Tuesday, 22 February 2011

FC Copenhagen 0-2 Chelsea

Chelsea eased the pressure on manager Carlo Ancelotti as they cruised to a win over Copenhagen in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.
Nicolas Anelka seized on a misplaced pass from ex-Chelsea winger Jesper Gronkjaer to fire the Blues ahead.
The visitors added to their lead when Frank Lampard's reverse pass found Anelka and he drove in a second.
Chelsea were dominant but striker Fernando Torres could not register his first goal for the club.
It was all too easy for Chelsea as their lacklustre Danish champions looked every bit like a team that had not played a competitive game since 7 December because of their league's winter break.
With Ancelotti's side desperate to keep alive their Champions League hopes after being knocked out of the FA Cup last Saturday and their chances of defending their Premier League crown all-but over, Copenhagen had a chance to add to Chelsea's misery.
Instead, a timid home side stood off their opponents and, the Blues were too good not to take advantage and earn a commanding lead for the return leg at Stamford Bridge.
Ancelotti paired Anelka with Torres in attack as Didier Drogba dropped to the bench and the duo, helped by some poor defending, responded with a performance of hunger and desire, which was also epitomised by their team-mates.
Anelka grabbed the glory with the goals but, if the finishing prowess of Torres had been as clinical as his partner's, the Spaniard would have scored his first goal for Chelsea since his £50m January move from Liverpool.

However, while Anelka ruthlessly punished Gronkjaer by powering in a shot from just inside the edge of the area to put Chelsea in front after 17 minutes, Torres failed to round off some of his pace and movement with a goal.
The Spanish forward's first real chance came when an off-target Ramires shot left him with a sight of goal but Torres' first touch let him down and allowed Copenhagen keeper Johan Wiland to fend away the danger.
The forward jinked his way into a promising opening as he produced the type of play which unnerves defenders, but his poked shot was again saved by Wiland.
A lunging Mathias Jorgensen tackle was next to foil Torres as Chelsea's main weakness was failing to add to their lead as they dominated proceedings.
Copenhagen appeared to be fearful of Chelsea and this was apparent when Anelka was allowed the time and space to turn and shoot at goal with his effort going high.
Chelsea keeper Petr Cech was belatedly called into action when he had a Martin Vingaard long-range shot to save after the break.
The Danes had drawn against Barcelona at the Parken stadium in the group stages earlier this season but could not rediscover the same sort of form as they looked a yard off the pace.
And Chelsea wrapped things up when Anelka again showed Torres how to finish with a first-time shot from Lampard's lovely pass.
After a faltering season, it was a welcome win for Chelsea and a surprisingly comfortable one given the fact Copenhagen had never before suffered defeat at home in the Champions League.

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