Anelka helps Blues to cruise past Zilina

MSK Zilina 1 Chelsea 4

Chelsea cruised through their opening Champions League game with a demolition of Slovakian side MSK Zilina in Group F.

The damage was done in the opening half with two goals from Nicolas Anelka and another from Michael Essien.

Daniel Sturridge added a fourth early in the second-half before Tomas Oravec scored a consolation for the home side.

Zilina began impressively with Momodou Ceesay firing high over the bar in the fourth minute.

The small ground was at its capacity of 11,000 and the home side were giving their fans something to shout about in the early stages.

Chelsea won their first corner in the ninth minute but Yossi Benayoun sent his shot into the arms of Martin Dubravka.

The English champions then wasted a free-kick on the left edge of the penalty area when Sturridge fired high over the bar from 20 yards.

But the Blues went in front in the 13th minute with a simple goal. Essien put Anelka clear on the left wing and when the cross arrived, Florent Malouda stepped over it for Essien to fire home from eight yards. It was the Ghanaian's third goal in two games.

Zilina almost levelled in the 15th minute when a free-kick from Robert Jez was fumbled by Petr Cech but the Chelsea goalkeeper managed to stop the ball going into the net.

Zilina's Bello Babatounde then headed straight at Cech in the 23rd minute after a fine cross from Ceesay.

But Chelsea went 2-0 up in the 24th minute when Malouda put Anelka clear and the former France international slipped the ball under Dubravka.

Sturridge almost made it 3-0 in the 27th minute but his 25-yard drive was tipped around the post.

But the Blues punished the home side from the corner which followed when John Terry's header hit the bar and Anelka pounced to score his second from point-blank range.

Malouda should have made it 4-0 in the 37th minute but his shot was blocked by Mario Pecalka after Yury Zhirkov had pulled the ball back to him from the touchline.

Cech was forced to make a fine save four minutes from the break when he dived to push a shot from Admir Vladavic to safety.

Zilina then squandered a real chance when Babatounde headed wide from an unmarked position on the edge of the six-yard box.

However, Chelsea increased their lead in the 48th minute when Benayoun played a superb ball through for Sturridge who rounded the Zilina goalkeeper and slipped the ball home.

Zilina responded immediately and Cech was forced into a fine save to deny Vladavic.

The home side finally reduced Chelsea's advantage in the 55th minute when Cech spilled a cross and the ball rebounded off Branislav Ivanovic before Oravec bundled home.

Zilina then went close to getting a second when Vladavic sent a rising drive just wide and substitute Tomas Majtan was inches away from hitting the target with an angled drive in the 65th minute.

Chelsea were living dangerously, but with a three-goal cushion they could afford to.

Ancelotti was distinctly unhappy on the touchline as the home side attacked in numbers.

The Slovakian home side had to be admired for their endeavour although Chelsea were hardly in top gear in the second half.

With 10 minutes left, Chelsea opted to hand a full debut to 17-year-old midfielder Josh McEachran. He replaced Benayoun who was applauded off for his fine performance.

Essien forced a fine save from Dubravka in the 82nd minute as the Ghanaian midfielder looked for another goal but it was the last real action of the game as Chelsea ran out easy winners.

Arts and Entertainment
Supporting role: at the Supreme Court, Rhodes was accompanied by a famous friend, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch
booksPianist James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to stop the injunction of his memoirs
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
filmDheepan, film review
Sport
Steven Gerrard scores for Liverpool
sport
Arts and Entertainment
Bob Dylan
art
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?