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Guerrero (69)

Sun 16 Dec 2012 10:30 (Attendance: 68,275)



It is a simple story - win on Sunday and Chelsea have the right to call ourselves champions of the world. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton look closely at a momentous match…

So the World did end for some Mexicans after all - just a day later than their Mayan ancestors prophesied. As occasional Chelsea supporter Frank Sinatra might have observed, it didn't happen for Monterrey.

'Time to dance with the ugliest,' their coach Victor Vucetich had said after his side qualified for the quarter-final against the champions of Europe. But the event turned out to be more of a gentleman's excuse-me for the Blues, with plenty of Mexicans left as wallflowers.

The samba boys of Corinthians Paulista, one of the most storied clubs in Brazil, are more likely to put the Londoners through their paces. As expected, the FIFA Club World Cup final will be contested between the teams who used to compete for the old Intercontinental Cup: the respective winners of the European Cup and its South American equivalent, the Copa Libertadores.

Chelsea fly the flag for the capital in the final for the first time. Corinthians were the 2000 winners of a different format, the FIFA Club World Championship.

Chelsea are hoping to ensure a European team wins the trophy for a sixth successive year.

It is fair to say that the interest in this competition is substantially greater in Brazil than in England. Media from that country have been in touch with Chelsea since early summer, filming around the club museum at Stamford Bridge, which features several South American connections, and eager to explore the Blues' history of Brazilian players. One would like to think Corinthians staff have been equally bothered by the English media, especially as the Coringão have English roots.

Corinthians, like Chelsea five years earlier, were founded from nothing. In 1910 a group of enthusiasts were inspired by watching a tour match involving a famous British amateur side. A few months later Corinthians Paulista were born.

They have won the state title a record 26 times and the national league five times, most recently in 2011. As with Chelsea, 2012 brought their first pan-continental triumph in the Copa Libertadores.

Among the players who have passed through their doors are ornaments of Brazilian football such as Rivelino (pictured below), Sócrates and Ronaldo. Chelsea's Deco began his professional career there.


Their club anthem contains the wonderful sporting adage: 'Your past is a banner. Your present is a lesson.' Perhaps Chelsea fans should adopt it.

The disparity between how seriously the respective continents have taken this inter-continental battle goes back decades and reflects a certain snobbery on the British side and an inferiority complex on the other.

South American sides see the annual match-up as an opportunity duff up the European grandees of the game and prove that more money and superior organisation aren't everything in football. It also comes at the end of South and Central America's season rather than the middle, as in Europe.

English sides several times protested about rough play in matches, and some turned down invites to participate altogether.

Looking further back, when Uruguay hosted FIFA's first World Cup in 1930 The FA huffily rejected any involvement, claiming it was 'magnifying the minnows.' Chelsea were dispatched to South America for a three-month tour of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil the year before to check English football was not missing a trick.

The Copa Libertadores was founded in 1960, five years after UEFA's initial European Cup, and the first inter-continental face-off happened the same season. Manchester United represented England in 1968 and the second leg against Argentina's Estudiantes was marred by violence, creating a wound that took years to heal.

The modern, shiny FIFA Club World Cup, hosted by Japan or UAE since 2005, has been won by the European finalist each year since 2007.

This is the ninth Club World Cup final. The winners will become club world champions and receive prize money of $5 million and the privilege of wearing a gold shield on their shirts. The runners-up are presented with $4 million.

Previous tournaments
Host Year Winner Runner-up
Brazil 2000 Corinthians (Brazil) Vasco da Gama (Brazil)
Japan 2005 São Paulo (Brazil) Liverpool
Japan 2006 Internacional (Brazil) Barcelona
Japan 2007 AC Milan Boca Juniors (Argentina)
Japan 2008 Manchester United LDU Quito (Ecuador)
UAE 2009 Barcelona Estudiantes (Argentina)
UAE 2010 Internazionale Mazembe (DR Congo)
Japan 2011 Barcelona Santos (Brazil)


