Chelsea Still the Best Team in the World after Carling Cup Win
Barney Corkhill's Unofficial World Club Championship (UWCC) witnessed another defence today as champions Chelsea took on Queens Park Rangers in the Carling Cup.
Chelsea had become a formidable winning machine under Carlo Ancelotti in the Premier League, and the Italian was looking to carry on that form in the Carling Cup.
As has become the norm with top clubs, it was a weakened side that Ancelotti sent out. This gave him an opportunity to see how other members of his squad coped in a competitive fixture.
QPR, on the other hand, were looking to focus attention back on the pitch after Flavio Briatore's ban from Formula One had raised questions over the Italian's association with the club.
A win against the likes of Chelsea would certainly get people talking about the team rather than board members.
Despite a spirited effort, however, it was Chelsea who came away with the 1-0 win in the end.
Chelsea fans were provided with some good news before a ball had been kicked. Both £18 million signing Yuri Zhirkov and Joe Cole were in the starting line-up, the former making his debut and the latter returning from a lengthy injury.
Despite this experience coupling the youthfulness of others, Chelsea were unable to exert their authority in the first half.
Eighteen-year-old Fabio Borini came close for the hosts, heading just over the crossbar, but other than Juliano Belletti seeing his free-kick tipped over, this was all the Chelsea faithful had to shout about.
Florent Malouda and Joe Cole both had chances to trouble the scorers, but neither made the 'keeper work.
QPR didn't look like taking advantage of this, however. Akos Buzsaky came closest for them in the first-half as he saw his shot fly just past the post.
The deadlock was finally broken seven minutes after half-time. Joe Cole showed what Chelsea and England had been missing throughout his injury spell with a through ball to Salomon Kalou who fired the ball past Tom Heaton and into the goal, via the post.
Frank Lampard then added a touch of class to proceedings, slipping Borini in on goal, but Heaton was equal to his effort.
Chelsea had a nervous moment before the end with Buzsaky's long range strike proving tricky for Hilario, but they never really looked like conceding.
They should have doubled their lead when Joe Cole was denied by Heaton, but Ancelotti will be pleased that his side cruised to a win, although the style in which they did so won't strike fear into potential opponents.
Kalou's goal was his sixth UWCC goal, putting him equal fifth on the all-time list of goalscorers behind Didier Drogba (12), Frank Lampard (11), Nicolas Anelka (9), and Florent Malouda (7).
90.9 percent of voters in the poll predicted that Chelsea would retain the UWCC title against QPR, 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 1-0 Queens Park Rangers
(Click here to see the complete history of Barney Corkhill's Unofficial World Club Championship)
Chelsea's next title defence comes on Saturday as they travel to Wigan in the Premier League. Can Roberto Martinez's men beat Chelsea and become the best team in the world?
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