COPENHAGEN DENMARK - FEBRUARY 22: Nicolas Anelka of Chelsea scores the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between FC Copenhagen and Chelsea at Parken Stadium on February 22 2011 in Copenhagen Denmark. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Nicolas Anelka Brace Gives Chelsea Stranglehold On Copenhagen Tie

Goals either side of halftime from Nicolas Anelka have Chelsea a commanding 2-0 win in Denmark, giving them control of their UEFA Champions League tie with FC Copenhagen.

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FC Copenhagen Vs. Chelsea, Match Report: Blues In Command After 2-0 Win In Denmark

Chelsea has taken control of their UEFA Champions League tie with Danish champions FC Copenhagen, with two goals from Nicolas Anelka leading the Blues to a 2-0, Tuesday victory. The tie now moves to West London, with FCK having the unenviable task of getting a two goal result at Stamford Bridge.

Anelka's first goal came as a result of a collection of errors by Copenhagen. A mistaken back pass went straight to the striker, 35 yards from goal. Nobody closed down the attacker, who was able to launch a right-footed blast from the edge of the penalty area. Poor positioning from goalkeeper Johan Wiland allowed Anelka to finish into the left-center of net, giving Chelsea a 17th minute lead.

The goal was the first example of a vulnerability that would plague FCK throughout the evening. On numerous occasions, Anelka was able to exploit the channel between left-center half Mikael Antonsson and left back Oscar Wendt, Chelsea was continuously able to loft balls over that side of defense for Anelka to retrieve to the right of goal.

That approach led to the second score, nine minutes after halftime. A ball played into the final third for Frank Lampard led to the Chelsea midfielder's chip over Antonsson. To Johan Wiland's left, Anelka used his first touch to blast a right-footed shot toward the far corner, giving the Blues their insurance.

It was a confident and controlling display for Chelsea, who recorded their first victory since acquiring Fernando Torres and David Luiz at the close of January's transfer window. Chelsea had posted a 0-1-2 record since their high profile acquisitions, but with Fernando Torres starting in a previously unused 4-4-2 formation, the Blues were able to get the expected victory.

But the day's star was Anelka, whose two clean strikes brought his 2010-11 Champions League goal scoring total to seven. That combined with confident defending from the central defense and midfield gave the Blues an easy 90 minutes, now up 2-0 going back to Stamford Bridge.


FC Copenhagen Vs. Chelsea: Didier Drogba On For Nicolas Anelka, Gets Chance To Play With Fernando Torres

Nicolas Anelka's day has ended just past the 70 minute mark, with Didier Drogba coming on. Two interesting notes about this substitution. First, Sky Sports had reported that neither Drogba nor Mikel John Obi had cleats on, while sitting on the bench, their flat shoes an apparent sign Carlo Ancelotti had no intention of using either. Second, Drogba is on at the same time as Fernando Torres, the first time since Liverpool's visit to Stamford Bridge that the duo has played simultaneously.

Within moments of the change, Torres had a danger moment, talking the ball to the left of Johan Wiland's goal, thread a ball back into the six. The slow rolling ball begged a Chelsea player to run onto it, but Copenhagen were able to clear.

Now in the 79th minute, the match is playing out like a foregone conclusion. Chelsea's two goal lead, obtained in the 54th minute, has not been meaningfully threatened by either Copenhagen or the Blues. This match is set to go to London with the favorites up two.


FC Copenhagen Vs. Chelsea: Nicolas Anelka's Second Goal Gives Chelsea 2-0, 54th Minute Lead

With Chelsea's first chance of the second half, Nicolas Anelka has his second goal of the right, a blistering right-footed shot from 16 yards out, beating Johan Wiland far post. Finishing a skillful set-up by Frank Lampard, Anelka has given Chelsea a 2-0, 54th minute lead and command of their UEFA Champions League tie with FC Copenhagen.

The movement started with Michael Essien on the ball, 35 yards out, a line of midfielders in front of him. The Ghanaian touched the ball forward to his midfield partner, Lampard, situated between midfielder and defenders. Lampard chipped a left-footed pass across his body, over the head of Mikael Antonsson, setting up Anelka. The forward's first touch was a perfectly struck shot for the far corner, the conversion doubling Chelsea's lead.

The goal gives the Blues a stranglehold on the tie, though the night is still young. With just over half an hour left, Chelsea may have a number of opportunities to catch the pursuing Lions out and exploit them for a third goal. In the 59th minute, that almost happened, with a left-footed shot from Fernando Torres palmed out by Johan Wiland.

