Chelsea keeps Villas-Boas waiting for first win

Chelsea’s bid to give new coach Andre Villas-Boas a winning start in his first Premier League match was scuppered by some excellent goalkeeping as they drew 0-0 at Stoke City on Sunday.

After a muted first half, Chelsea picked up the pace after the break with John Obi Mikel, substitute Nicolas Anelka and Salomon Kalou forcing Stoke goalkeeper Asmir 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.

Villas-Boas, 33, became the fourth youngest manager in Premier League history when Blues owner Roman Abramovich made a surprise move to hire him after just one season in charge at Porto.

That lack of experience is a concern for some and, while Stoke were in typically obdurate mood, this was a far from convincing start to Villas-Boas’s reign.

With little money spent on new signings so far, his first Chelsea team-sheet contained the same collection of aging stars that lost out to Manchester United in last season’s title race.

However, Villas-Boas showed he won’t shy away from making big decisions as he selected Fernando Torres ahead of Didier Drogba and the £50 million Spaniard responded to the vote of confidence with one of his more energetic displays.

Torres felt he should have had a penalty at the start of the second half when Ryan Shawcross challenged the forward but referee Mark Halsey was unmoved and the official snubbed another spot-kick claim when Frank Lampard went down too easily under pressure from Marc Wilson.

Two of Chelsea’s title rivals, Arsenal and Liverpool, have also already dropped points with Arsene Wenger’s side drawing 0-0 at Newcastle United on Saturday and Kenny Dalglish’s men being held 1-1 at home to Sunderland in their opener.

Champions Manchester United start the defence of their title later in the day at West Bromwich Albion, while fellow trophy hopefuls Manchester City kick off their campaign at home to promoted Swansea City on Monday. — Reuters,AFP


These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Where is the deputy president?

David Mabuza is hard at work — it’s just not taking place in the public eye. The rumblings and discussion in the ANC are about factions in the ruling party, succession and ousting him

Zuma turns on judiciary as trial nears

Former president says pre-trial correspondence is part of another plot

High court declares Dudu Myeni delinquent

Disgraced former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni has been declared a delinquent director by the...

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members
Advertising

Press Releases

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

Openview, now powered by two million homes

The future of free-to-air satellite TV is celebrating having two million viewers by giving away two homes worth R2-million

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday