views

Anelka seals winning start but lukewarm Chelsea toil

<strong>CHELSEA</strong> (1) vs <strong>FC PORTO</strong> (0)<br /><br />CHELSEA boss Carlo Ancelotti demanded an improvement after his below-par Blues kicked off their Champions League campaign with the narrowest of wins.<br /><br />Nicolas Anelka, filling in for the suspended Didier Drogba, netted the only goal at a rain-lashed Stamford Bridge, but boss Ancelotti admitted his side looked jaded against the free-flowing Portuguese champions.<br /><br />&ldquo;We have to control the game more when we go ahead but we are a little bit tired I think,&rdquo; Ancelotti said.<br /><br />&ldquo;We had a tough match last Saturday against Stoke. It is normal to get tired in the second half because we worked hard.<br /><br />&ldquo;Porto played very well, especially at the end. Porto are the best team in the group and it was a good result.&rdquo;<br /><br />Anelka&rsquo;s goal extends Chelsea&rsquo;s unbeaten home record in the Champions League to 19 matches, while also ensuring the Blues are still yet to lose a group stage opener.<br /><br />Despite missing Drogba and Jose Bosingwa, both banned for their reaction to last season&rsquo;s semi-final defeat to Barcelona, Chelsea started the better with Frank Lampard producing a crucial stop from goalkeeper Helton before then having a close-range header blocked.<br /><br />Anelka also went close but Porto were always a threat with Fredy Guarin heading onto the roof of the net when Petr Cech was beaten, while Raul Meireles failed to beat the goalkeeper with a free header.<br /><br />But three minutes into the restart, Chelsea eased the tension by breaking the deadlock. Salomon Kalou threaded through for Anelka and his initial effort was parried by Helton but the Frenchman was on hand to turn home the rebound from a tight angle. Helton then kept out a Kalou effort to prevent Chelsea doubling their lead but Cech equally had to be alert to save from Guarin and substitute Silvestre Varela as Porto made for a nervous finale.