Now into the final half hour, Chelsea leads in Copenhagen, 2-0.


FC Copenhagen Vs. Chelsea: Early Lapse Gives Blues 1-0 Halftime Lead

Chelsea had a comfortable first half in Denmark. After a 17th minute goal made all too easy by a number of Copenhagen mistakes, Chelsea was able to play the period's last half hour in a lower gear, content to cede possession to their hosts while waiting for opportunities to strike against the run of play. Though none of those opportunities were successful, Nicolas Anelka's early strike was, giving Chelsea a 1-0 lead at halftime.

For Copenhagen, the deficit was the result of a handful of breakdowns that occurred in a matter of seconds. An errand back pass from the left flank gave away the ball. The midfielders were out of position. Nobody closed down the Chelsea attacker. The goalkeeper's technique and position were poor. Put together, it was far too easy a goal for Anelka, scoring with his right foot from just inside the area.

At the other end of the park, Chelsea's defense has made the day easy for Petr Cech. Branislav Ivanovic and John Terry have been commanding on Copenhagen's crosses, while attempts to move the ball through midfield have been stymied by Frank Lampard and Michael Essien.

As a result, Chelsea has control of the tie: a road goal and a 1-0 lead at halftime.


FC Copenhagen Vs. Chelsea: All Too Easy For Nicolas Anelka In 17th Minute

It probably goes without saying that you can't let most forwards carry the ball uncontested for 15 yards, into the box, where they can tee-up a shot on goal. Most forwards, at the UEFA Champions League-level, are going to seriously threaten your `keeper, in that situation. Forwards capable of starting for Chelsea FC will often score goals.

All of which sounds very basic yet was apparently forgotten by FC Copenhagen, the Danish champions allowing Nicolas Anelka a free path to goal in the 17th minute. The Chelsea striker struck a right footed shot beneath a lunging Mikael Antonsson, past a diving Johan Wiland for the opening goal.

It was poor position by Copenhagen's midfield. When the ball came to Anelka - back to goal, 35 yards out - there wasn't a midfielder within 12 yards. Anelka turned and raced toward the Copenhagen area, with Antonsson giving him all the room he needed to set-up a comfortable shot.

As a result, Chelsea has an early 1-0 lead.


FC Copenhagen Vs. Chelsea: Lineups, Where Fernando Torres Is Chosen Over Didier Drogba

Fernando Torres starts, Didier Drogba is on the bench, and the tea leaves are starting to become readable. Carlo Ancelotti's hints that Chelsea would go to a rotation with their striker position are starting to play-out. Drogba started on Saturday. Torres starts today.

There may be more to this than pure rotation, though. Drogba went 120 minutes on Saturday against Everton, Fernando Torres being ineligible for the FA Cup match. That combined with Chelsea's opponent, FC Copenhagen, makes it logical to rest the 32-year-old Ivorian.

But if rest is Carlo Ancelotti's motive, it's a motive that's not reflected in the rest of his selection. Five players who played the full 120 against Everton are in the team, though it could be argued that none have as capable a replacement as Drogba.

But is Torres Drogba's replacement? Or, is Drogba Torres's? Given this is only the third match for which they've both been eligible, it's too soon to tell.

Here are today's starting lineups. Kick-off is at 2:45 p.m. Eastern, with Fox Soccer Channel handling the coverage. SB Nation Soccer will be bringing you live updates of this match as well as Lyon-Real Madrid, also scheduled to kick-off at 2:45 p.m.

Copenhagen, Starting XI: Johan Wiland - Zdenek Pospech, Mattias Zanka Jorgensson, Mikael Antonsson, Oscar Wendt  - Cristian Bolaños, Claudemir, William Kvist Jorgensen, Jesper Gronkjaer - Cesar Santin, Dame N'Doye

Copenhagen, Bench: Jos Hooiveld, Kim Christensen, Kenneth Zohore, Martin Vingaard, Pierre Bengtsson, Thomas Delaney, Thomas Kristensen

Chelsea, Starting XI: Petr Cech - José Bosingwa, Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Ashley Cole - Ramires, Michael Essien, Frank Lampard - Nicolas Anelka, Fernando Torres, Florent Malouda.

Chelsea, Bench: Ross Turnbull, Paulo Ferriera, Yuri Zkirkov, Mikel John Obi, Josh McEachran, Salomon Kalou, Didier Drogba

Note: David Luiz is ineligible, cup-tied from his time with Benfica.

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