Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka struck twice as the London side shrugged off poor domestic form to win 2-0 at FC Copenhagen on Tuesday and seize control of their Champions League last 16 tie.
Anelka punished former Chelsea player Jesper Gronkjaer for a sloppy pass in the 17th minute, putting the visitors ahead with a lethal finish, and doubled the lead with a carbon copy effort early in the second half after being set free by Frank Lampard.
Fernando Torres, starting ahead of Didier Drogba, looked lively and almost opened his Chelsea account but was denied by keeper Johan Wiland after a neat turn and shot inside the area.
Chelsea have slipped to fifth in the Premier League and were knocked out of the FA Cup on Saturday by Everton, but looked much more likle their old selves in sub-zero temperatures in the Danish capital.
With all the talk about whether or not 50 million pounds signing Torres and Drogba can play in tandem, Anelka reminded Ancelotti of his own striking prowess.
There was only one thought in his mind when Gronkjaer wastefully conceded possession after an even start, the Frenchman surging towards goal before giving Wiland no chance.
Without a competitive game since the beginning of December, FC Copenhagen struggled to find their rhythm and it took the introduction of Danish international Martin Vingaard for them to find their range in front of goal.
He replaced Brazilian Cesar Santin at halftime and within 30 seconds he had registered their first shot on target.
However, Anelka’s second goal gave Chelsea breathing space and there was no way back for the Danes.
Gronkjaer thought he had earned his side a penalty but was called back for offside as Copenhagen appeared to suffer from a lack of sharpness resulting in no competitive action for two months because of the mid-season break.
Anelka was replaced by Drogba late on and Torres was also benched before full-time.