Competing teams Confederation
(England) - UEFA
Corinthians (Brazil) - CONMEBOL
Ulsan Hyundai (South Korea) - AFC
Al-Ahly (Egypt) - CAF
Monterrey (Mexico) - CONCACAF
Auckland City (New Zealand) - OFC
Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Japan) - Host Representative - J League winner

Competing teams Confederation

Chelsea (England) - UEFA
Corinthians (Brazil) - CONMEBOL
Ulsan Hyundai (South Korea) - AFC
Al-Ahly (Egypt) - CAF
Monterrey (Mexico) - CONCACAF
Auckland City (New Zealand) - OFC
Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Japan) - Host Representative - J League winner

The Yokohama International Stadium has a capacity of 72,327.

If the scores are level after 90 minutes, 30 minutes extra time will be played. If there is still no winner the tie will be decided on penalties.

FIFA Club World Cup results

Play-off for quarter-finals

Dec 6 - Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1-0 Auckland City (Yokohama)

Dec 9 - Ulsan Hyundai 1 - 3 Monterrey (Toyota)
Dec 9 - Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1 - 2 Al-Ahly (Toyota)

5th/6th place play-off
Dec 12 - Ulsan Hyundai 2-3 Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Toyota)

Dec 12 - Al-Ahly 0-1 Corinthians (Toyota)

FIFA Club World Cup fixtures

Thu Dec 13 - Monterrey 1-3 Chelsea (Yokohama)

3rd/4th place play-off
Sun Dec 16 - kick-off 7.30am UK time (Yokohama)

Sun Dec 16 - kick-off 10.30am UK time (Yokohama)

The predecessor of this tournament was the European-South American Cup, better known as Intercontinental Cup that ran between 1960 and 2004 between the European Cup/Champions League winners and the South American Copa Libertadores winners over a two-leg home and away basis and from 1980 as a one-off match in Japan.

English winners were Manchester United in 1999, and runners-up Manchester United 1968, Nottingham Forest 1980, Liverpool 1981 and 1984 and Aston Villa 1982.

This is Chelsea's third attempt to win a trophy this term, having failed in the Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup. Chelsea will have contested a British record eight trophies this season.

Sunday's match will be Chelsea's 11th cup final in the last eight years.

2005 - League Cup - Won
2007 - League Cup - Won
2007 - FA Cup - Won
2008 - League Cup - Lost
2008 - UEFA Champions League - Lost
2009 - FA Cup - Won
2010 - FA Cup - Won
2012 - FA Cup - Won
2012 - UEFA Champions League - Won
2012 - UEFA Super Cup - Lost
2012 - FIFA Club World Cup

Who will be Chelsea's hero on Sunday? Which Corinthian do you fear?  #CFCPMB

The rest of the Capital One Cup quarter-final stage proceeded in Chelsea's absence. When the Blues travel to Leeds on Wednesday we will be aiming to put our names in the hat next to Premier League Aston Villa and Swansea City and fourth-tier Bradford City (who were taken to penalties by Arsenal).

Barring high margins of victory, none of the sides on 26 points - Everton (+4 goal difference), Tottenham (+4) or West Brom (+3) - will usurp the Blues (+11) from third place in the Barclays Premier League this weekend.

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The clash of the continents is only hours away. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton complete their world view…

European champions Chelsea aim to be crowned kings of the world. We look at how they might achieve that coronation.

Key battles
Corinthians completed their 2012 Brazilian Serie A campaign earlier this month with a 1-3 defeat at the hands of fierce local rivals São Paulo, having taken an early lead through striker Paolo Guerrero. The loss meant they slipped to a final place of sixth - their worst finish in three years.

One of the Brazilians' standout players was overlapping right-back Alessandro. He may lack the dynamism of a Dani Alvés but caused the Egyptians' defence great problems on Wednesday.

On the same flank (but usually a centre-forward) Emerson Sheik may be carrying an injury. He is something of a wild character - as well as scoring twice in the Copa Libertadores final he bit a Boca Juniors defender on the hand. Ashley Cole could be in for an interesting encounter and will need plenty of support from whoever is playing in midfield on Chelsea's left. Corinthians also switch wingers during games.

