AMSTERDAM – Michael Parkhurst and Champions League newcomers FC Nordsjælland made a game of it for a good while on Tuesday, but eventually took one on the chin with a 4-0 loss to Group E visitors Chelsea.
The Danish club's first-ever contest against Premier League opposition was scoreless until a reckless error by midfielder Enoch Adu facilitated Juan Mata's 33rd-minute opener. Parkhurst, meanwhile, enjoyed an outstanding first half filled with him making trouble in the attack end. The US defender then crossed for FCN's best chance of the night near the hour, only to have forward Mikkel Beckmann nod a golden chance to equalize over the bar.
However, a soft Parkhurst foul teed up an excellent David Luiz free kick that made it 2-0 with 10 minutes left and the set-up work for Ramires' last-minute capper came through the American's zone. With defeats from their first two group matches, the Wild Tigers must now regroup when Serie A holders Juventus visit Parken for Matchday 3 on Oct. 23.
Over in England's Championship, Will Packwood worked right back for 52 minutes and Jonathan Spector in midfield for the full 90 as Birmingham City fell 2-1 at Cardiff City.
Spector had a mild penalty shout ignored in the waning moments as the roller coaster Brums slipped to 18th place.
Also, Tim Ream was an unused substitute as Bolton rallied near time for a 2-2 home share with Leeds United, as was Zak Whitbread in red-hot Leicester City's 2-0 victory at Huddersfield Town.