Football: Ken Bates and the Didier men

Chelsea 0

Bologna 0

Attendance: 27,259

THERE WERE no goals for the crowd to get excited about but the joy on Dennis Wise's face indicated that he, at least, had had a nice old time of it. This was easy to understand since 27,259 people - a club record for such an occasion - rolled up to Stamford Bridge for his testimonial, celebrating nine years with Chelsea.

Wise laboured, like all the others, through a stifling afternoon punctuated by rumbles of thunder before being replaced and hugged, two minutes from the end, by his manager, Gianluca Vialli, and afterwards told the fans: "I have enjoyed every moment of my time here. I have another two years and hopefully we can bring back the title because you deserve it... We weren't far away last year and this season we know what we have to look for."

Chelsea's hopes of usurping Manchester United have been given a big boost by the pounds 3m signing of Didier Deschamps in midfield and a smaller impetus, on this evidence at least, with the arrival of the pounds 10m striker Chris Sutton. Of his new colleagues, Wise commented, "Chris is going to score goals while Didier is Didier basically, done everything, won everything, real quality."

The coincidence of this friendly affair was that the Italians fielded Nicola Ventola, whose name was persistently connected with Chelsea during the summer until the money was spent instead on Sutton. Ventola it was who carried an early threat to Chelsea and it needed an urgent intervention as the striker took aim to deflect the danger.

There have been mutterings that the arrival of Deschamps was a mercenary move, but the little Frenchman's every touch was stamped with authority and class. His control was instant and authoritative and the passes rarely failed to find another blue shirt.

Wise's every move - taking a throw-in or a corner - received a standing ovation from supporters waving banners bearing the legend "Dennis Wise - Forever Blue". Like some of the people he has tackled since signing for Ken Bates' club in May 1990. Graham Poll refereed tolerantly and wisely, once intervening smartly when he had to separate Wise and Jonathan Binotto and Graeme Le Saux moved in to add his pennyworth. "There were a few tackles flying about," said Wise. "The match was played at a proper tempo."

The nastiest of the tackles was perpetrated by Bia, who had been trailing Sutton to bruising effect. Albert Ferrer embarked on a surging run from defence but when he was brought down in full flight, Mr Poll's twirling of arms towards the Bologna bench indicated they should substitute Bia or he might have to reach for a card which the offence merited. Bia duly marched but Bologna hung on, in that familiar Italian fashion, blunting every Chelsea attempt. And when the defence was over-extended there was Gianluca Pagliuca showing why he won 39 caps in goal for Italy.

The afternoon almost received its perfect moment when Wise unleashed a cross shot, only to see it fly wide.

Chelsea: E De Goey; D Petrescu, F Leboeuf, M Desailly, D Deschamps, G Poyet, C Sutton, D Wise, G Le Saux, A Ferrer, G Zola. Substitutes used: J Hogh, R Di Matteo, T Flo, J Morris, C Babayaro, M Forssell, G Vialli.

Bologna: G Pagliuca; G Falcone, M Tarantino, K Ingesson, G Bia, M Paganin, G Signori, Eriberto, N Ventola, G Marocchi, J Binotto. Substitutes used: T Lucic, C Nervo, N Boselli, Ze Elias, J Mensah, F Ferrari.

Referee: G Poll (Tring).

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Manager - £50,000

£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

VB.Net Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game