At the apex in attack against Al-Ahly was Paolo Guerrero (pictured below), the man who notched the winner. He faced Chelsea twice in a spell at Bayern Munich, in April 2005. He played the whole of the quarter-final first leg at the Bridge, a 4-2 win for the Blues. During the return in Germany he came off the bench to replace first-choice forward Roy Makaay and scored in stoppage time from a Bastian Schweinsteiger pass. Bayern won 3-2 on the night.


Rafael Benítez handed David Luíz his first start as a deep-lying midfielder in the win over Monterrey. The Brazilian, who has made no secret of his childhood dream to win this competition, excelled, mixing up tidy defence with probing long passes and driving runs through the Mexicans' centre. Frank Lampard continued his return from injury in assured fashion and went close with a characteristic edge-of-box strike.

For Corinthians, Paulinho is a powerful midfield presence who appeared to play within himself in Wednesday's semi-final against Al-Ahly.

Under normal circumstances he can be dangerously elusive, arriving unnoticed in dangerous areas in and around the box. Chelsea's propensity to switch off, evident again in Monterrey's consolation goal on Thursday, will have encouraged the Lampard-esque no.8.

Timão won the Copa Libertadores with best defensive record ever. They are well organised defensively and know how to compress a game: the system that swiftly forms a front four can also form banks of four or a back six.

Against the Egyptians they conceded possession for periods of the second half without serious concerns. However, their back four became stretched and switched off at times, allowing Al-Ahly's ultimately wasteful forwards to be picked out in good positions with surprising ease.

Chelsea will aim to test Corinthians' vulnerability to direct forward passes and swift interplay of the sort brilliantly displayed at times by Eden Hazard, Oscar, Fernando Torres and opening goalscorer Juan Mata, who has hit the net in four successive games. Torres now has five goals in three matches.

The Al-Ahly-Corinthians match was notably slower than a typical Premier League or even Champions League match. A high tempo is surely something the Blues must impose on the game to unsettle our opponents, especially one that's just completed a 38-game league campaign.

Benitez rested Ramires and Ryan Bertrand entirely and, to lesser degrees Lampard and Victor Moses, of his recent regulars. He has already shown himself a manager prepared to tweak his team to obtain the right result in each match.

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Sunday's showdown with Corinthians Paulista recalls an epic tour of South America undertaken by Chelsea in 1929, during which we met this great São Paulo club for the first time. It was 4 July, David Calderhead's squad having arrived on the night train from Rio de Janeiro the previous morning, Brazil's independence day. The Pensioners would become the first professional British side to play in the country's then business capital.

The game kicked off at in mid-afternoon at Parque Antarctica, the home stadium of city rivals Palmeiras.

Already dubbed 'Timão' (the Big Team), Corinthians would earn another nickname after this match: the 'team of the turn'. Several greats featured for both sides. Chelsea's reliable keeper Sam Millington, long-serving full-back Tommy Law and stylish skipper Andy Wilson (pictured below) all played. Some of Corinthians' and Brazil's most feted stars also figured: defenders Pedro Grané and Armando Del Debbio, Alexandre De Maria and José 'Rato' Castelli, who as a youth coach later developed the great Roberto Rivelino. They were the back-to-back champions of Brazil and would make it a treble the following season.


Chelsea were in Division Two, and the spirit engendered by three months together touring Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil would drive the Londoners on to promotion the next May.

Despite Corinthians having the more attacks, it was the Brits who seized the initiative in São Paulo with a devastating eight-minute lesson in finishing. A direct move through midfield created the first for winger William Jackson. Inside-left Wilson made it 2-0 directly from a free kick soon after, and striker Sid Elliott broke clear, eluded challenges and beat Tuffy for a third.

Corinthians replied swiftly with a deflected shot in off Tommy Law. Another set-piece striker, from Grané, made it 3-2 before Gambinha equalised. Winger De Maria confirmed the hosts' comeback from a three-goal deficit - hence 'team of the turn' - by putting his side 4-3 ahead.

