In what many believed might be Chelsea’s most difficult match in the group stages—away at Spartak Moscow, on a ground that brings back painful memories—goals from Yuri Zhrikov and Nicholas Anelka were enough to cement a 2-0 victory over the home side, and keep the Blues three points clear atop Group F. Although Spartak created quite a few chances, spending the beginning of the second half firing shot after shot at Petr Cech, they never managed to get the ball in the Chelsea net and now have to be content with second place.
While Chelsea are not assured a spot in the knockout stages, Graham MacAree of We Ain’t Got No HIstory believes it is highly unlikely the side will fail to make it out of the group:
Nine points out of three matches, including two away from home, is obviously a very nice set of results for the Blues, and puts them top of Group F by a three point margin. Qualifying is virtually assured now: We need two points out of our next three games to ‘guarantee’ second, and five in three to reach the 14 point mark which has historically always yielded first place in the group. With home fixtures against MSK Zilina and Spartak Moscow still to come, it’s very possible that Chelsea earn top spot in the group before a tough away match at Marseilles
For more coverage of the Blues, visit SB Nation’s Chelsea blog, We Ain’t Got No History.