Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Terry’s delight as Chelsea rediscover winning habit

Chelsea's John Terry celebrates scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League, Group F match at Stamford Bridge, London
Chelsea's Frank Lampard (centre right) watches the match from the stands with his girlfriend Christine Bleakley (centre left) and his father Frank Lampard Snr (far right) during the UEFA Champions League, Group F match at Stamford Bridge, London
Chelsea's Michael Essien (left) and Marseille's Gabriel Heinze battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League, Group F match at Stamford Bridge, London

Chelsea 2 Marseille 0: Chelsea are still 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.

And skipper Terry admitted the importance of ending their two-match losing run after they made it two wins from two.

Saturday's Barclays Premier League defeat to Manchester City followed hot on the heels of a Carling Cup elimination at the hands of Newcastle.

“Coming here, we'd had two losses which is very unusual for us,” Terry said.

“So we're pleased to pick up three points, keep a clean sheet and extend that lead at the top of the group.”

Marseille, manager Didier Deschamps had called for his side to show the same physical prowess and counter-attacking guile that City used to overcome the Blues 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 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 sent him through.

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 just a yard away from grabbing his second in the 42nd minute when he tried his luck from 20 yards.

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 Peter Cech's readiness with a 25-yard effort that the Czech stopper did well to hold on to.

Marseille replaced Gignac and Benoit Cheyrou with Andre Ayew and Mathieu Valbuena soon after as they looked for a way back.

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 Essien 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 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 box.

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

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