Football

Malouda rues draw

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Malouda came so close to giving Chelsea the win. (©PAphotos)
Malouda came so close to giving Chelsea the win. (©PAphotos).

After finishing as Chelsea's top scorer last season, Florent Malouda has become used to succeeding in front of goal.

With Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres' injury problems affecting their form, the onus was on Malouda to hit his straps, and with 14 club goals last term, filled the void ably.

However, when it came to adding the finishing touch late on against Genk on Tuesday night, Malouda's usually reliable touch was found to be lacking, leaving the Blues to rue a missed opportunity to assure qualification to the knock-out phase of the Champions League.

"I was very, very close," Malouda said.

"I was very unlucky with the path of the ball and I thought it would get more pace when it touched the pitch, but when it did it slowed down and it gave time for the defender to clear the ball.

"It was very frustrating because that could be the goal that gave us the victory and maybe gave us a better spirit at the end of the game."

The point, although it maintains Chelsea's unbeaten start in the group stage, means it's all to play for at the top of Group E, with a trip to Bayer Leverkusen to come on matchday five, a potentially decisive tie in the context of the group.

Finishing as runners-up in the group phase opens up the possibility of facing the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid come the second round, a position that Malouda's side will be eager to avoid.

"Genk played in this game a little bit like the second half at Stamford Bridge," Malouda said.

"They didn't want to concede a lot of goals like they did in the first half at Stamford Bridge and they were really compact and they were difficult to play against.

"But we had the possession and we had more chances but the crowd and the atmosphere could help them in some situations and they played a very good game.

"We have to believe in ourselves and our capacity to change things and we must look forward to the next game to get back to the winning habit, and then everyone would look positive."

Topics:
Football
Florent Malouda
Chelsea
Premier League
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