Chelsea FC progressed confidently into the UEFA Champions League group stage with a 3-0 victory against MŠK Žilina which completed a 5-0 aggregate success.
The London club began slowly with the visitors enjoying much of the early possession. On 15 minutes an inswinging free-kick from the right from Martin Durica was only partially headed away by Marcel Desailly and Miroslav Barcík's shot was deflected wide. Six minutes later a Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink corner at the other end was almost flicked into the net by an unmarked Eidur Gudjohnsen.
Jesper Gronkjær then turned provider for Hasselbaink, who headed over from close range at the far post, before the Danish winger fashioned a chance for Joe Cole who shot wide. The breakthrough came in the 32nd minute as a Frank Lampard free-kick from the right was not properly dealt with by the visiting defence and defender Glen Johnson headed in his first goal for Chelsea.
New signing Hernán Crespo was paraded at half-time, and duly given a standing ovation by the Stamford Bridge crowd. The Argentinian striker had watched his new side play some slick football but Žilina created the first noteworthy chance of the second half, Daniel Cosmel breaking forward before failing to connect properly with his shot when well placed.
Gudjohnsen hits post
On 63 minutes Gudjohnsen collected a loose ball in midfield and took on two defenders before unleashing a powerful shot which beat goalkeeper Branislav Rzeszoto and struck the right-hand post. Hasselbaink followed up but narrowly failed to touch in the rebound. Four minutes later, substitute Emmanuel Petit's free-kick was punched away for a corner. The Frenchman took it, finding another substitute, Robert Huth, who rose unmarked to head in at the near post to make it 2-0.
In the 78th minute a neat Chelsea move resulted in a third goal. Geremi played a one-two with Gudjohnsen who chipped the ball to Hasselbaink who ran into the area, chested the ball down and struck a sweet drive into the net to complete the scoring, confirm Chelsea's place in the group stage and send a warning to Crespo that he will not give up his place without a fight.
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.