Anelka explains 'handcuffs' gesture

Nicolas Anelka fired two first-half goals to put Chelsea on the way to a comfortable 4-1 victory over MSK Zilina and then revealed the meaning of his 'handcuff' goal celebration.

Anelka set up Michael Essien's 13th-minute opener before scoring twice himself after 24 and 28 minutes as Chelsea cruised to victory in Slovakia.

Daniel Sturridge scored his first Champions League goal three minutes after the interval before Zilina's Tomas Oravec netted a consolation for the home side.

Anelka, banned by the French Football Federation for 18 games because of his part in the World Cup mutiny, was hailed as the "key" to Chelsea's victory by coach Carlo Ancelotti.

The 31-year-old has since insisted he will never play for his country again but admitted his gesture was aimed at the French authorities and he knows other France players will understand.

"It was just something for the French Federation about what happened at the World Cup," said Anelka.

"What happened in summer is in the past, now I'm 100% focused for Chelsea."

When asked if he would ever consider playing for France again, he replied: "No, never. It was just a joke about what happened. I'm not angry."

Anelka's movement in attack in the absence of the suspended Didier Drogba was pivotal, according to a satisfied Ancelotti.

"The key was Anelka, he played a fantastic game," said the Italian. "He created space, he had opportunities, he was the key for this game.

"He can play the position in front, sometimes we use him more wide, sometimes he plays in the middle but he shows the same skills if he plays wide."

Although Oravec's goal was the result of Petr Cech failing to catch a cross, Ancelotti was happy with the defensive performance.

"Every game in the Champions League is hard to play," added Ancelotti. "We started very well in the first half, we played fantastic football, the second half was different.

"Zilina put more pressure on our defence. The back four did a good match. "When you are 3-0 up it's normal to have more difficulty.

"I think that Petr could do better with the goal we conceded but we faced a lot of crosses. We had to put more pressure on the wide side. Defensively the back four had a good game.

"I hope to watch my team and play a fantastic game for 90 minutes. Obviously I was a player I know sometimes there are difficult times, the opponent can come back in the game.

"If I have to judge the performance I am very happy because it's not easy to win 4-1 away in the Champions League.

"I am happy Sturridge scored but he has to improve his positioning, I would like him to play more in-field rather than out wide. He showed fantastic movement to score, I am happy with his performance."

Goalscorer Sturridge was delighted, saying: "I've been dreaming of that since I was a young boy.

"I'm delighted to get off the mark in the Champions League and hopefully there's many more to come.

"There's a lot of world-class players in this team. I'm delighted to be part of things."

Zilina coach Pavel Hapel was surprised by the scoreline and said the only difference between the two sides was Chelsea's clinical finishing.

"I am not disappointed with the game," said Hapel. "We played well and attacked Chelsea. We managed to score so it was okay.

"We kept up with Chelsea as much as we could but I am disappointed with the productivity. The score was a surprise.

"We didn't show the same productivity in front of goal as Chelsea did."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor