Anelka keen on Rooney link-up

Goal hero Nicolas Anelka put his own Luzhniki Stadium pain behind him to suggest that Manchester United's Wayne Rooney would be welcome at Stamford Bridge.

Anelka's penalty miss in the Moscow stadium at the climax of the 2008 Champions League final against Manchester United, cost the Blues the European crown.

The France international subsequently claimed that he knew he was going to miss the penalty because he had lost confidence under former coach Avram Grant.

But Anelka had the last laugh when he scored Chelsea's second goal of the night against Spartak and then insisted that Rooney, who has signalled his intention to quit Manchester United, would be welcome at the Bridge.

"It is always good to win a game," said Anelka.

"Especially away from home in the Champions League. We wanted to take three points and that is what we did.

"We have a big squad with good players and even though we have a lot of players missing, we are capable of winning games.

"The best thing was not to think about what happened in the stadium before and to try to win the game. It was good for me but I was not thinking about what happened two years ago.

"Rooney is a good player, everybody knows his quality. If he wants to come to Chelsea then he is welcome, but I am not the owner."

Chelsea were well worth their victory in the Luzhniki. That was virtually cemented in the 23rd minute when Russia international Yury Zhirkov scored his first goal for the club with a stunning 25-yard volley.

Anelka then made sure there was no way back for the Russians when he finished off a fine run from Michael Essien by firing home from an acute angle two minutes before the interval.

Chelsea had started the game without striker Didier Drogba, sidelined by illness, injured midfielders Frank Lampard, Ramires and Yossi Benayoun plus defenders Jose Bosingwa and Alex.

But they welcomed back striker Salomon Kalou who was a thorn in the side of Spartak throughout.

It was Kalou's first game since sustaining a thigh injury in the Carling Cup defeat against Newcastle last month.

And when it comes to the subject of Rooney, the Ivory Coast striker believes that he must stay in the Barclays Premier League.

"Wayne is a great player, he has proved that with Manchester United and England," said Kalou. "It would be good to have Wayne in the Premier League.

"It was good to be back to fitness and to help bring the victory. I'm pleased to be back in the team and to put in a good performance."

Kalou also paid tribute to Anelka whose goal was his 50th in Chelsea colours.

"Nicolas is a good player, he has a good attitude and it's always good to learn from a player like that," added Kalou.

"Since he has been at the club I have learned a lot from him. If myself, Didier and Nicolas are in the team we always feel we can provide the goals for Chelsea."

Kalou revealed the Chelsea team were allotted the same dressing room as they were in the 2008 final.

"We were in the same dressing room as last time," added Kalou. "It was hard to be reminded of 2008 but it's part of football. We won this time so we can be happy with that.

"The objective was to come here and get the three points. We knew it was going to be difficult because the pitch is not easy to play on.

"We knew that we had a lot of young players on the bench, they have been training with us and have a great attitude.

"They're in the team because they deserve to be there and when they have an opportunity to play they can really show what they can do."

Coach Carlo Ancelotti also confirmed that striker Drogba, who has missed the last two games through illness, will be fit to face Wolves on Saturday.

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

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea