Terry and Anelka lead Chelsea to victory

Chelsea 2 Marseille 0

Chelsea remain top of their Champions League group after first-half goals from John Terry and Nicolas Anelka helped them to seal a comfortable victory over Marseille at Stamford Bridge.

Carlo Ancelotti's side are now ahead of Spartak Moscow on goal difference after the Russians defeated MSK Zilina 3-0.

Marseille, managed by former Chelsea player Didier Deschamps, now face a real struggle to qualify for the knockout stage of the competition.

Chelsea went into their Group F game on the back of two successive defeats to Newcastle in the Carling Cup and Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League.

Deschamps had called for his side to show the same physical prowess and counter-attacking guile that City used to overcome the Blues at Eastlands on Saturday.

But his plan went awry when Chelsea took the lead in the seventh minute with their first real attack of the game.

Florent Malouda's shot was deflected for a corner and when Gael Kakuta aimed it at the near post, captain John Terry stole in to flick the ball home.

It was a dream start for the English champions and it could have been better in the 13th minute had Malouda been able to prevent his 10-yard shot from going just over the Marseille crossbar.

Anelka, who was roundly booed by Marseille fans from the kick-off, brought a fine save from Steve Mandanda moments later after Kakuta's ball had sent him racing in on goal.

Chelsea's night got even better in the 27th minute when Stephane Mbia was harshly adjudged to have handled Michael Essien's attempted cross.

The Marseille defender was booked for the misdemeanour and Anelka rubbed salt into their wounds by tucking away the resultant spot-kick with ease.

Anelka was a constant thorn in the side of Marseille and he was just a yard away from grabbing his second in the 42nd minute when he tried his luck from 20 yards.

Marseille had barely troubled Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech in the opening period but the French champions picked up the pace after the restart.

Andre-Pierre Gignac, who had been largely kept well marshalled by Terry and Alex, sent an overhead kick straight at Cech.

In the 57th minute, Brandao tested Cech's readiness with a 25-yard effort that the Czech Republic international did well to hold on to.

Marseille replaced Gignac and Benoit Cheyrou with Andre Ayew and Mathieu Valbuena moments later as they looked for a way back into the contest.

Chelsea reacted to Marseille's changes swiftly with coach Carlo Ancelotti opting to replace Kakuta with Ramires on the hour.

Ashley Cole and Terry then combined to keep out a fierce shot from Souleymane Diawara.

Chelsea went close to adding a third in the 67th minute but a fantastic 35-yard free-kick from Alex hit the inside of the post with Marseille goalkeeper Mandanda well beaten.

Essien was guilty of hitting the right-hand upright in the 75th minute when Chelsea opened-up Marseille with another move of fluid simplicity.

Malouda fed Ramires in the inside-left channel and the Brazilian calmly laid the ball into the path of the onrushing Essien.

But the man nicknamed 'the Train' sent his thunderous right-foot shot against the post.

Chelsea removed Yury Zhirkov in favour of Daniel Sturridge and the youngster was later joined by teenager Josh McEachran, who replaced John Obi Mikel.

Moments later Sturridge squandered a simple chance to score when Anelka and Cole combined superbly down the left flank to provide him with the opportunity.

Sturridge met Cole's cross on the edge of the six-yard box but somehow managed to turn the ball beyond the far post.

In the 89th minute Essien was narrowly wide when Cole picked him out on the edge of the penalty area.

The Ghanaian looked to have done everything right but his left-foot effort spun inches beyond Mandanda's right-hand post.

It was the last chance of a game Chelsea had bossed throughout to leave them top of the group with a trip to Moscow looming in a fortnight.

PROMOTED VIDEO
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.

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links