Westerveld Hands It To Blues  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea celebrate an early goalChelsea 3-0 Liverpool
Westerveld o.g. 10, Hasselbaink 11, Gudjohnsen 71
FA Carling Premiership

Andy Clarke reporting

Chelsea moved six places up the Premiership table after a comfortable win over lethargic Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.

The dark clouds which have surrounded the club ever since their opening day win over West Ham were partially lifted by a solid if unspectacular performance.

Chelsea were in need of a stroke of good fortune and they got it when Sander Westerveld handed them the lead in the tenth minute.

The Dutch 'keeper, under pressure from Dennis Wise, punched Gianfranco Zola's corner into his own net. His subsequent protests did little to hide his embarrassment and fell on deaf ears.

By contrast, the second goal for Claudio Ranieri's men only a minute later was a joy to watch for it's quality rather than comedy.

Zola's exquisite pass found Eidur Gudjohnsen who in turn fed Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, and the Dutch international scored his fifth goal for the club with a shot high into the net from 18 yards.

Liverpool were poor. Their England double-act of Michael Owen and Emile Heskey failed to shine in attack, and throughout their ranks the passing was seldom accurate.

So it came as no surprise when Chelsea extended their lead midway through the second half, when Gudjohnsen marked his first Premiership start for the club by taking the ball around Westerveld and coolly rolling it into the empty goal.

Liverpool threw on Robbie Fowler to play alongside Owen and Heskey, and he almost responded with his first goal of the season, but he dragged his left foot shot wide from a tight angle.

Kevin Keegan will take note of an ugly confrontation between England colleagues Steven Gerrard and Dennis Wise which earned each a booking, but also of the continued good form of Graeme Le Saux at left wing back.

Chelsea will go into the international break breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Chelsea: de Goey, Leboeuf, Desailly, Hasselbaink (Flo 80), Wise, Le Saux, Melchiot, Ferrer (Babayaro 72), Gudjohnsen, Dalla Bona (Morris 76), Zola.
Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Aleksidze.
Booked: Wise.
Goals: Westerveld 10 og, Hasselbaink 11, Gudjohnsen 71.

Liverpool: Westerveld, Henchoz, Ziege, Babbel, Heskey, Owen, Hyypia, Hamann, Gerrard, Barmby (Fowler 67), Carragher (Heggem 67).
Subs Not Used: Murphy, Arphexad, Traore.
Booked: Gerrard.
Att: 34,966
Ref: D Gallagher (Banbury).

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