Chelsea’s bid to give new coach Andre Villas-Boas a winning start in his first English Premier League football match was scuppered by some excellent goalkeeping as they drew 0-0 at Stoke City yesterday.
The new Chelsea manager endured a typically fiery introduction to English football management at the Britannia with Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic denying the visitors with a string of excellent second half saves.
After a muted first half, Chelsea picked up the pace after the break with John Obi Mikel, substitute Nicolas Anelka and Salomon Kalou forcing Begovic to make some great saves.
Striker Fernando Torres was behind many of the Chelsea moves forward, playing with a confidence last seen in his best Liverpool days, but despite dominating the game last year’s league runners-up could not find the back of the net.
Chelsea were convinced they should have had a 55th minute penalty after Frank Lampard appeared to fall in the area after a challenge from Marc Wilson, but a draw was a fair result in what was a predictably bruising battle.
Villas-Boas instantly made his mark by starting with Torres ahead of Didier Drogba and though the Spain international showed flashes of inspiration, his side could not find a way past Begovic or a defence marshalled superbly by new signing Jonathan Woodgate.—Reuters