Pompey lost again, that much was evident once Hughes, Mokoena and Mullins took to the pitch, to be fair to Mullins he was filling in at right back once more with Belhadj totally absent and Finnan switching to the left.
Ho we lost however is another matter, 5 goals flew in, two by Malouda, one to a Jamo howler and the others were by Lampard and Drogba, but today was witness to one of the most weak refereeing displays Fratton has seen in recent times, we often feel hard done by officials, but how Pompey could lose two players to suspected broken noses and cheekbones, and yet only one yellow was shown for the challenges is beyond me.
Lee Mason is your man, any big decision and he bottled it, another day and both Malouda and Sturridge could of walked, as it was, one stayed to score two and the other was inconspicuous anyway.
Avram said he may field weakened sides at times, tonight was one, Pompey put in the effort but the quality was substandard to say the least, I'm wondering if Michael Brown is on the brink of a ban the way he is being left on the bench, I would certainly liked to have seen him stick his foot up a few Chelsea arses tonight.
Th e game itself was similar to the one at Anfield last week, we held out well for half an hour and then a goal keeping error costs us dear, cue capitulation.
Drogba was the beneficary of James' swing and miss, but the move should never have happened, Jamie O'Hara was taken out at the other end, Mason deemed the foul ok and up Chelsea got to collect their gimmee.
Next came Malouda's assault on Rocha, I cannot say how much intent their was, but an elbow in the face is clumsy if nothing, Rocha was in trouble on the floor while the Frenchman was flashed a yellow, the dust hardly settled when Smith got the same from Sturridge, this time play wasn't even stopped, Smith prostrate on the floor, had to wait for the ball to leave play for treatment.
To highlight Mr.Mason's quality, Rocha must of been down for nearly 5 minutes, 2 subs came on, a goal was scored and Smith was treated for another 2 minutes, time added on? 3 minutes!!
Second hald and it was all over as a contest by the hour, Maloda enjoying his get out jail card scoring twice, his first effort looked off from my seat, the telly may prove different, he smashed home, the second was a follow up from a good save from Jamo, 3 down, game over.
Drogba was next to cash in, another long ball found him (again close to offside) he chested down and smashed past James.
Poor old Hughes was next in the spotlight, with the goal gaping, he showed why he has one goal to his name, with great finesse, he took aim and splurted his header wide with Cech watching.(and no doubt laughing)
Lampard got his customary goal 3 minutes into stoppage time, the ball pinged in and out of the box and he headed home unmarked from 2 yards out, again the linesman was derided in the South stand, but Pompey were not going to get anything on the night, and the Premier leagues wish of a Pompey free division is getting closer by the day.