Ancelotti happy as Blues off to a flier

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti was thrilled with a job well done after his side earned a thumping 4-1 victory in their Group F opener at MSK Zilina last night.

“The first half was fantastic,” said the Italian. “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.”

On having achieved such a convincing win without the suspended Didier Drogba, the injured Frank Lampard and the rested Ashley Cole, he added: “We have an important squad. We want at this moment to use all the players.”

Striker Daniel Sturridge, meanwhile, reflected on his first Champions League goal in a game in which the damage was done in the opening half in Slovakia with two goals by Nicolas Anelka and another from Michael Essien.

Sturridge added a fourth early in the second half before Tomas Oravec scored a consolation for the home side, and the former Manchester City forward was delighted with the evening.

“We played some good football in the first half hour,” he said. “We wanted to play the ball quickly and try to make sharp movements in the attacking half of the field and to defend well, and I think we did that quite well and it paid off for us in the end.

“Zilina were playing at home so they had the fans behind them and were attacking a lot but I think the defence played pretty well tonight. We were unlucky to concede a goal but we’re going to come back stronger in the next game.

“We came out here to win and we’re delighted to do that. I think everyone will be happy with the win because the main thing was to do that in the Champions League. It’s a knockout competition to so get three points on the board is fantastic for the team.”

On his first Champions League strike, he added: “I’ve been dreaming of this since I was a young boy.

“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.”

The Blues went in front in the 13th minute with a simple goal. Essien put Anelka clear on the left wing and when the cross arrived, Florent Malouda stepped over it for Essien to fire home from eight yards. It was the Ghanaian’s third goal in two games.

They went 2-0 up in the 24th minute when Malouda put Anelka clear and he slipped the ball home.

And the Blues punished the home side from a corner when John Terry’s header hit the bar and Anelka pounced to score his second.

Chelsea increased their lead in the 48th minute when Benayoun played a superb ball through for Sturridge who rounded the Zilina goalkeeper and slipped the ball home.

The home side finally reduced Chelsea’s advantage in the 55th minute when Cech spilled a cross and the ball rebounded off Branislav Ivanovic before Oravec bundled home.

Subs for Zilina: Angelovic for Guldan 79, Poliacek for Rilke 57, Majtan for Ceesay 61.

Subs for Chelsea: McEachran for Benayoun 79, Kakuta for Sturridge 61, Van Aanholt for Malouda 88.


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