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MSK Zilina 1-4 Chelsea: Job done but a disappointing second half.

Chelsea took the points tonight with an impressive first half display against the plucky Zilina side in Slovakia. With two goals from Nico...

Chelsea's players Alex (L), Michael Essien (C), captain John Terry (2nd R) and John Obi Mikel greet fans after their UEFA Champions League Group F soccer match against Zilina in Zilina September 15, 2010. REUTERS/Radovan Stoklasa (SLOVAKIA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)


Chelsea took the points tonight with an impressive first half display against the plucky Zilina side in Slovakia. With two goals from Nicolas Anelka and one each from Michael Essien and Danny Strurridge, Chelsea cruised to a 4-0 lead on 48 minutes. It looked like we could end up with 5, 6 or maybe 7 but to their credit Zilina kept playing and got the "reward" for their effort via a mistake from Petr Cech who attempted clearance rebounded off of Ivanovic and was tapped home by the Zilina forward on the goal line.

I had previously said in my match preview that I had hoped that Chelsea would start the game well and not have to ease their way into it. It was almost like a role reversal tonight. We started well, then took our foot off the pedal for 20 minutes in the second half before when looking comfortable once more we closed the game out.

Chelsea started well and got our foot on the ball early and began to impose our game on Zilina. There was nothing really of any note to write home about before the 13th minute, when the impressive Benayoun dribbled clear (somehow) of two midfielders and played the ball through to Anelka who had made a run down the left hand side. Anelka looked up and passed the ball square from just outside the box, into the middle of the area behind the defenders who had got back to defend. Florent Malouda looked like he had a call to leave the ball by Essien, Malouda dummied the ball and Essien side footed the ball home from 10 yards into the empty corner of the net. 1-0 Chelsea.

Chelsea made it two through a well taken finish and from Anelka. Once more he pulled on the shoulder of the defender down our left hand side, Malouda spotted him and played him through and left-footed first time Anelka slid the ball under the keeper into the far corner. Keeper should have saved it. 2-0 Chelsea.

Chelsea were cruising now and made it three from a corner. Malouda wide right took an inswinging left footed cross into the box and JT under pressure headed the ball against the crossbar. The keeper tried to reach the ball but could only stop the ball rebounding off the crossbar and clear. Instead, the ball rebounded off his hand and dropped down on the goal line for Anelka to prod home for his second of the game. 3-0 Chelsea.

Zilina had some chances in the first half and caused us some problems. Particularly a header from 10 yards placed wide of the post, a long range effort parried by Cech and from a free kick that Cech gathered at the second attempt. Zilina were still trying to play football but Chelsea were comfortable at half time. 3-0 Chelsea.

No changes at half time and Chelsea made it four with another impressive through ball from Yossi Benayoun found Sturridge who had made a run off of the right wing and into the middle behind the back four. Benayoun's weighted pass was perfect, Sturridge rounded the keeper and slid the ball home. 4-0 Chelsea.

It was at this stage we all would have expected Chelsea to score plenty more goals but this proved to be our last of the game as Zilina still kept going. Chelsea seemed to sit back as if they felt game over and allowed Zilina back into the game. Zilina had plenty of possession and created plenty of chances. Again a long range effort was parried by Cech. Shots just wide of the post but nothing really to worry Cech.

We had a dodgey 20 minute period and that was the disappointing thing for me as we really could have taken them to the cleaners with the way we had opened them up in the first half.

The good thing about the second half and once we got back on the ball and regained control of the game was a chance for Kakuta, McEchran and Van Aanholt to gain some Champions League experience.

So all in all we are pleased with the win, three important points and four more goals. Just a shame we conceded the goal we did and didn't make them pay more in the second half.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke after the game and said:
"The first half was fantastic, We played very well on the counter-attack. We had a lot of chances. It was a fantastic performance.

The second half was different. We had a good control of the game. We are doing very well. Zilina put more pressure on our defence. The back four did a good match. When you are 3-0 up it's normal to have more difficulty.

The key was Anelka, he played a fantastic game. He created space, he had opportunities, he was the key for this game. He can play the position in front, sometimes we use him more wide, sometimes he plays in the middle but he shows the same skills if he plays wide.

I hope to watch my team play a fantastic game for 90 minutes. Obviously I was a player so I know sometimes there are difficult times, the opponent can come back in the game. If I have to judge the performance I am very happy because it's not easy to win 4-1 away in the Champions League.

We are in a good moment. We started well in the Premier League and in the Champions League - everything is okay now."

Zilina coach Pavel Hapel also spoke after the game and said:
"I am not disappointed with tonight's game, We played well and attacked Chelsea. We managed to score so it was okay.

We kept up with Chelsea as much as we could but I am disappointed with the productivity. The score was a surprise tonight. We didn't show the same productivity in front of goal as Chelsea did."

He has it spot on and that was the difference. Shame we just couldn't get more tonight!.

Carefree & KTBFFH!

ChelseaFan12.com

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