Shaun Wright-Phillips scored his first goal for Chelsea in what was an entertaining draw at Stamford Bridge – but the friendly status of the fixture means it won’t count as his first official goal for the Blues.
Gary Caldwell put Celtic in the lead in the 10th minute when he escaped the attention of Wayne Bridge at a corner and toe-poked the ball past Carlo Cudicini. Questions are sure be asked about the marking.
With Andriy Shevchenko on the bench, it was Didier Drogba, Arjen Robben and Wright-Phillips who caused the Bhoys the most problems. On the stroke of half-time, Wright-Phillips engineered enough space on the edge of the area to get in a low strike past a diving Artur Boruc.
Shevchenko and Michael Ballack replaced Wright-Phillips and the splendid John Obi Mikel after the break, and it was the Ukranian who produced a point-blank save from Boruc in the 52nd minute after good work from Robben and Frank Lampard.
Chelsea continued to dominate possession, with Ballack, Lampard and Salomon Kalou all going close. Henrique Hilario, on for Carlo Cudicini, produced a fine save on 72 minutes to prevent Stephen Pearson giving Celtic an undeserved lead.
Drogba had a chance to win the game deep into injury time. The big Ivorian, who looked sharp throughout, latched on to a sublime Lampard pass, powered past the last defender but struck the ball high into the Matthew Harding stand under pressure from Boruc.
Bring on Liverpool.
In other news, the club posted a statement on the official website insisting they are not prepared to meet Arsenal’s valuation of Ashley Cole.
The statement said: “Chelsea FC has been in discussions with Arsenal Football Club for some time over the possible transfer of Ashley Cole.
“Chelsea has made a very substantial offer for the player. Although discussions have continued, Arsenal’s valuation of the player does not match Chelsea’s and therefore no agreement can be reached in the current circumstances.”
I doubt very much that’s the final word on the matter.
And last but not least, the club has signed a four-year deal with Heineken. The Dutch beer is now “the official beer of Chelsea Football Club.”
Which isn’t a bad thing: I’ve developed quite a taste for Heineken since they started importing the proper, 5% ABV stuff.
Just think, it could have been Budweiser.