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Chelsea seeking second Spartak success

Last time out Chelsea FC had to confront the past at the Luzhniki Stadium and, having won, are now aiming for a second success against FC Spartak Moskva to tighten their grip on Group F.

Chelsea seeking second Spartak success
Chelsea seeking second Spartak success ©UEFA.com

Two weeks after their winning return to the Luzhniki Stadium, the venue where they lost the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League final on penalties, Chelsea FC play host to FC Spartak Moskva looking to further strengthen their hold on Group F.

• Both teams won their first two games, against MŠK Žilina and Olympique de Marseille, before meeting in Russia on Matchday 3. It was the visitors who came out on top in Moscow thanks to first-half goals from Yuri Zhirkov and Nicolas Anelka.

Previous meetings
• Chelsea had only previously faced one team from Russia, beating PFC CSKA Moskva 2-0 at home in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League group stage and 1-0 away two weeks later. John Terry was on the scoresheet at Stamford Bridge.

• Before 1999 Spartak had a superb record in England in competitive matches, winning their first four matches beginning with a 5-2 triumph at Arsenal FC in the 1982/83 UEFA Cup first round. A 1-0 reverse at Leeds United AFC in the UEFA Cup third round in December 1999 began a run of three successive defeats, including a 5-0 loss at Liverpool FC in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League group stage, before a 2-2 draw in London against Tottenham Hotspur FC in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage on their last trip.

Match background
• Chelsea, who in five of the last seven campaigns have finished as group winners, began their latest bid for continental glory in typically imperious fashion. On Matchday 1 they greeted debutants Žilina to the group stage with a 4-1 win in Slovakia, Anelka scoring twice and Michael Essien and Daniel Sturridge also finding the net.

• They then faced Marseille at home and eased to a 2-0 win, Terry and Anelka supplying the first-half goals.

• That win extended Chelsea's run of unbeaten home games in the group stage to 21, including 15 wins and six draws with 36 goals scored and only six conceded, since a 2-0 reverse against Beşiktaş JK on 1 October 2003. In the knockout stages, the London club lost at home to FC Barcelona in 2005/06 and FC Internazionale Milano last season, both in the round of 16. Before that Inter defeat they were unbeaten in 21 home UEFA Champions League games, including 15 victories.

• Spartak also took maximum points from their first two games. They began on Matchday 1 by creating a slice of history as a late own goal by Marseille defender César Azpilicueta gave the Russian side their first win on French soil at the 11th attempt.

• Two weeks later at the Luzhniki Stadium they continued Žilina's woes with a 3-0 triumph courtesy of two Ari goals and a late strike from Ibson.

• The Moscow club have won their last two away games in the UEFA Champions League, beating Sporting Clube de Portugal 3-1 in their final match on the road in their previous campaign, in 2006/07, when they finished third in the group.

Team ties
• Zhirkov spent five years in Moscow with PFC CSKA Moskva, winning the 2004/05 UEFA Cup, before his move to Chelsea in 2009. His first participation in an official game for CSKA came against Spartak in the Russian Super Cup.

• Branislav Ivanović spent two years at FC Lokomotiv Moskva between 2006 and 2008, before his move to west London.

• As the coach of AC Milan, Carlo Ancelotti masterminded 1-0 home and away wins against Lokomotiv in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League second group stage. Milan went on to lift the trophy that season – the first of Ancelotti's two coaching triumphs in the competition – beating Juventus on penalties at Old Trafford.

• Valeri Karpin won all four of his club matches in England as a player, helping Spartak to a 2-0 win at Liverpool FC in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup second round second leg in November 1992 to complete a 6-2 aggregate win. Karpin scored twice in the first leg.

• He also helped RC Celta de Vigo to two victories at Aston Villa FC, winning 3-1 in the 1998/99 UEFA Cup second round second leg – 3-2 overall – before another victory at Liverpool in the next stage, 1-0 at Anfield after a 3-1 first-leg success in which Karpin had scored. Karpin's Celta were back at Villa for the 2000 UEFA Intertoto Cup semi-final second leg, winning 2-1 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate.

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