- Venue:Fratton Park
- Referee:Mason, L
FULL TIME: PORTSMOUTH 0-5 CHELSEA. Chelsea were not exactly good tonight but they still made mincemeat of Portsmouth who were awful this evening, showing nothing in attack. Most importantly for the Blues, they matched Man Utd's goal difference.
PORTSMOUTH 0-5 CHELSEA. Chelsea sign off in style as Joe Cole's cross is headed back across by Drogba for LAMPARD to bundle into the net.
Jon Obi Mikel collects a poiintless yellow card.
There will be three minutes of added time here.
Richard Hughes collects a late yellow card.
Lovely ball into the box from Van Aanholt and Drogba looks like he has to make it 5-0 and complete his hat-trick but he fluffs wide from three yards out.
We are inside the final ten minutes here and Portsmouth just want the final whistle now.
After a horrible headed miss from Richard Hughes at one end, Frank Lampard finds Drogba at the other and he blazes over when well placed.
PORTSMOUTH 0-4 CHELSEA. Didier Drogba nets his 30th goal of the season with ease after rounding James and its going to be a long quarter of an hour for Pompey.
Chelsea are cruising now and just seem happy to conserve a bit of energy ahead of a crunch clash with Aston Villa at the weekend.
A change for Portsmouth too now as Kanu replaces Aaron Mokoena.
Yuri Zhirkov is getting a rest now with young defender Patrick van Aanholt coming on.
Jamie O'Hara picks up a yellow card for a foul out of frustration on Deco.
Portsmouth have really shown very little as an attacking force tonight and that is a disappointment because given Chelsea's recent woes a shock could have been on the cards.
Alex is ready for a trademark long run up with a bullet free-kick on his mind but its high and wide and possibly out of the ground.
Almost four! Despite being pretty average all night Chelsea could run riot here with James making a superb save to stop a rocket from Lampard.
PORTSMOUTH 0-3 CHELSEA. All too easy now! Chelsea are home and dry as Lampard's shot is saved by James and lucky man MALOUDA is on hand to smash in the rebound.
Almost a superb introduction for Joe Cole as he races away towards the penalty area but Wilson gets back to deny him.
Daniel Sturridge has been very poor out of position tonight and he finally gets put out of his misery as he is replaced by Joe Cole.
Replays have finally come through of the 'elbow' incidents in the first half and Malouda is lucky to be on the pitch and Sturridge is maybe a little lucky himself. Escape for Chelsea perhaps and its cost Portsmouth for sure here.
You have to feel that Chelsea's second goal has sealed all the points as Cech has barely been involved so far and despite playing poorly the Blues are marching back into the title race here.
PORTSMOUTH 0-2 CHELSEA. There it is! Florent MALOUDA drives into the box and fires past David James at his near post. Game over!
Chelsea are immediately on the search for a second goal here that would give Portsmouth an impossible task really.
The second period is underway at Fratton Park and we are running a few minutes late after all the injury troubles.
As expected Tommy Smith has been forced out of the action now with Quincy Owusu-Abeyie replacing him.
There is an ambulance on the field at the break that seems to be attending to Tommy Smith.
HALF TIME: PORTSMOUTH 0-1 CHELSEA. A very fragmented end to the half is finally over and frankly its been a very poor game with both sides struggling to get going.
There were 3 minutes of stoppage time indicated but I don't think we have played any of them yet but Smith is back up and Sturridge has faced no action.
The incident seems to have occured well away from the ball but rumours around Fratton Park are that Sturridge has hit him with an elbow - the Portsmouth fans around the area are absolutely furious.
We are going to have plenty of stoppage time here....and perhaps even more as Tommy Smith is down in need of treatment with blood oozing from his nose.
As Rocha is carried off it will be Angelos Basinas on in his place and Marc Wilson will slip back into defence.
Ricardo Rocha is in real trouble here! The stretcher is on and he is being wrapped up in all sorts of medical gear and it does not look at all good for the defender. This could be a long delay.
Florent Malouda picks up a booking for flooring Ricardo Rocha. Pompey fans want a red but it didn't seem to be intentional.
Jamie O'Hara, as ever, looks like the danger man for Portsmouth when they do get forward and his cross gives Cech a few problems but the keeper does well to claim.
Chelsea are going to have to make a change it seems as Carvalho exits to be replaced by Alex.
Ricardo Carvalho and Aaron Mokoena are down receiving treatment after a big clash of heads.
PORTSMOUTH 0-1 CHELSEA. Oh dear! A harmless ball through takes a horrible bobble over James' foot and DROGBA is able to roll into an empty net.
Chelsea are not at the races so far! Sturridge gets an earful from Carlo Ancelotti for a needless backheel that misses the run of Ferreira - not a happy man.
Pedestrian is probably the best way to describe this one. Portsmouth are trying but don't have the quality to force Chelsea back but the Blues are hardly playing at pace either.
Portsmouth look pretty toothless in attack tonight and you get the feeling that sooner or later it is going to develop into a training match.
