FC Spartak Moscow 0 – FC Chelsea 2


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Ukraine international goalkeeper ANDRIY DIKAN (81), an August acquisition from Russian club FC Terek Grozny, blocks the ball at the feet of FC Chelsea’s disgraced France World Cup striker NICOLAS ANELKA (39) as FC Spartak Moscow’s Argentine defender NICOLAS PAREJA, a late July signing from Spanish club RCD Espanyol Barcelona, hurdles his own netminder at the Grand Sports Arena of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex in the capital city of Russia. (Grigory Dukor/Reuters)
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UEFA Champions League
Group Stage
10/19/2010

0 – FC Spartak Moscow (RUS)
2 – FC Chelsea (ENG) ——————— Zhirkov 23′, Anelka 43′

Despite temperatures below freezing on an artificial surface, the absence of a few key players for the attack and a hostile crowd vocally supporting the hometown team, visiting FC CHELSEA shutout FC SPARTAK MOSCOW 2-0 in a clash for the top of Group F in the UEFA Champions League.

Russia international midfielder YURI ZHIRKOV of FC Chelsea pounced on a loose ball outside the penalty box and unleashed a left-footed bomb to beat Ukraine international goalkeeper ANDRIY DIKAN between the sticks for Spartak Moscow in the 23rd minute.

And so Zhirkov, who joined the London club from CSKA Moscow fifteen months ago in a deal worth reported 18.0 million English pounds, celebrated his return to Russia with his first career goal in a club competition for Chelsea, who are, of course, owned by Russian oil magnate ROMAN ABRAMOVICH.

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Ireland international winger AIDEN MCGEADY (64) of Spartak Moscow, a summer signing from Scottish club Glasgow Celtic costing a reported 9.5 million English pounds, makes a flying challenge for the ball in front of Chelsea’s France World Cup winger FLORENT MALOUDA at venerable Luzhniki Stadium. (Grigory Dukor/Reuters)
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Chelsea increased its lead a couple of minutes before the halftime whistle when France World Cup striker NICOLAS ANELKA accepted a brilliant thru ball from Ghana international midfielder MICHAEL ESSIEN and slotted past Dikan; the 31-year-old Frenchman, who now counts eight goals from a dozen appearances in all competitions for the Blues this season, leads Chelsea with four goals in this year’s UEFA Champions League campaign.

Spartak Moscow certainly had their share of chances throughout the match but could not put a ball past Chelsea’s in-form PETR CECH. The home side’s summer signing from Glasgow Celtic, Ireland international winger AIDEN MCGEADY, had a pair of good efforts thwarted by the Czech Republic international goalkeeper in the second half. The 28-year-old Cech collected his second consecutive shutout in the Champions League and has conceded only three goals in 11 games for Chelsea this season.

Chelsea, who were without England World Cup midfielder FRANK LAMPARD and Ivory Coast striker DIDIER DROGBA, maintain their 100% record in Europe while Spartak Moscow, who were missing injured Brazil international midfielder and club captain ALEX, are still in second on the strength of two previous victories in Group F.

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Russia international midfielder YURI ZHIRKOV of FC Chelsea, who moved to London from Russian Premier League club CSKA Moscow for a reported transfer fee of 18.0 million English pounds in July of 2009, lets loose with a left-footed cannon to open the scoring against FC Spartak Moscow at the historic Luzhniki Stadium. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images)
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FC SPARTAK MOSCOW : Dikan – Parshivlyuk, Pareja, Suchy, Makeev – Sheshukov, Ibson – McGeady, Ari (Ananidze 85′), Kombarov – Welliton

FC CHELSEA : Cech – Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole (van Aanholt 87′) – Essien, Obi, Zhirkov – Kalou (McEachran 74′), Anelka, Malouda (Kakuta 82′)

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FC Chelsea’s 27-year-old midfielder YURI ZHIRKOV, who has won 38 caps for Russia, celebrates his return to the Motherland with a spectacular goal against FC Spartak Moscow then salutes the crowd at the Grand Sports Arena of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex in the Russian capital. (Grigory Dukor/Reuters)
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MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

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