Football: Chelsea again in debt to Poyet

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The Independent Online
CHELSEA'S SEASON, stuck in first for the opening three games, moved up a gear at Stamford Bridge where they beat Nottingham Forest 2- 1, a scoreline that scarcely reflected their superiority.

With only two Premiership goals to their account, both scored by the Uruguayan midfielder Gustavo Poyet, the Blues manager, Gianluca Vialli, had said that he would change the system and his tinkering paid immediate dividends when Gianfranco Zola put them ahead after only 25 seconds.

The Italian started the move with a left wing cross to Pierluigi Casiraghi. The striker held off Craig Armstrong and passed back to Zola who curled the ball around the former Chelsea goalkeeper Dave Beasant, and inside the post. Gustavo Poyet scored his third goal of the season, a simple header from close in, shortly before half-time.

Forest again had Jean-Claude Darcheville playing as a lone striker and he received scant service. But in the 69th minute he raced clear on to a long ball into space behind the Chelsea back four, side-stepped the challenge of the goalkeeper De Goey and calmly slotted the ball into the empty net.

The Sheffield Wednesday manager, Danny Wilson, thought their unlucky 1-0 defeat at Derby County would be "a platform to build on. If we keep playing like that and get the rub of the green we'll win more games than we lose." Very prescient. The Owls beat Blackburn Rovers 3-0 at Hillsborough, their first home goals and points of the season. The win was set up after 18 minutes with an Andy Hinchcliffe cross from the left. Andy Booth flicked back for the captain Peter Atherton to finish from eight yards. In the 33rd minute, Tim Sherwood hauled down Paolo Di Canio, was booked and Hinchliffe exacted further punishment when he curled the free-kick past Tim Flowers.

Roy Hodgson, the Rovers manager, had recalled Sherwood after the midweek defeat at Tottenham - the midfielder, he felt, might have been unsettled by transfer speculation - plus Damien Duff, Gary Croft and Kevin Davies, in for the injured Kevin Gallacher. But his side, who face Lyon in the Uefa Cup on Tuesday, were consistently pulled hither and thither and Di Canio scored the Owls' third three minutes from time.

In the First Division, Birmingham City failed to regain the leadership when they were beaten 3-1 by Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium. They got off to the worst possible start as Bob Taylor, after 20 seconds, and Per Frandsen put Wanderers 2-0 up after only only five minutes. Gary Rowett pulled one back five minutes before the break but Taylor's second sealed Wanderers' win.