Addicks fortunate to catch champs on an off day

Last updated : 01 February 2006 By Editor

Line-up: Darren Ambrose moves up from the bench as Shaun Bartlett drops down. Marcus Bent and Stephan Andersen replace Kevin Lisbie and Dean Kiely in reserve.

Marcus Bent’s neat header completed a remarkable comeback after the Blues dictated the first half having swept aside Charlton's bright start so quickly. THE SUN

Pelé attended the match and the Brazil legend cannot have been too impressed with a flat interpretation by the Premiership leaders of what he called the beautiful game. The Charlton supporters who missed the first half because of a temporary suspension of services on the Tube were the lucky ones as their team lacked ambition. Their five midfield players seldom took a single stride forward in support of Darren Bent. Charlton clogged every gap with bodies, were alert and organised. Darren Ambrose’s inspiration advanced Charlton’s cause – he created Marcus Bent’s equaliser and he had the courage to thrust at Chelsea several times, twisting left and right but not saving enough energy to muster any menace from his shots. The real problem for Charlton was that there was a lack of players up front. THE TIMES

Until half-time, the visitors' reinforced midfield seemed equipped only to keep the score down. Eidur Gudjohnsen's close-range goal looked a starter for several. Chelsea were in cruise control. But when Marcus Bent equalised a mood of uncertainty replaced the air of inevitability. Either side could have stolen victory during a frantic finale. DAILY TELEGRAPH

Few Chelsea players rose above the ordinary on a poor pitch. The best individual performances came from Charlton, with Darren Ambrose the pick. Matt Holland did well after the interval as Charlton defended well. THE GUARDIAN

It was unexpected that collectively, Chelsea only extended themselves after Charlton levelled, and individually there were below-par performances. For the visitors Hermann Hreidarsson was inspirational in defence. THE INDEPENDENT