Elliott scored his second, the tourists' fourth, and Millington starred in the final moments as Chelsea held on for a 4-4 draw. Chelsea played one more match in the same city, a 1-2 loss to São Paulo, before catching the train back to Rio, from where they sailed home.

The Pensioners' record in Brazil ended as two draws and two defeats, but as English football pioneers they given a rousing send-off by a huge crowd at Estação da Luz.

Chelsea have faced other compatriots of Corinthians including Olaria in 1954 and Santos, the club of Pele et al, in 1970 and 1971. The latter set a record crowd for a football match in Jamaica where it was played.

This is the first time we have met Brazilian opposition in a truly meaningful match.

Details of the 1929 tour match
4 July 1929 (Sao Pãulo, Brazil)
Corinthians……..………4 Chelsea………..……4
Gambinha 31, 42               Jackson 20
Grané 35                              Wilson 26
De Maria 55                         Elliott 28, 65
                     Att: 10,000

Other friendlies against Brazilian opposition include
28 Jun 1929 - Rio de Janeiro XI (away) - D 1-1
30 Jun 1929 - Rio de Janeiro XI (away) - L 1-2
7 Jul 1929 - São Paulo (away) - L 1-3
1 May 1954 - Olaria (Luxembourg) - D 1-1
2 Apr 1957 - Bahia (home) - W 3-1
22 Apr 1958 - Canto do Rio (home) - W 3-2
12 May 1970 - Santos (Caracas, Venezuela) - L 1-4
2 Feb 1971 - Santos (Kingston, Jamaica) - L 0-1

Visit tomorrow for part two of the Briefing. 

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Rafael Benitez won the FIFA Club World Cup in 2010 with Inter Milan. Carlo Ancelotti also won the trophy while at AC Milan in 2007.

The Blues qualified the FIFA Club World Cup by beating Bayern Munich in the Champions League final 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw after extra time.

There have been 35 goals scored in our eight matches this season against foreign opposition.

2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage
Sep 13 Bayer Leverkusen (h) W 2-0
Sep 28 Valencia (a) D 1-1
Oct 19 KRC Genk (h) W 5-0
Nov 1 KRC Genk (a) D 1-1
Nov 23 Bayer Leverkusen (a) L 1-2
Dec 6 Valencia (h) W 3-0

Champions League Group E table
P W D L F A Pts
Chelsea 6 3 2 1 13 4 11
Bayer Leverkusen 6 3 1 2 8 8 10
Valencia 6 2 2 2 12 7 8
KRC Genk 6 0 3 3 2 16 3

2011/12 UEFA Champions League knockout stage
Feb 21 Napoli (Round of 16 a) L 1-3
Mar 14 Napoli (Round of 16 h) W 4-1
Mar 27 Benfica (Quarter-final a) W 1-0
Apr 4 Benfica (Quarter-final h) W 2-1
Apr 18 Barcelona (Semi-final h) W 1-0
Apr 24 Barcelona (Semi-final a) D 2-2
May 19 Bayern Munich (Final, Munich) D 1-1*
* won 4-3 on penalties after extra time

We lined up 4-2-3-1: Cech; Bosingwa, Cahill, D Luiz, Cole; Mikel, Lampard (c); Kalou (Torres 83), Mata, Bertrand (Malouda 73); Drogba.
Scorer: Drogba (88). Shoot out scorers: D Luiz, Lampard, Cole, Drogba.
Penalty save: Cech. Shoot-out saves: Cech 2

Chelsea have won three of our last five penalty shoot-outs, the last being at the Allianz Arena for the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

Last six results
Nov 25 Manchester City (a) D 0-0
Nov 28 Fulham (h) D 0-0
Dec 1 West Ham (a) L 1-3
Dec 5 FC Nordsjaelland (Champions League h) W 6-1
Dec 8 Sunderland (a) W 3-1
Dec 13 Monterrey (Club World Cup SF, Japan) W 3-1

2012/13 scorers
Torres 12 (1 pen), Mata 11, Cahill 6, Oscar 5, E Hazard 4 (2 pens), Ivanovic 3, Lampard 3 (2 pens), D Luiz 3 (2 pens), Moses 3, Ramires 3, Bertrand 2, Sturridge 2, Cole 1, Romeu 1 (pen), Terry 1, own goal 1. Total 61.

