FRI: 15º/3º SAT: 13º/11º
An undeserved Tiger tanning
Despite playing some inspired passing football at Parken on Tuesday night, FC Nordsjælland eventually lost 0-4 to a Chelsea team that capitalised on their chances and FCN’s mistakes.
After impressing in their defeat away to Shakhtar Donetsk on their Champions League debut, it was difficult to see Kaspar Hjulmand’s lads repeating the performance against a Chelsea team who have been flying high in the English Premier League.
And it was Chelsea that opened strongly and created the first chance. Jores Okore just managed to get a touch to a dangerous cross with Victor Moses looking certain to score. Okore and Moses clashed heads in the play and Okore was forced to go off for several minutes and get stitches.
His return to play heralded the beginning of a solid period for the Tigers, and Kaspar Lorentzen came close to giving the hosts a surprise lead, but his shot was blocked by a sliding Ashley Cole.
Fernando Torres then had a shot saved by Jesper Hansen at the other end, but it was FCN who were delighting the crowd with some neat possession football, employing some silky passing that made Chelsea look rather average.
But in a flash, after 33 minutes, they fell behind. Enoch Adu, who otherwise had a stellar game, was robbed by Torres, and Frank Lampard promptly set up Juan Mata for the easy finish. It was a bitter pill to swallow for the reigning Danish champions.
Left back Patrick Mtiliga then tested Chelsea keeper Peter Cech with a low drive, and Torres had another shot saved by Hansen and had a goal correctly ruled offside, before the teams went to the changing rooms at halftime.
The second half started much like the first with FCN enjoying the possession and Chelsea threatening on the counter. As the game continued, the Blues came increasingly closer to extending their lead, but a magnificent performance by 20-year-old Okore kept the English team at bay. The young defender won’t be in the Danish Superliga for much longer with displays like that.
Mikkel Beckmann then fluffed a good chance before FCN had the chance they were looking for. Joshua John curled a delightful shot from the edge of the box that Cech brilliantly tipped onto the post, and then Beckmann’s follow-up blast was blocked by a well-placed Cole.
The double chance proved to be the best opportunity FCN would get, and when Chelsea introduced the speedy young Belgian Eden Hazard, the momentum immediately swung in the their favour.
With ten minutes left, Chelsea killed off the match as David Luiz drove a powerful free kick off the post and in behind the hapless Hansen. The brave Danes collapsed after that, conceding another goal only two minutes later through Mata again, before Oscar set up his Brazilian countryman Ramires for a simple tap-in a minute before time to seal a four-goal victory that was perhaps a bit misrepresentative of the game.
And the 25,000 fans that had showed up expecting to witness Chelsea dominate, respectfully applauded FCN’s effort when the final whistle blew.
The Danes face an equally daunting test in their next fixture when they host Juventus, who only managed a 1-1 draw at home to Shakhtar Donetsk.
Nicklas Bendtner, once again, did not feature. He is yet to make his debut for the Serie A club. At a post-match press conference on Saturday, the club's goalkeeping coach Claudio Filippi said he "will eventually have his chance".
"Juventus have a great group of strikers this season," he continued. "Right now, we have several forwards that give us guarantees. They are rotated according to how they perform in training."