Hot Drog on fire on icy night
Blues dominate out-of-sorts Rosenborg in freezing conditions
Last Updated: 28/11/07 10:02pm
Chelsea secured their progression to the knock-out stages of the UEFA Champions League with an easy 4-0 victory over Rosenborg in Norway.
The Blues go through top of the group after an excellent showing against woeful opposition.
In freezing conditions, Avram Grant's men barely had to break sweat as Rosenborg consistently failed to close down the space.
The hosts allowed Chelsea acres time and time again, with Didier Drogba getting a brace on his return to action while Alex fired home with a long distance free-kick just before half-time.
Joe Cole then wrapped things up from close range in the second half after Michael Essien's shot was saved.
Drogba was in determined mood and In the fourth minute he cleverly turned Vidar Riseth and fired a 25-yard shot just wide of an upright.
A minute later Chelsea squandered another chance when a mistake by Steffen Iversen allowed Joe Cole to find namesake Ashley on the left flank.
His deep cross was headed back into the six-yard box by Drogba - only for Essien to volley over the crossbar.
But Drogba finally got on the score sheet in the sixth minute when Joe Cole's 20-yard drive was parried into his path by goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld and the striker thumped the ball home from six yards.
Rosenborg's first effort on goal arrived in the 12th minute when Iversen fed Marek Sapara but his 20-yard shot was straight at Carlo Cudicini.
However, a second Chelsea goal arrived in the 20th minute when Drogba lifted a loose ball over Hirschfeld to put Grant's side in total command.
Chelsea should have gone further in front shortly afterwards with Hirschfeld just managing to save a lob from Frank Lampard and then pulling off a fine save to deny Drogba his hat-trick.
Drogba's brace had taken his total for the season to nine but Chelsea made it 3-0 in the 39th minute with a blistering free-kick from defender Alex.
The Brazilian drilled his low effort through a crowded penalty area and into the corner of the net beyond an unsighted Hirschfeld.
Alex then brought a superb save from the Rosenborg goalkeeper after he rose unchallenged to meet a corner from Lampard in the 43rd minute.
The visitors should have made it four a minute from the interval when Lampard supplied Shaun Wright-Phillips inside the penalty area but the England winger hit his effort straight at the Rosenborg goalkeeper.
Chelsea continued where they left off at the start of the second half with Wright-Phillips unlucky not to make if four when he sent a 20-yard drive just over the crossbar in the 49th minute.
In the 53rd minute a cross from Drogba was sent crashing against the crossbar by Wright-Phillips but Lampard's effort from the rebound was easy for Hirschfeld to deal with.
Chelsea were now cutting through the home defence at will and in the 56th minute it required a clearance off the goal line from Bjorn Tore Kvarme to prevent Essien increasing Chelsea's lead.
The Premier League side had opened up the home defence with a delightful three-man move which began with a clearance by Wright-Phillips and ended with a one-two between Essien and Drogba.
Essien should also have hit the target when Kvarme failed to clear Lampard's through-ball but the Ghanaian smashed his volley high over the bar.
Rosenborg had little invention in attack but they had their best effort in the 66th minute when Cudicini had to be at his best to tip over a free-kick from Mikael Dorsin.
Chelsea's continued supremacy culminated in a fourth goal in the 73rd minute when Andrei Shevchenko set up Essien.
The Chelsea midfielder unleashed a right-foot thunderbolt that was brilliantly saved by Hirschfeld only for Joe Cole to put the rebound into the net.
|0||1st Half Goals||3|
|3||Shots on Target||15|
|7||Shots off Target||11|
UEFA Champions League
Wed 28th Nov - Group D
Celtic2 - 1Shak Donetsk
Benfica1 - 1AC Milan
Wed 28th Nov - Group B
Rosenborg0 - 4Chelsea
Valencia0 - 0Schalke
Wed 28th Nov - Group C
W Bremen3 - 2R Madrid
Lazio1 - 2Olympiakos
Wed 28th Nov - Group A
Besiktas2 - 1Marseille
Liverpool4 - 1FC Porto
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|3||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||7|
UEFA Champions League Group D
UEFA Champions League Group E
UEFA Champions League Group F
|2||Paris St Germain||6||13|
UEFA Champions League Group G
UEFA Champions League Group H