So that was easier than many of us expected! What with Copenhagen’s impressive home form this season, and ours erratic, the 2-0 win was more than many of us could have hoped for.
Chelsea lined up with Torres and Anelka up front, in what turned out to be more a 4-4-1-1 formation than 4-4-2, with the Frenchman playing just behind the Spaniard.
Ramires took the right midfield position, with Malouda on the left, and Lampard partnering Essien in the middle of the park. With Luiz ineligible, Ivanovic partnered Terry in the centre of defence, Cole left, and Boswingwa right.
Chelsea old boy Jesper Gronkjaer lined up for the opposition in what many of us thought would be a tougher encounter than it turned out to be.
The 4-4-2 allowed us something we’ve missed in previous games with both Malouda and Ramires seeing a lot of the ball in wider areas.
Copenhagen also lined up in a 4-4-2 formation which made life easier as the players lined up man for man, and left a lot of space behind their defence was left open to exploit, unsuccessful at first with a raft of offside decisions.
Torres and Anelka both looked sharp and interchanged well throughout the match, yet it was the Frenchman who made the headlines by way of a brace, with both lovely goals.
The first came in the 17th minute by way of the unfortunate Gronkjaer, who played a pass blind, which Anelka latched onto and ran at the Copenhagen defence, before smashing the ball past Wiland from the edge of the area. The strike was Anelka’s sixth goal in Europe this season.
Chelsea enjoyed numerous chances to double their lead, with Anelka and Torres both lively, and the movement between the strikers and mid-fielders a marked improvement on recent weeks. However we went in at half time with no change at 1-0.
Copenhagen started the second half a lot better than they’d played the first, and caused Chelsea problems early on, testing Cech on a couple of occasions. However it wasn’t long before Chelsea doubled their lead.
Essien drove forwards and picked out Lampard, who with two touches controlled, turned and played a delightful reverse ball into the patch for Anelka to shoot low and hard into the net after 54 minutes.
Chelsea grew as the match drew on with Copenhagen visibly tiring, we could and should have had more goals. Torres had a chance cleared half a yard of the line and Anelka was sharp as he hunted his hat trick, however it wasn’t to be.
Didier Drogba made an appearance for the last twenty minutes, with Zhirkov getting five and Kalou replacing Torres in injury time.
All in all a better performance and the home leg should be a comfortable affair. Ancelotti was please after the match, stating; “The key to this game was the good movement up front from Nicolas Anelka and Fernando Torres.”
“It was a good performance because we played with intelligence. We played quick up front to avoid the pressing and this why I say we played with intelligence. We didn’t give Copenhagen the opportunity to press.”
Chelsea (4-4-2): Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry (c), Cole, Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Malouda (Zhirkov 84), Anelka (Drogba 73), Torres (Kalou 90+1).
Goals: Anelka (17, 54)