MSK ZILINA (1) vs CHELSEA (4)
CARLO ANCELOTTI hailed his ruthless Chelsea after Champions League rookies MSK Zilina were given a rude awakening in their Group F opener in Slovakia.
Nicolas Anelka scored twice, either side of strikes from Michael Essien and Daniel Sturridge, as the Blues began their European campaign with a thumping win.
“The first half was fantastic,” said a delighted boss Carlo Ancelotti after seeing his side waltz into a 3-0 lead at the break.
“We played very well on the counter-attack. We had a lot of chances. It was a fantastic performance. The second half was different. We had a good control of the game.
“We are doing very well. We are in a good moment. We started well in the Premier League and in the Champions League – everything is okay now.”
Essien side-footed the Blues ahead from Anelka’s centre on 13 minutes before the French striker himself doubled the lead soon after from Florent Malouda’s chipped through ball.
Four minutes later Anelka made it 3-0 after the returning John Terry had headed Malouda’s corner onto the crossbar.
Sturridge made it four three minutes into the restart with his first Champions League goal after coolly rounding keeper Martin Dubravaka, and his proud moment wasn’t to be spoilt by Tomas Oravec netting a consolation for the hosts.
“I’ve been dreaming of this since I was a young boy,” Sturridge said. “I’m delighted to get off the mark in the Champions League and hopefully there’s many more to come.
“There’s a lot of world-class players in this team. I’m delighted to be part of things.”