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Four-goal Chelsea march into knockout stage

Published: Wednesday 3 November 2010, 22.45CET
Chelsea FC 4-1 FC Spartak Moskva
One second-half goal apiece for Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba, and two for Branislav Ivanović, took the home team into the round of 16.
by Trevor Huggins
from Stamford Bridge

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Published: Wednesday 3 November 2010, 22.45CET

Four-goal Chelsea march into knockout stage

Chelsea FC 4-1 FC Spartak Moskva
One second-half goal apiece for Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba, and two for Branislav Ivanović, took the home team into the round of 16.

Chelsea FC followed up their 2-0 Matchday 3 success at FC Spartak Moskva with a home win which secured a place in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 for Carlo Ancelotti's side.

After a goalless opening period, Nicolas Anelka broke the deadlock with a superb angled finish in the 49th minute. Didier Drogba converted a 62nd-minute penalty and Branislav Ivanović headed in the Ivorian's free-kick four minutes later to assure victory for the Group F leaders. The visitors managed an 86th-minute consolation from substitute Nikita Bazhenov, before Ivanović rubber-stamped the win by rifling in his second of the night in added time.

Despite the outcome, Spartak started brightly against a Chelsea side who took time to find their rhythm. A menacing early shot from Aiden McGeady which drifted wide was followed by a series of Evgeni Makeev raids down the flanks and Andrei Ivanov, troubling a Chelsea back four without captain John Terry, who watched from the bench. However, Chelsea gradually asserted themselves as the half wore on and Drogba, captain for the night, had a series of efforts blocked by goalkeeper Andriy Dykan and his defenders.

Though Spartak's Brazilian captain Alex sent in a stinging 20-metre shot which Petr Čech chose to punch away, the best chance of the half fell to Chelsea three minutes before the break. The Blues' Russia midfielder Yuri Zhirkov whipped over a corner from the right, Ivanović headed the ball on but fellow defender Alex could only shin over the bar from close range.

Chelsea needed a second-half goal to reach the round of 16 and Anelka, who had scored in Moscow two weeks ago, duly provided after just four minutes. The French international worked a neat one-two with Salomon Kalou before lashing an angled shot over Dykan and into the roof of the net. The result was put beyond doubt when Drogba hammered his spot kick into the bottom left corner after being felled by Makeev in the area.

Chelsea were now rampant and Ivanović had no difficulty heading a Drogba free-kick into the same corner in the 66th minute. Kalou could have made it four, blasting over the top after being put through by Drogba, but Bazhenov made no such mistake for Spartak when he steered in Welliton's cross-shot. Chelsea had the last word, however, Ivanović slamming in a fourth after a goalmouth scramble to complete a fine night for the hosts.

Last updated: 27/11/12 4.11CET

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