Chelsea gloom at World Cup defeat

Chelsea’s attempt to win the World Club Championship ended in disappointment and anger as they lost 1-0 to Corinthians of Sao Paulo in the final in Yokohama. After Paolo Guerrero had scored the only goal in the second half, the Brazilians frustrated Chelsea with their time-wasting tactics and feigning injury.

The provocation was too much for Gary Cahill who was shown a red card in stoppage time after lunging at Emerson, whose reaction was ridiculously exaggerated. Manager Rafael Benitez consoled the defender but it was not Chelsea’s night.

"It's a long way to come to lose," said Frank Lampard, summing up the anxiety about a fixture that could disrupt Chelsea’s domestic season just as they were beginning to show signs of form in the Premier League. After the long flight back, Chelsea face a tricky Capital One Cup match against Leeds.

FIFA have been attempting to bolster the credibility of the World Club Championship for several years, but the main stumbling block has been a reluctance by European clubs to take it seriously. The first half of the final was embarrassingly poor, with neither team approaching the levels of skill and commitment you would see in the average Champions League tie for example.

The second half was marginally better, with Chelsea creating several chances. Most of them fell to Fernando Torres, who was unable to maintain his recent scoring form. "I agree that he has to take these chances in a final because it's not easy to create too many in games like this," Benitez said. "If you have two or three, you have to score. But at least he was winning a lot of balls in the air, he was fresh, and you could see that physically he is improving."

The key question is whether Torres and Chelsea can shrug off the disappointment quickly.

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