Anelka delivers for Blues


ZILINA, September 16 – Nicolas Anelka scored twice for Chelsea to help the English champions breeze past MSK Zilina with a 4-1 win on Wednesday in their Champions League opener.Michael Essien opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a low shot after an Anelka pass from the left wing.

In the 24th minute, Anelka beat Zilina keeper Martin Dubravka with a low shot across the box after Florent Malouda had chipped the ball superbly over the MSK defence.

Anelka silenced the home crowd four minutes later, making it 3-0 with an easy rebound after Chelsea captain John Terry had hit the crossbar with a powerful header from a Malouda corner.

Malouda then almost made it 4-0 but his shot from 10 metres out, which was heading for an empty net, was deflected wide by Zilina skipper Mario Pecalka.

Zilina, making their debut in the tournament, created few scoring chances throughout the game.

A long-range shot from their Bosnian midfielder Admir Vladavic was saved by Chelsea keeper Petr Cech shortly before half-time and Babatounde Bello then headed wide.

Daniel Sturridge scored a fourth for Chelsea in the 48th minute from a break, beating Dubravka and Pecalka after a neat pass from Yossi Benayoun.

Zilina then pushed for a consolation goal, with Vladavic missing narrowly from 16 metres in the 49th minute.

Their effort was rewarded 55 minutes into the game.

Tomas Oravec scored after Branislav Ivanovic and Cech got into a terrible tangle.

Chelsea took their foot off the gas and coach Carlo Ancelotti could afford to send on youngsters Josh McEachran, Gael Kakuta and Patrick Van Aanholt for a rare taste of European action.