| 13.1°C Dublin

Ancelotti insists Chelsea are on verge of Group F qualification after canter against Marseille

Carlo Ancelotti claims Chelsea are already closing in on the second round of the Champions League after swatting aside French champions Marseille.

The Blues romped to a 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge last night through a well-taken flick from skipper John Terry and a Nicolas Anelka (pictured) penalty.

Group F is just two games old but Chelsea are already in control, alongside Spartak Moscow, with two comprehensive wins. "I think we're in control of our qualification. This victory was a good step," said Ancelotti. "We have four more matches to play, and the next two against Spartak Moscow will be important.

"There is a good possibility that we'll finish in first place."

Ancelotti refused to condemn Anelka for the nonchalant way he took his 28th-minute penalty, with the Frenchman tapping a weak spot-kick past outwitted keeper Steve Mandanda.

"I don't tell Anelka how to shoot a penalty. If he scores I'm happy," the Italian said.

"I've never seen Anelka scared or nervous. He's always quiet and calm. He's a good character."

Other than a purple patch in the second half when Marseille took command, Chelsea were rarely in trouble and hit the woodwork twice in the last 20 minutes through Alex and Michael Essien.

Ancelotti, however, insisted it was anything but an easy night's work in west London.

"It wasn't comfortable because the second half was more difficult as Marseille wanted to get back into the game," he said.

"They put pressure on our midfield and we didn't play as well as the first half but we did create a lot of chances. We had less chance to play from the back.

"The first goal was very good skill from John to score. The game was easier after that but Marseille were in the game until the end.

"They played good football, attacked and wanted to score."

Marseille coach Didier Deschamps, who admitted there was a significant gap between the Group F rivals, was impressed by the performance of fellow Frenchman Florent Malouda.

"Florent is in a great vein of form and he finds space out wide between the two defenders very well," said Deschamps.

"Technically, his skill was superb and he works well in tandem with Ashley Cole. They automatically know where the other one is."