Chelsea's next three games
Wed 19 Dec Leeds United (Capital One Cup quarter-final) away 7.45pm
Sun 23 Aston Villa home 4pm
Wed 26 Dec Norwich City away 3pm

Formed 1910

Major trophies
5 Brazilian League championships, last in 2011
3 Brazilian Cups, last in 2009
1 Brazilian Super Cup in 1991
1 FIFA Club World Cup in 2000
1 Copa Libertadores in 2012

Corinthians won the first FIFA Club World Cup in 2000 by defeating Vasco da Gama on penalties after a goalless draw at the Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, in front of a 73,000 crowd.

Corinthians were the Copa Libertadores' first unbeaten champions since 1978.

The Brazilian outfit only conceded four goals in 14 games on the way to winning this year's Copa Libertadores.

Their 23-man squad consists of 20 Brazilians, one Argentinean, one Peruvian and one Qatari.

2012 Copa Libertadores
Feb 16 Deportivo Táchira (a) D 1-1
Mar 8 Nacional Asunción (h) W 2-0
Mar 15 Cruz Azul (a) D 0-0
Mar 22 Cruz Azul (h) W 1-0
Apr 12 Nacional Asunción (a) W 3-1
Apr 19 Deportivo Táchira (h) W 6-0

Group 6 table
P W D L F A Pts
Corinthians (Brazil) 6 4 2 0 13 2 14
Cruz Azul (Mexico) 6 3 2 1 11 4 11
Nacional (Paraguay) 6 1 1 4 6 13 4
Táchira (Venezuela) 6 0 3 3 4 15 3


2012 Copa Libertadores knockout stage
May 3 Emelec (Ecuador) (Rd of 16 a) D 0-0
May 10 Emelec (Rd of 16 h) W 3-0
May 17 Vasco da Gama (Brazil) (QF a) D 0-0
May 24 Vasco da Gama (QF h) W 1-0
Jun 14 Santos (Brazil) (SF a) W 1-0
Jun 21 Santos (SF h) D 1-1
Jun 28 Boca Juniors (Argentina) (Final a) D 1-1
Jul 5 Boca Juniors (Final h) W 2-0

Copa Libertadores scorers
Emerson 5, Danilo 4, Jorge Henrique 3, Paulinho 3, Alex 1, Douglas 1 (pen), Elton 1, Fábio Santos 1, Liedson 1, Ralf 1, Romarinho 1. Total 22.

Last six results
Nov 4 Atlético GO (a) W 2-0
Nov 10 Coritiba (h) W 5-1
Nov 18 Internacional(a) W 2-0
Nov 24 Santos (h) D 1-1
Dec 2 São Paulo (a) L 1-3
Dec 12 Al-Ahly (Club World Cup SF, Japan) W 1-0

Corinthians have set a new tournament record by going five matches unbeaten in the FIFA Club World Cup - three wins and two draws.




2012 Brazil Serie A table - top 10
Pld Gd Pts
1 Fluminense 38 +28 77
2 Atlético Mineiro 38 +27 72
3 Grêmio 38 +23 71
4 São Paulo 38 +22 66
5 Vasco do Gama 38 +1 58
6 Corinthians 38 +12 57
7 Botafogo 38 +10 55
8 Santos 38 +6 53
9 Cruzeiro 38 -4 52
10 Internacional 38 +4 52


The referee for the final is Cüneyt Çakır of Turkey. He handled our epic 2-2 draw with Barcelona at Camp Nou last season, and - less pleasantly - our 0-3 defeat at Juventus a few weeks ago.

There are no suspensions.

