CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Chelsea in cruise control in Copenhagen

Chelsea have continued their impressive Champions League form this season with a simple 2-0 victory over FC Copenhagen tonight.

Following on from five wins and a draw in the group stage, the Blues were in complete cruise control as they put one foot into the quarter-finals.

Nicolas Anelka scored twice – one in each half – as Carlo Ancelotti’s men turned around their poor domestic form with a dominant performance on the continent.

Champions League – Round of 16 first leg
FC Copenhagen: 0
Chelsea: 2 (Nicolas Anelka 17’/54’)

Venue: Parken Stadion, Copenhagen
Crowd: 28,000
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers
Yellow cards: COP - Mathias Zanka Jorgensen 7’, Zdenek Pospech 70’
CHE - Fernando Torres 35’, Florent Malouda 85’

GOAL Chelsea grabbed an early lead when former Blue Jesper Gronkjaer was careless with his backpass from midfield with Nicolas Anelka pouncing. The Frenchman ran at the Copenhagen defence before slamming home a low shot past Johan Wiland for his sixth goal of the competition in the 17th minute.

Things were opening up around the Chelsea players and they probably should have doubled their advantage with a few chances coming to the likes of Florent Malouda and Fernando Torres but nonetheless, they completely dominated the opening 45 minutes.

The visitors were still well on top in midfield but looked vulnerable at the back in the early stages of the second half with Copenhagen substitute Martin Vingaard looking particularly dangerous.

GOAL But Chelsea’s efficiency shone through when Frank Lampard played a neat little ball with his left on the spin into the path of Anelka in the 53rd minute and the deadly striker needed no second invitation to score with an angled shot into the back of the net to join Inter Milan’s Samuel Eto’o on seven goals for the tournament so far.

Torres’ clever piece of play in the 58th minute when he toyed with the Copenhagen defence should have brought about a goal but Wiland got a diving hand to the Spaniard’s left-footed shot as things started to look very ominous for the home team.

Copenhagen began to get on top in the latter stages of the match as Chelsea backed off, forcing the game into a crawl but the Blues were good enough to hold off and record a vital win ahead of the return leg at Stamford Bridge on March 16.

Starting Line-Ups
Copenhagen
Johan Wiland (gk), Oscar Wendt (Bengtsson 75’), Mikael Antonsson, William Kvist Jorgensen, Zdenek Pospech, Mathias Zanka Jorgensen, Claudemir, Jesper Gronkjaer (Zohore 87’), Cesar Santin (Vingaard 46’), Dame N’Doye, Christian Bolanos

Subs - Kim Christensen (gk), Martin Vingaard (46’), Pierre Bengtsson (75’), Kenneth Zohore (87’)

Chelsea
Petr Cech (gk), Jose Bosingwa, John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Ashley Cole, Michael Essien, Frank Lampard, Ramires, Florent Malouda (Zhirkov 85’), Nicolas Anelka (Drogba 73’), Fernando Torres (Kalou 90+2’)

Subs - Ross Turnbull (gk), Didier Drogba (73’), Yuri Zhirkov (85’), Salomon Kalou (90+2’)

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