The official website for European football

Anelka gives Chelsea the edge

Published: Wednesday 16 September 2009, 0.40CET
Chelsea FC 1-0 FC Porto
Nicolas Anelka was on target as last season's semi-finalists got off to a winning start in Group D against the Portuguese titleholders.
by Trevor Haylett
from Stamford Bridge

This content is streamed in such a way that it is protected and available only in a Flash format. Your device seems not to be compatible with our Flash video player.

Published: Wednesday 16 September 2009, 0.40CET

Anelka gives Chelsea the edge

Chelsea FC 1-0 FC Porto
Nicolas Anelka was on target as last season's semi-finalists got off to a winning start in Group D against the Portuguese titleholders.

New manager, but a familiar story for Chelsea FC as they got off to their customary winning start in the UEFA Champions League as Nicolas Anelka took the lead role in the absence of Didier Drogba to decide an entertaining game against FC Porto at Stamford Bridge.

Pouring rain
The heavens opened, but it could not rain on Carlo Ancelotti's parade as the Italian saw his side continue the winning form which has put them out in front in the Premier League with five successive victories. Yet Ancelotti will be the first to credit the efforts of the Portuguese champions, who went toe to toe with the home team and came close to interrupting Chelsea's march towards a sixth Matchday 1 win in eight attempts.

Forceful Porto

It took Chelsea time to find their normal fluency in this Group D fixture as Porto adopted a forceful approach, their strength and physicality appearing to unnerve the hosts. Frank Lampard was the first to threaten, but no sooner had Helton pushed that aside than Porto were on the attack with a raking drive from Hulk forcing Petr Čech to save with his knees.

Terry blow
A heavy blow to the face which necessitated lengthy treatment for John Terry further slowed the Chelsea machine, but gradually they got a grip of the conditions and their game. Lampard should have made more of a free header at the far post before the ball fell nicely at the feet of Anelka whose shot struck two defenders before diverting to safety.

Drogba missed
Branislav Ivanović, in the mode of José Bosingwa who he was filling in for at right-back, wasted no time in getting forward and from out wide he conjured a number of dangerous crosses. They were tailor-made for Drogba to ram home but without their attacking talisman – who, like Bosingwa, was suspended – the chances went begging. Porto were defending manfully with the giant Fredy Guarín an effective presence in front of the back four. Just before the break Guarín ventured upfield and his header from Álvaro Pereira's cross only just cleared Čech's crossbar.

Anelka strike
Hulk again demonstrated his threat to the Chelsea defence at the start of the second half with a deceptive change of direction that fooled Terry, but he opted for another touch and the promise subsided. Anelka showed more decisiveness as he engineered the breakthrough. Fastening onto Salomon Kalou's prod he blasted the ball at Helton and was then alert enough to squeeze the rebound in from a tight angle. Ivanović continued to impress with another sweeping cross finding Kalou at the far post, but Helton was equal to the header with a plunging save. From the corner Ivanović rose highest, but sent his header just over.

Fernando off
Porto made it a testing final 20 minutes for Chelsea as Álvaro Pereira continued to create openings down the left. Substitute Falcao escaped to fire at Čech and then Guarín demanded the goalkeeper stoop low to keep out his effort. With eight minutes remaining Čech was there again to keep out Silvestre Varela's far-post volley, and the night ended disappointingly for the visitors as Fernando was ordered off for a second yellow card.

Last updated: 27/11/12 6.52CET

Related information

Team profiles
Related match
  • SSI Err features

European football mourns Pertti Alaja
  • European football mourns Pertti Alaja
  • Pride for WU19 final referee Tsiareshka
  • Northern Ireland giving people chance to get Back in the Game
  • Dream come true for Skopje kids
  • Young reporters learn the ropes with UEFA’s help at the Women’s EURO
  • Diversity and inclusion message in Skopje
  • Rocchi ready for Skopje date
  • Technical observers at UEFA Women’s EURO 2017
  • Dutch women's football aiming high
  • Healthy lifestyle promoted at Women's EURO 2017
1 of 10