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Corinthians v Chelsea (Club World Cup)


  • 12
    Ramos Cassio
  • 2
    Nunes Alessandro
  • 3
    Anderson Chicao
  • 13
    Cren Benini Paulo Andre
  • 6
    Romeu Fabio Santos
  • 5
    Teles Ralf
  • 8
    Joe Paulo Paulinho
  • 11
    Marcio Emerson Substitution
  • 20
    Gabriel Danilo
  • 23
    De Souza Jorge Henrique
  • 9
    Paolo Guerrero Substitution


  • 7
    Juan Manuel Martinez Substitution
  • 26
    Silva Guilherme Andrade
  • 4
    Reis Wallace Substitution
  • 22
    Danilo Fernandes
  • 21
    Andrade Edenilson
  • 17
    Souza Willian Arao
  • 28
    Augusto Felipe Monteiro
  • 29
    Piccolomo Giovanni
  • 31
    Romario Ricardo da Silva Romarinho
  • 1
    Santos Julio Cesar
  • 10
    Dos Santos Douglas
  • 15
    Correa Anderson Polga
Shots on Target
Shots off Target
Most fouls
Jorge Henrique
Yellow Cards
Red Cards


  • 1
    Petr Cech
  • 2
    Substitution Branislav Ivanovic
  • 24
    Gary Cahill
  • 4
    David Luiz
  • 3
    Ashley Cole
  • 7
    Nascimento Ramires
  • 8
    Frank Lampard
  • 13
    Substitution Victor Moses
  • 10
    Juan Mata
  • 17
    Substitution Eden Hazard
  • 1
    Fernando Torres


  • 56
    George Saville
  • 11
    Substitution Emboaba Oscar
  • 28
    Substitution Cesar Azpilicueta
  • 21
    Substitution Marko Marin
  • 34
    Ryan Bertrand
  • 23
    Daniel Sturridge
  • 12
    John Mikel
  • 22
    Ross Turnbull
  • 19
    Paulo Ferreira
  • 40
    Henrique Hilario
  • 35
    Lucas Piazon
  • 26
    John Terry


Seven months after winning the Champions League, our hopes of being crowned world champions evaporated in Yokohama as we slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Corinthians.

Paolo Guerrero's 69th minute header proved decisive, and while Fernando Torres had a late goal ruled out for offside, it's the Brazilians who will fly home with the trophy.

Gary Cahill, who was sent off in the last minute after reacting to a challenge from Emerson, went close early on for the Blues, while Victor Moses was desperately unlucky shortly before half-time when Cassio turned his brilliant effort around the post.

Guerrero headed home from close-range with 21 minutes left to play after Danilo's shot had deflected into his path off Cahill, before the Blues defender saw red late on.

There was still time for Torres to see his header ruled out and Juan Mata strike the woodwork, but the damage had already been done.

There is little time for the disappointment to fester, however, as we head home to take on Leeds United in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday, a game which has now taken on extra significance.

Team news
Interim manager Rafael Benitez made three changes to the team which beat Monterrey 3-1 in the semi-final on Thursday.

Frank Lampard made his first start since October and captained the side, with John Mikel Obi making way. Ramires came in and David Luiz, who played in midfield against the Mexican side, moved back into the centre of defence, with Branislav Ivanovic reverting back to right-back and Cesar Azpilicueta dropping down to the bench. The sole change in attack saw Moses replace Oscar.

First half
In stark contrast to our semi-final, there wasn't a spare seat inside the stadium for the showpiece game, with the Brazilians backed by thousands of travelling supporters, and those fans who had made the trip from the UK bolstered due to our popularity with the locals.

Signed for his artistry in the final third, it was in our own half where Eden Hazard made a crucial interception inside the opening couple of minutes, robbing Paulinho as the Corinthians midfielder, who was unmarked in the box, looked to pounce on a Fabio Santos cross.

Our first opening came courtesy of a delightful pass on the turn by Lampard, straight into the path of Torres; the striker found Moses, whose cross was deflected behind for a corner, and from the resulting kick we almost took the lead.

Mata's delivery was flicked on by Branislav Ivanovic to Cahill, and after his initial header had been saved, the defender smashed the rebound goalwards, only for Cassio to somehow claw the ball away and prevent it from rolling over the line.

