Villas-Boas starts Chelsea tenure with win

An own-goal from former player Tal Ben Haim handed Andre Villas-Boas a winning start to his Chelsea tenure against Portsmouth on Saturday.All eyes were on Villas-Boas as he took charge of the English Premier League club for the first time since his move from Porto in June.

The 33-year-old joined from the Europa and Liga Sagres champions after the London club paid over 13 million pounds to release him from his contract.

Fernando Torres, Ashley Cole and Florent Malouda all started the game for Chelsea against their Championship opponents at Fratton Park, alongside youngsters Billy Clifford and Tomas Kalas.

John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba looked on from the bench, and it was former team-mate Tal Ben Haim who scored the only goal of the game – at the wrong end.

The Portsmouth defender endured an unhappy 2007/08 season at Stamford Bridge, and gifted his old side the lead after seven minutes.

Villas-Boas sent out an entirely changed XI for the second half, and goalkeeper Hilario conceded a penalty just after the hour.

But the substitute shot-stopper redeemed himself by saving Luke Varney’s spot kick, ensuring Villas-Boas was to end his first game in charge of Chelsea a winner.

Chelsea fly to Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, with four games over the next two weeks in Asia.

 


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