Chelsea’s stuttering start to the season continued as they were held to a shock draw by Norwegian underdogs Rosenborg in the Champions League.
Andriy Shevchenko celebrates his equaliser for Chelsea
Rosenborg threatened to spring a surprise when Miika Koppinen turned in Marek Sapara’s free-kick at the near post in the 24th minute.
Andriy Shevchenko headed Chelsea level eight minutes after the interval.
Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou hit the woodwork for Chelsea, but resilient Rosenborg held out to force a draw.
And perhaps even more worrying for coach Jose Mourinho was a crowd of only 24,973 at Stamford Bridge, including a distinctly unimpressed owner Roman Abramovich – a miserable turn-out for a Champions League game.
Chelsea were still without their main goal threats in injured duo Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba – and it showed in a lacklustre first 45 minutes.
Michael Essien wasted a good chance by shooting wide before Rosenborg took a shock lead after 24 minutes.
Sapara’s dangerous free-kick from the left flank was met with a perfect flick from Koppinen at the near post that left Chelsea keeper Petr Cech helpless.
Chelsea responded as expected, but they lacked both inspiration and a cutting edge in the opening exchanges.
Alex headed wide, and both Kalou and Shevchenko were narrowly off target as Chelsea started to mount a threat as the interval approached.
Former Liverpool defender Bjorn Tore Kvarme entered the action at the re-start, the 35-year-old coming on for the injured Christer Basma.
Rosenborg wasted a glorious opportunity to double their advantage after 51 minutes when Yssouf Kone set up Alexander Tettey, but he blazed wastefully over the top from 12 yards.
Chelsea needed a goal desperately – as did misfiring striker Shevchenko – and the Ukrainian striker obliged with the equaliser seconds later, heading Malouda’s cross beyond Lars Hirschfelfd.
Malouda then rattled the post as Chelsea showed real urgency against their underdog opponents.
Rosenborg were now having to defend courageously, and keeper Hirchsfeld did well to block Juliano Belletti.
Chelsea made a double switch with 17 minutes left, sending on Tal Ben Haim and Shaun Wright-Phillips for Ashley Cole and Joe Cole.
And Kalou was the latest to be denied by the woodwork as Rosenborg held on.
It meant an attacking role for captain John Terry as Chelsea switched to a three-man defence.
Chelsea spent the latter stages camped out in Rosenborg’s half, but a combination of good fortune, safe handling from Hirschfeld and stout defending kept Mourinho’s side at bay.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho:
“Of course I am alarmed. I am not happy. “We cannot score goals and secondly I have no good news from the medical department. So I have to fight with these players to make the team the best possible.
“I am disappointed but the history of the game was simple – we had 20 chances and scored one goal. So maybe we need 40 chances to score two and 60 to score three.
“Our 20 chances were not enough to score two goals. It is not my strikers, it is my team.
“My team played against a team that in my opinion did its game. Like smaller teams do when they visit the better teams, they come here to defend and are organised.”
Chelsea: Cech, Belletti, Terry, Alex, Ashley Cole (Ben-Haim 73), Joe Cole (Wright-Phillips 74), Makelele, Essien, Malouda, Shevchenko, Kalou.
Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Sidwell, Obi, Ferreira, Sawyer. Booked: Alex.
Goals: Shevchenko 53.
Rosenborg: Hirschfeld, Koppinen, Basma (Kvarme 46), Dorsin, Strand, Riseth, Skjelbred (Iversen 84), Tettey, Sapara (Konan 69), Traore, Kone.
Subs Not Used: Hansen, Stoor, Lago, Nordvik.
Booked: Dorsin, Kone.
Goals: Koppinen 24.
Ref: Laurent Duhamel (France).