Corinthians v Chelsea

David Luiz saw a powerful free-kick cannon straight against the wall after Hazard had drawn a foul from Chicao with a clever turn, while at the other end Paulinho fired over the bar with a speculative effort which never looked like testing Cech.

In the 25th minute, the Brazilian side were appealing for a penalty following a tussle between Guerrero and Cahill.

The Corinthians man neatly evaded Cahill by slipping the ball through his legs, before tumbling in the penalty area as the defender attempted to win it back.

At first glance, it looked a close one, but replays appeared to prove that the referee had called it correctly, to the relief of the Chelsea supporters inside the stadium.

Corinthians v Chelsea

Moses then saw a decent chance go begging after latching on to a great pass from Hazard, before Corinthians wasted the best chance of the game a minute later.

Cahill timed his tackle brilliantly to deny Guerrero, and as the striker's follow-up rolled dangerously across the face of the goal, Emerson arrived at the far post and crashed his effort against the outside of the post as David Luiz narrowed the angle.

Lampard was head and shoulders above other players on the pitch in terms of his passing. Torres, in particular, was reaping the benefits of having the 34-year-old back in the side, and the Spaniard was unlucky to see one effort well saved after he'd brought the ball out of the air brilliantly.

A quick break six minutes before half-time yielded our best opportunity of the game, as Moses got on the end of a move involving Lampard, Hazard and Mata, before seeing his wonderful curling strike expertly tipped away by Cassio, and as the referee brought the half to a halt, there was little to choose between the sides.

Second half
It was the Blues who forced the first chance of the second half soon after the restart. The persistence of Ashley Cole enabled him to get beyond Alessandro, before laying the ball inside to Mata, but his cross, seeking out Torres, was just behind the striker who was unable to connect.

Mata, after a quiet first half, was beginning to find more space, and minutes later he released Hazard with a perfectly-weighted pass; the Belgian raced away, but a poor first touch left him with too much to do, and his eventual shot was blocked by Cassio.

Given the tightness of the game, it was becoming clear that scoring first may well prove to be decisive.

Paulinho went close for the Brazilians, fizzing a strike inches past the post from Guerrero's lay-off, while at the other end we were struggling to find an opening.

The Corinthians supporters were beginning to sense an opening, and with 21 minutes remaining it came.

Paulinho fed Danilo on the left-hand side of the penalty area, and as he came inside Cahill and fired towards goal, his shot deflected off the legs of the Blues defender, falling invitingly into the path of Guerrero, who headed beyond Cole and David Luiz - who were both on the goalline - and into the back of the net off the underside of the bar.

As an attacking unit, we hadn't done enough, and Benitez, recognising the need for a change, replaced Moses with Oscar.

Azpilicueta was next to be introduced, coming on for Ivanovic in a straight swap as time ticked away.

Shortly after, Torres was presented with a golden opportunity to restore parity, but he could only fire straight at Cassio from point-blank range, and you wondered whether we would see a better chance.

Corinthians v Chelsea

Our final change saw Marko Marin replace Hazard, but if the task was already a big one, it was made all the more difficult when Cahill was dismissed after reacting to a challenge from Emerson.

Torres headed home in added time from an Oscar cross, but the flag had already been raised for offside, while with virtually the last kick of the game Mata hit the outside of the post after rounding Cassio.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic (Azpilicueta 82), Cahill, David Luiz, Cole; Lampard (c), Ramires; Moses (Oscar 72), Mata, Hazard (Marin 86); Torres.
Unused substitutes: Turnbull, Hilario, Ferreira, Bertrand, Saville, Mikel, Piazon.
Booked David Luiz 71
Sent off Cahill 89

Corinthians (4-2-3-1): Cassio; Alessandro (c), Chicao, Paulo Andre, Fabio Santos; Paulinho, Ralf; Jorge Henrique, Danilo, Emerson (Wallace 90); Guerrero (Martinez 86).
Unused substitutes: Julio Cesar, Fernandes, Douglas, Polga, Arao, Edenilson, Andrade, Felipe, Giovanni, Romarinho.
Scorer Guerrero 69
Booked Jorge Henrique 55

Referee Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey)
Crowd 68,275

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