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UEFA Champions League

  • October 19, 2010
  • • 17:30
  • • Olimpiyskiy stadion Luzhniki, Moskva
  • Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo
  • • Attendance: 75000

Spartak Moscow 0-2 Chelsea: Zhirkov Opens Scoring Account With Wonder Goal

Spartak Moscow 0-2 Chelsea: Zhirkov Opens Scoring Account With Wonder Goal

Blues top Group F with nine points from nine

A stunning goal from Yuri Zhirkov and a fine finish from Nicolas Anelka saw Chelsea emerge victorious from a tough match against a determined Spartak Moscow side.

The match had been quite even, with Spartak having the better of the early chances, until a stunning volley from the Russian international Zhirkov flew into the back of the Spartak net.

Then minutes before half-time and Nicolas Anelka's cool finish gave Chelsea a two-goal lead which they held on to fairly comfortably.

The Blues started well on the artificial surface at the Luzhniki Stadium keeping possession with Salomon Kalou looking particularly busy and it was the Ivorian who had the first effort of the game, striking a left foot volley over the Spartak crossbar.

Chelsea dominated proceedings in the opening ten minutes, however after 10 minutes and a blisteringly quick counter from Spartak saw them split the Chelsea defence open. However young left-winger Kombarov blazed his shot over Petr Cech's crossbar.

Three minutes later and cech was tested by Brazilian striker Welliton, whose 17 goals in 21 games makes him the sharpest shooter in Russian football right now.
A low cross from Kombarov saw Welliton nick in front of Ivanovic and flick the ball up with the outside of his right foot. On the half turn the striker struck low with his left foot and forced Cech into a good save at his near post.

Within two minutes Chelsea went down the other end and a drive from Florent Malouda flashed past Dykan's left hand post.

Chelsea took the lead in the 23rd minute thanks to a stunning strike from their own Russian player, Yuri Zhirkov.

A long ball down field was only half dealt with by the Spartak defence, under pressure from Nicolas Anelka, and the ball bounced out to former CSKA Moscow man Zhirkov 25 yards out.

With his left foot the Russian international let fly a dipping volley that flew past a helpless Dykan and into the Spartak net.

In the 37th minute a dreadful mistake from Marek Suchy almost allowed Nicolas Anelka in to double the English sides lead. However, a heavy touch from the French striker allowed the Ukrainian 'keeper Dykan to nick the ball away, sending Anelka away from goal, and the Frenchmans cut back didn't find anyone.

However, three minutes before half time and Anelka had his 50th Chelsea goal.

A clever through pass from Malouda put the forward, playing in a central role in the absence of Didier Drogba, in the clear.

Parshivlyuk, the centre-back, got back at the Frenchman, but a clever body swerve away from the defender allowed the mecurial striker to roll the ball into the far corner of the net.

Half Time: Spartak Moscow 0-2 Chelsea

Spartak came out at the start of the second half looking to get themselves back into the game and started in a very lively fashion.

Appearing re-invigorated after the interval the Russian side were looking to attack their opponents, and Aiden McGeady, who had been anonymous in the first half, started to cause Chelsea problems.

First his clever run and link up play with Welliton resulted in a shot from Ari going over the crossbar of Petr Cech's goal, before McGeady cut inside on his left foot to cause Cech to make a comfortable save, some two minutes later.

However, after a whirlwind first ten minutes, where numerous crosses were thrown into the Chelsea area, albeit crosses of poor quality, the game settled into a more controlled period of Chelsea possession.

However, Cech was proving to be the busier goalkeeper in the second period and in the 63rd minute had to be at his best to deny Brazilian midfielder Ibson on two occasions.

Firstly a free flowing move down the Spartak left saw Sheshukov cross with the outside of his left boot onto Aiden McGeady's chest.
The former Celtic man laid back to Ibson and the former Porto man drilled a stunning half volley towards Cech's top corner, but the Czech Republic international was equal to it, tipping the ball behind for a corner with an excellent one handed save.

From the resulting dead ball, McGeady cut the ball back to the edge of the box and to Ibson again who drilled a shot at Cech, causing the 'keeper to beat the ball down before claiming at the second attempt.

In the 72nd minute Chelsea made their first change, with the highly rated youngster Josh McEachran replacing Salomon Kalou.

In the 75th minute Michael Essien was shrugged off the ball by Moscow's own powerhouse, Ari, but the Brazilian's shot was tame and failed to trouble Petr Cech.

With the match winding to a close Carlo Ancelotti threw on two of his sides highly promising youngsters, with Gael Kakuta, the teenage Frenchman replacing Florent Malouda whilst Ashley Cole, who had been an injury doubt, was replaced by young Dutch full-back Patrick van Aanholt.