Barney Corkhill's Unofficial World Club Championship (UWCC) saw it's first title match of the new league season yesterday as Chelsea took on Hull City at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea came into this match on the back of success via a penalty shootout in the Community Shield. Now the focus was on how Carlo Ancelotti would adapt to the Premier League.
Hull, on the other hand, had to rebuild a reputation rather than start from scratch. Their terrible end to last season had seen them tipped by many as relegation favourites.
Despite eventually falling to a 2-1 loss, however, Hull's reputation was not damaged at all as they held Chelsea for most of the match.
Perhaps that wouldn't have been the case had Didier Drogba not spurned a golden opportunity to get Chelsea off to the best possible start in the opening minutes. Michael Essien's cross found him unmarked six yards out, only for him to volley wide.
Predictably, Chelsea dominated the early possession, but they couldn't break down Hull's spirited rear-guard action. John Terry came closest to doing so with a header that fell just over the crossbar.
Hull weren't without chances themselves, however, as Dean Marney and George Boateng threatened before the villain of the day - debutant Stephen Hunt - gave them a surprise and fortuitous lead.
Boateng's shot pin-balled off two Chelsea players inside the area and fell perfectly into the path of Hunt, who knocked it past the despairing dive of Petr Cech.
Less than ten minutes later, however, Chelsea were level. A questionable free-kick, soft at best, was given 25 yards out from which Drogba made amends for his earlier miss by placing it into the bottom corner.
Chelsea began the second-half as they finished the first. Nicolas Anelka, top scorer in the league last season, should have scored within seconds of the restart.
As the pressure began to mount on Hull, their luck seemed to be endless. A goal-mouth scramble that could have gone anywhere passed with safety, and Drogba was thwarted by Boaz Myhill when he looked certain to give Chelsea the lead.
Myhill was called into action again soon after as Jose Bosingwa forced a smart save out of the Hull 'keeper. Salomon Kalou then should've at least worked Myhill with a close range header just after coming on, but he nodded over.
As Hull's increasingly sporadic forays into the opposition half seemed to lead to nothing, it looked like Chelsea's relentless pressure would eventually pay off.
And it ultimately did. Hull came close via a deflected cross before Drogba, in the second of six minutes stoppage time, saw his cross float over Myhill and into the net.
Hull's luck had run out just as Chelsea had found some of their own.
It was a heartbreaking goal to concede for Hull as it was beginning to look like their defensive tactics would grab them a fantastic opening day point, but it just wasn't to be.
The result extends Chelsea's record breaking run as UWCC Champions while Drogba's brace were his eighth and ninth UWCC goals, making him the second highest scorer behind only Frank Lampard.
In the poll, 90 percent of voters correctly predicted that Hull wouldn't be able to beat Chelsea, so well done to the vast majority!
Liverpool 1-3 Chelsea (Chelsea become new champions)
Chelsea 2-2 Manchester United (Chelsea won 4-1 on penalties)
Chelsea 2-1 Hull City
(Click here to see the complete history of Barney Corkhill's Unofficial World Club Championship)
Chelsea's next title defence comes on Tuesday as they travel up to the Stadium of Light to take on Sunderland. Can Steve Bruce's men become the best side in the world?!
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