Nicholas Anelka played an exceptional game against Sunderland helping Chelsea to a 4-2 victory last night. Playing in a slightly withdrawn position and with crucial passes, tackles and a goal he seemed moved to prove his worth to the team in light of the arrival of Fernando Torres.
Sunderland took an early lead from Phil Bardsley when he scored past Petr Cech from the edge of the area. It was only the 4th minute of the game.
Ten minutes later Ahmed Elmohamady conceded a penalty by bringing down Ashley Cole who was trying to get on the end of a cross by Michael Essien. Frank Lampard converted the spot-kick bringing the tie level.
In the 23rd minute Anelka provided a well timed pass to team mate Kalou who tucked the ball past goalkeeper Gordon. Chelsea were ahead for the first time in the game.
Chelsea manager Ancelotti hinted that Anelka might find himself playing in a new withdrawn position after tonight’s performance saying: “Anelka played very well. I was very happy for him, he’s very dangerous in that position, Sunderland found it very difficult to mark him when he went forward”.
On 26 minutes Kieran Richardson took a page from Ronaldinho’s book and shot a free kick low into Chelsea’s goal leaving Petr Cech rooted to the spot.
But after an hour of play Terry hit a rebound from Lampard into the net restoring Chelsea’s lead. Anelka capped his fine performance with a late goal in the 90th minute.
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