesday, Porto with one and Paris St Germain none.

Icelandic striker Eidur Gudjohnsen, who had an outstanding match without scoring, played a major part in the opening goal, starting the move by bringing Damien Duff into play, and then hooking Duff's return lobbed pass into the heart of the Porto defence with the outside of his right foot.

The cross found unmarked Russian midfielder Smertin who volleyed it into the ground and wide of goalkeeper Vitor Baia for his first goal for the club.

Chelsea, with Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira dominating at the back against their former team mates, played the better approach football -- with Gudjohsen and Duff causing the Porto defence problems and Frank Lampard, Smertin and Claude Makelele imposing themselves on Maniche, Diego and Costinha in midfield.

Carvalho received an award before the game for being the best defender in Europe last season for his part in Porto's success -- and was uncompromising in shackling Ricardo Quaresma and Derlei on the occasions Porto theatened.

Porto though have lost far more than just half their defence, their coach and playmaker Deco, who went to Barcelona. They have also lost their direction and cutting edge.

Chelsea were more potent and virtually wrapped up the points in the 50th minute after Drogba was fouled by Ricardo Costa.

Duff took the inswinging free-kick which Drogba headed past Baia for his third Champions League goal of the season.

Porto's hopes rose briefly when a shot from Carlos Alberto took a slight deflection and panicked Chelsea keeper Peter Cech into an uncharacteristic blunder -- pushing the ball straight to substitute McCarthy who lashed it back into the net for only the second goal Chelsea have conceded in nine matches this season.

Two minutes later McCarthy conceded a free-kick when he fouled Tiago and Terry powerfully dived low to head home Lampard's kick.

CSKA make history

Meanwhile, CSKA Moscow's 2-0 win over Paris St Germain in a scrappy encounter made a piece of club history.

It was the first Champions League victory for the army side, who failed to win a single game in their only appearance in Europe's premier club competition 12 seasons ago.

Sergei Semak put the Russians ahead with a diving header in the 64th minute shortly after coming on for injured striker Ivica Olic.

Brazilian Vagner Love doubled the score with a 77th-minute penalty after Semak was brought down by Jean-Michel Badiane inside the box.

"It was a deserved victory," said CSKA coach Valery Gazzayev, whose team now have four points from two matches after holding European champions Porto to a 0-0 draw in Portugal in their group opener two weeks ago.

PSG, who suffered a 3-0 drubbing by Chelsea in their first game in Paris, remain bottom of the table with two defeats.

On a warm Moscow evening, CSKA pushed forward from the start, but it was the French who had the best scoring chance early on.

PSG captain Jose Pierre-Fanfan fired a low shot after a quick turn but CSKA keeper Igor Akinfeyev did well to push it around the post.

Akinfeyev once again was equal to the task in the 33rd minute when the 18-year-old denied Charles-Edouard Coridon.

Akinfeyev once again was equal to the task in the 33rd minute when the 18-year-old denied Charles-Edouard Coridon from 10 meters and Pauleta failed to knock in the rebound.

However, the Russians were able to pile on the pressure in the second half and Semak scored off a rebound after Lionel Letizi blocked Love's shot.

Semak also created the second goal as Badiane could only stop him by tripping from behind and getting a yellow card.

Gazzayev later paid tribute to his striker: "It was a planned substitution. Sergei is one of our top strikers and at halftime I told him to be ready."

PSG coach Vahid Halilhodzic felt the first goal had turned the game around.

"The result is really terrible for us," he said. "I think the game was pretty even in the first half, maybe we had even more chances, but after the first goal my team just fell apart. After this loss our chances to progress from the group are minimal," the Bosnian added.

"We now need to win three matches and with the form we have at the moment it might be problematic."

The Russians only worry was the fitness of their Croatian striker Olic. "Unfortunately Olic got injured as he pulled a hamstring. I'm afraid he'll be out for a long time," said Gazzayev.


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