Charlton 2 Chelsea 3
By planetfootball staff. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
CHELSEA sneaked a dramatic victory at Charlton in a five-goal thriller on the opening day at The Valley.
Alan Curbishley's side stunned their expensive opponents when Paul Konchesky, who was later sent off, converted a pass from Claus Jensen to open the scoring after only seven minutes.
Konchesky was controversially red-carded after only 25 minutes for clashing with new Chelsea signing Enrique de Lucas, but Charlton still managed to double their advantage when the impressive Richard Rufus headed home a Jensen centre - even though the referee had appeared to whistle before the ball entered the net.
Gianfranco Zola gave the visitors hope, crucially, just before half time, when profiting from some good work from Boudewijn Zenden, and it proved the springboard for success.
Substitute Carlton Cole slotted past Dean Kiely with six minutes left, after the Irishman had denied Zenden and Emmanuel Petit, and either side could have won it.
Only a smart stop from Carlo Cudicini kept out Mathias Svensson, and instead it was Claudio Ranieri's side who snatched the three points courtesy of Frank Lampard's right-footed finish on 89 minutes.