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Wed 20 Feb 2008 06:59 AM

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Chelsea and Olympiakos fire blanks

English Premiership side Chelsea look to have the upper hand after they played out a dull 0-0.

English Premiership side Chelsea look to have the upper hand after they played out a dull 0-0 draw here on Tuesday against Greek outfit Olympiakos in their Champions League second round first leg match.

Both teams had limited scoring opportunities in the match and offered very little excitement to the sold out Karaiskaki Stadium which was cleared of the weekend snowfall.

Chelsea's Ivory Coast substitute Salomon Kalou had the last chance for the visitors to score in the 79th minute but his weak shot from outside the penalty area missed the left post.

Eight minutes before that France international Florent Malouda provided another chance for Chelsea with his blast from just outside the penalty area, only to have the ball fly just over the crossbar.

In the 65th minute Olympiakos - who badly missed Democratic Republic of Congo international striker Lomana Lua Lua - had its best chance to score when Argentine winger Luciano Galletti let fly with a hard shot from outside the penalty area on the move after taking a cross from Ieroklis Stoltidis, but the ball missed the right post.

In the first half neither team seemed to gain the upper hand with Chelsea guilty of giving the ball away the most of both sides.

The only scoring opportunity for Olympiakos in the first period came in the 29th minute when a corner by Predrag Djordjevic found Stoltidis.

He sneaked inside the penalty area and his header just evaded Vasilis Torosidis in front of the Chelsea goal with the ball trickling past the left post.

On the ensuing play Chelsea roared down the pitch with a cross from the right corner by Juliano Belletti who connected with the leaping Michael Essien whose header went high above an outstretched Antonis Nikopolidis.

Chelsea had its first scoring opportunity in the 20th minute when Malouda flick-on from Belletti's free kick found Ricardo Carvalho whose header was brought down by Nikopolidis.

Chelsea coach Avram Grant had Didier Drogba return to the lineup in attack, leaving England duo John Terry and Frank Lampard to rest and late in the match he substituted Joe Cole with Nicolas Anelka and brought in Kalou to replace Malouda, but that was not enough to spark the Chelsea attack.

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