Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chelsea 2-0 Marseille


Chelsea made it two wins from two in Champions League Group F with a comfortable 2-0 home win over Marseille.
The French champions made life tricky at times for the Blues, but an early goal from captain John Terry, his first of the season, and a Nicolas Anelka penalty inside the first half-hour put the game beyond the reach of our visitors.
Alex and Michael Essien both went agonisingly close to extending the lead in the second half, but Carlo Ancelotti will be content with getting back to winning ways after successive domestic defeats.
Marseille, led by former Chelsea midfielder Didier Deschamps, lined up differently to how they started their matchday one defeat against Spartak Moscow, with only six players surviving from that game.
Chelsea too were a little unfamiliar, with Frank Lampard, Salomon Kalou and Yossi Benayoun still injured and Didier Drogba still suspended, there were starts for Yury Zhirkov in midfield and Gael Kakuta in attack, the 19-year-old lining up on the right of the front three, where Nicolas Anelka led the line down the middle.

Two minutes in it was the visitors who had the game's first chance, Lucho Gonzalez misfiring his shot, and the ball ricocheting wide off team-mate Loic Remy's heel.
It was a deflection at the other end four minutes later, from Florent Malouda's shot, which led to Chelsea's opening goal.
Kakuta took the corner from the right, swinging it into the near post area where John Terry had made his run, and the captain deftly flicked the ball just inside the post with the outside of his boot.

It was the perfect way to quieten, if not entirely silence the visiting support, which had been vociferous in its abuse of the French World Cup men during the first few minutes.
It certainly hadn't affected Malouda, who had flown out of the blocks. He nearly doubled the lead on 13 minutes after beating his marker Charles Kabore for strength and skill in equal measure, but fired hsi right-footed shot just over Steve Mandanda's crossbar.
Anelka than had his own chance, after Kakuta had threaded him through, but although powerful, his shot was angled straight at the goalkeeper.
His next chance would be rather more straightforward, coming from the penalty spot after Stephane Mbia was adjudged to have handled Michael Essien's right wing cross. Anelka stepped up, shuffled and calmly slotted it low to the static goalkeeper's left.

Marseille continued to search for their first goal of this season's group stages, Benoit Cheyrou twice went close while Alex had to block a powerful effort inside his own area, but there was no denying who was firmly on top come half-time.
Cheyrou once more, a Gabriel Heinze overhead kick and a long-range Brandao drive kept Petr Cech busy as the second period commenced, and then Lucho had a powerful attempt kept out by Ashley Cole's knee.
Back on the attack, Chelsea almost had a third when Alex's deliciously vicious free-kick came back out off the inside of the post before John Mike Obi had to block substitute Andre Ayew's low drive.
Marseille were getting closer, and Chelsea deeper, but with the two-goal cushion it hardly looked as though the result was in doubt.
Essien cracked a side-footer against the top of the post as the Blues looked to put it out of reach, but other than these isolated incidents a third goal was looking as unlikely as Marseille finding their way back into a game that had begun to drift.

Mathieu Valbuena worked Cech with a low bender and a Chelsea passing move ended with Daniel Sturridge miscuing wide before Josh McEachran replaced Mikel in midfield for the final few minutes.
The youngster started the move that led to Chelsea's final chance, which worked down the left and back inside to Essien, who hit the woodwork for the second time of the evening.
That was the last of the action as Chelsea's 100 percent record continued, in a game where we had shown enterprise in the first half, and resistance in the second.
Chelsea(4-3-3):Cech; Ivanovic, Alex, Terry (c), Cole; Essien, Mikel (McEachran 87), Zhirkov (Sturridge 72); Kakuta (Ramires 61), Anelka, Malouda.
Scorers Terry 6, Anelka (pen) 27
Booked Mikel 81
Marseille (4-3-3): Mandanda (c); Kabore, Diawara, Mbia, Heinze; Lucho Gonzalez, Cisse, Cheyrou (Ayew 58); Remy, Gignac (Valbuena 58), Brandao.
Booked Mbia 26, Heinze 28
Shots on Chelsea 4 Marseille 5
Corners Chelsea 2 Marseille 2
Fouls Chelsea 14 Marseille 14
Offside Chelsea 8 Marseille 1

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