Chelsea are enjoying plenty of the ball but are yet to create a really good opening and Daniel Sturridge looks a little lost on the right wing.
Lampard has dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box that James made an over enthusiastic dive to attempt a save.
Apart from Drogba evading his markers the Pompey backline, and midfield, are looking well organised and Chelsea are playing a lot of football around the halfway line.
Trademark long range drive from Frank Lampard that gives David James some trouble and he does well to parry it out for a corner.
Drogba is finding gaps between the centre halves quite easily at the moment and eventually that could cost Portsmouth if they don't get it sorted.
First chance for Chelsea and its Didier Drogba who spins on the edge of the box but his shot veers wide.
Having been knocked out of Europe by one former boss will another former Blues boss derail Chelsea's title challenge tonight?
Very bright start for the hosts at Fratton Park with Jamie O'Hara stinging the palms of the returning Petr Cech.
The ref has blown his whistle and the match has started.
Chelsea: Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Carvalho, Terry, Zhirkov, Lampard, Mikel, Deco, Sturridge, Drogba, Malouda.
Portsmouth: James, Finnan, Rocha, Hreidarsson, Mullins, Smith, Wilson, Mokoena, Hughes, O'Hara, Piquionne.
Chelsea have been in turmoil of their own lately having been dumped out of the Champions League by Inter Milan and drawing at the weekend too.
Portsmouth are in the headlines again today with the news they can sell their players before the end of the season so more problems for Avram Grant.
Portsmouth face Chelsea at 7:45pm on Wednesday, March 24th.
Chelsea have the perfect opportunity to lift themselves out of their current malaise when they take on rock-bottom Portsmouth at Fratton Park.
Carlo Ancelotti's team still appeared to be suffering a hangover from their Champions League exit at the hands of Internazionale when they played out a 1-1 draw at Blackburn Rovers on Sunday.
That result left them third in the Premier League table and handed the initiative in the title race to Manchester United who had beaten Liverpool 2-1 earlier in the day.
Even victory for Chelsea on the south coast would leave them one point behind Sir Alex Ferguson's team with only seven matches of the campaign remaining and they still have to visit Old Trafford.
Almost all the statistics point to a Chelsea victory at Fratton Park though as they have won 15 of their last 16 meetings against Pompey in all competitions, with the south coast side managing to find the net just three times in their last 14 games against the Stamford Bridge-based team.
Portsmouth have not beaten Chelsea in the league since Boxing Day 1957 and have not secured back-to-back Premier League wins since October 2008.
They beat Hull City 3-2 at the weekend when, despite the myriad of off-field problem that continue to blight the club, the players showed great spirit to come from behind as they claimed only their sixth victory of the campaign.
Meanwhile, Chelsea's draw at Ewood Park extended their recent poor record on their travels to only two victories in their last eight away matches in the top-flight.
Avram Grant is likely to be without Hassan Yebda (knee), David James (calf) and Kevin Prince Boateng (ankle) as he prepares to face the club he led to the Champions League final two years ago.
Florent Malouda narrowly avoided being sent off and then bagged a brace as Chelsea got their stuttering season back on track with a resounding 5-0 win at Premier League bottom club Portsmouth.
The Blues were leading through the first of Didier Drogba's two goals when Malouda elbowed Ricardo Rocha, leaving the Portsmouth defender with a suspected fractured cheekbone.
The France international somehow escaped with only a caution before netting twice in 10 minutes at the start of the second half to wrap up a win that moves Chelsea to within a point of champions Manchester United.
Chelsea were in control almost from the first whistle and rarely needed to be at their best to see off a Portsmouth side - managed by former Stamford Bridge boss Avram Grant - already resigned to relegation to the Championship.
Home goalkeeper David James produced a fine flying save to keep out Frank Lampard's 25-yard pile-driver on 10 minutes.
James did not cover himself in glory as Drogba opened the scoring with the easiest of the 30 goals he has scored this season.
There seemed little danger when James came out to meet Deco's flick on but the ball bobbled under his foot as he attempted to clear, allowing Drogba to race through and tap the ball into an unguarded net.
Malouda's reprieve came five minutes before half-time when referee Lee Mason opted only to produce a yellow card despite seeing Rocha taken off on a stretcher.
Portsmouth's anger increased when Malouda doubled Chelsea's lead in the 50th minute.
Malouda raced beyond makeshift right-back Hayden Mullins before planting an unstoppable left-foot shot across James and into the top left corner from an acute angle.
The former Lyon star rubbed salt into Pompey's wounds on the hour mark.
Lampard's ferocious long range shot was beaten away by James only for Malouda to slam the rebound into the roof of his net.
Drogba claimed his 30th goal of the season in the in the 77th minute, latching onto John Obi Mikel's pass before outpacing Steve Finnan and drilling past James at his near post.
There was still time for Lampard to tap in Chelsea's fifth from Drogba's knockdown in the dying seconds.
Shots off target