Rosenborg ride luck to hold dominant Chelsea

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LONDON, Sep 19 (Reuters) Norwegians Rosenborg Trondheim escaped from Stamford Bridge with an unlikely point after battling to a 1-1 draw against a dominant Chelsea in Champions League Group B.

Rosenborg arrived with only one win from 19 Champions League matches but went ahead against the run of play after 24 minutes when Finland defender Miika Koppinen got the final touch to an inswinging free kick.

Chelsea, without the injured Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Ricardo Carvalho, had more than 20 scoring chances but converted only one when Andriy Shevchenko headed home a Florent Malouda centre after 53 minutes yesterday.

It was his 60th goal in European club competition, taking him within two of Gerd Mueller's all-time record.

The Londoners, beaten only by Barcelona in their last 21 home Champions League matches, pressed from the start as the match quickly settled into a pattern of Chelsea attacking and Rosenborg furiously defending.

However, the visitors took the lead when Koppinen stole in ahead of captain John Terry to meet a free kick, acrobatically sticking a leg out to direct the ball into the back of Petr Cech's net.

Chelsea, without a goal in their last two matches, continued to dominate and had 13 shots in the first half but only one on target as Joe Cole, Salomon Kalou, Michael Essien, Malouda and Shevchenko sent efforts high or wide.

PERFECT HEADER The goal gave Rosenborg confidence and although they did not threaten again some of their clever midfield play orchestrated by Vidar Riseth gave Chelsea a few worrying moments.

The hosts had to wait until seven minutes into the second half to reply when Shevchenko scored his first goal for the club since April.

Coach Jose Mourinho sent defender Terry into the attack for the last 20 minutes as Chelsea searched desperately for the winner.

Although Malouda and Kalou hit the post, they failed to find the net again.

REUTERS BJR BST1020

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