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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul, 29, 2008

Chelsea continue winning ways in Malaysia

Malaysian League Select 0-2 Chelsea

Chelsea survived the biggest test of their pre-season tour so far as Nicolas Anelka and Ashley Cole scored to secure victory over a spirited Malaysian League Select team.

Luiz Felipe Scolari's side had been rarely threatened in their opening two pre-season games.

Despite again dominating for long spells in front of a crowd of around 70,000 at the atmospheric Shah Alam Stadium, the home side came close on several occasions through Selangor's Amirul Hadi Zainal.

But Chelsea completed their three-game Asian tour with a 100% record as Anelka and England defender Cole scored to seal the win.

The Blues will now jet off to Russia to face much tougher opposition in the Railway Cup, which begins for Chelsea with a match against Lokomotiv Moscow on Friday.

Scolari named another strong team, with Wayne Bridge starting at left-back at the expense of Cole, while Mikel John Obi returned to the side in the holding midfield role and midfielder Joe Cole made his first start of the tour after scoring off the bench last time out in Macau.

Chelsea were given their first real shock of the tour in the second minute as Amirul drilled a shot narrowly wide of the right post from the edge of the area with Petr Cech sprawling across his goal.

Summer signing Deco almost handed Chelsea a spectacular 14th-minute lead as Frank Lampard played a left-wing corner to the edge of the area for the waiting Portugal international to send a dipping volley forwards, only for Malaysia goalkeeper Helmi Eliza Elias to produce a spectacular diving save to beat the ball away to safety.

Anelka broke clear of the Malaysian backline two minutes later but fired his shot straight at Helmi, who plays for Malaysia Super League champions Kedah.

But the French striker was not to be denied midway through the first half as he collected Joe Cole's through ball, strode clear of the defence and fired across Helmi and into the bottom corner with 26 minutes on the clock.

Seven minutes before the break Selangor midfielder Amirul was again given time on the edge of the Chelsea penalty area, but once more he pulled his shot wide of the upright past a diving Cech.

Following four half-time changes, substitute Ashley Cole doubled the Chelsea lead seven minutes before the hour mark with a neat turn and finish from the edge of the six-yard area despite appearing to be offside after finding himself on the end of Lampard's pass into the Malaysia area.

Michael Essien had a chance to add to the Chelsea lead with 16 minutes remaining but Helmi was quickly off his line to smother the strike on the edge of the area.

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