Chelsea ease way back into winning habit


CHELSEA captain John Terry admitted his relief after helping the Blues bounce back from successive defeats to maintain their 100 per cent European record.

It took Terry just seven minutes to ease any nerves around Stamford Bridge, the centre-back meeting Gael Kakuta’s corner with a faint toe-poke that crept in at the near post.

Three points were all but safe before the half-hour when Nicolas Anelka nonchalantly converted a penalty after Stephane Mbia had been punished for handball.

“We’d had two losses which is very unusual for us, so we’re pleased to pick up three points, keep a clean sheet and extend that lead at the top of the group,” said Terry.

“In the second half we had a few chances to make it three or four. We didn’t start the brightest in the second half but we stayed solid and kept a clean sheet.

“With Sunday in mind we maybe took our foot off the gas a little bit, saving a bit of energy for the weekend. We’d have liked to have got a third and killed the game off but they had a lot of possession.”

Carlo Ancelotti’s men had ample chance to increase their haul, Florent Malouda firing over before half-time and Alex, with a 35-yard free-kick, and Michael Essien both hitting the post.

But they rarely looked in danger after Terry met a right-wing corner from 19-year-old Kakuta, preferred over Daniel Sturridge with Didier Drogba suspended. Mbia was aggrieved to be penalised for handball but Anelka showed no mercy, calmly slotting low to the right to get Chelsea back to winning ways ahead of Sunday’s visit of Arsenal.