Zhirkov lashed in his first goal for Chelsea upon returning to his native Russia
By Chris Whyatt
Chelsea all but sealed their place in the next round with a ruthlessly impressive Champions League display on a plastic pitch in freezing Moscow.
Russian Yuri Zhirkov scored his first goal for the Blues with a spectacular long-range effort in the 23rd minute.
Nicolas Anelka then slotted a superb second just before half-time.
Spartak pressed after the break, but Chelsea - without Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard - stood strong in Carlo Ancelotti's 100th Champions League tie.
The Italian's vast experience in Europe's premier club competition is the chief reason Chelsea employed him as manager last year - and convincing displays like this offer compelling evidence that he can emulate the Champions League success he achieved with AC Milan.
Chelsea now top group F with three wins in three games and so one point from their next three games will guarantee qualification for the second round, which is two-legged knockout tie.
Chelsea played well - Ancelotti
For the west Londoners, a trip back to the cavernous Luzhniki Stadium meant returning to the scene of their greatest disappointment, when Manchester United defeated them in painful fashion after a penalty shoot-out in the 2008 Champions League final. And with the mercury touching freezing while nearly 80,000 fans cheered on Russia's best-supported club with raucous enthusiasm, some teams might have found this match a hugely intimidating challenge.
But Chelsea - full of nous and understated confidence - made light work of a team who had won both of their previous group F matches.
Currently sitting fourth in the Russian league table, Spartak did make a strong start with Dmitri Kamborov slashing just over after a brilliant run from Sergei Parshivlyuk had sliced through Chelsea's backtracking rearguard.
Brazilian striker Welliton - the Russian league's top goalscorer - then swivelled in the box under close attention from Branislav Ivanovic to force a neat reaction stop from Petr Cech, who kicked the ball away from his near post.
But Chelsea soon got their foot on the ball to dominate a team quite clearly missing their playmaker and captain Alex. A couple of decent long-range shots from Saloman Kalou and Michael Essien should have served as a warning, but Spartak's failure to shut down space on the edge of the box proved costly in the 23rd minute.
Jon Mikel Obi pumped the ball long and, as it bounced invitingly from a loose Spartak header, former CSKA Moscow player Zhirkov sprinted towards it to lash a looping volley high into the net above Andriy Dykan's desperate dive.
With Anelka leading the line superbly in the absence of Drogba and his midfielders dominating their territory behind him, Chelsea eventually managed to quieten the incredible din from the stands.
With the club's Russian owner Roman Abramovich watching, Essien's cross was deflected away from danger as Spartak struggled to make an impact, with Welliton stranded alone in attack.
After squandering a good chance when one-on-one with Dykan, the classy Anelka brilliantly notched his 50th Chelsea goal - and his fourth in three Champions League games this season - just before half-time. Essien rampaged through the heart of Spartak's midfield before slipping a neat pass inside the empty channel his French team-mate was lurking in.
Anelka then accelerated forward before turning back inside the hosts' captain Parshivlyuk with ease and confidently curling his low, right-footed shot into the far corner.
Admirably refusing to give in, Spartak came out on the attack in the second half.
Kombarov, Welliton and Aiden McGeady all fired shots towards Cech's goal, with the overworked Czech having to push former Celtic winger McGeady's effort over the bar after a vicious deflection.
Chelsea did manage the odd surge with Anelka the outlet - but Cech proved their busiest and most important player as Moscow pinged quick passes together and pressed. Two solid saves from Ibson around the hour mark clearly stung the hands of the visitors' keeper.
Essien screwed a good chance wide in the 72nd minute after Kalou, soon replaced by young midfield hopeful Josh McEachran, had pulled the ball back with cool accuracy from the bye-line.
Chelsea centre-back John Terry had not trained properly ahead of the match, but with him in typically defiant form, Spartak could not find a way though the determined defensive wall as the resolute Blues made clear their lofty Champions League intentions.
90:00+2:11 The referee blows for the end of the match.
90:00+0:55 Free kick awarded for a foul by Gael Kakuta on Yevgeni Makeev. Yevgeni Makeev takes the direct free kick.
89:31 Nicolas Anelka concedes a free kick for a foul on Sergei Parshivlyuk. Nicolas Pareja takes the direct free kick.
87:16 Nicolas Pareja takes the direct free kick.
87:16 Booking Yuri Zhirkov is booked.
87:00 Unfair challenge on Marek Suchy by Yuri Zhirkov results in a free kick.
86:09 Substitution Patrick Van Aanholt replaces Ashley Cole.
83:50 Paulo Ferreira restarts play with the free kick. Nicolas Anelka takes a shot. Save made by Andrei Dikan.
83:50 Substitution Ferreira Ari leaves the field to be replaced by Zhano Ananidze.
83:50 Alexander Shyeshukov gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Paulo Ferreira.
82:14 Alexander Shyeshukov fouled by Mikel, the ref awards a free kick. Alexander Shyeshukov takes the free kick.
81:19 Free kick taken by Yuri Zhirkov.
81:19 Substitution Gael Kakuta replaces Florent Malouda.
81:19 Free kick awarded for a foul by Dmitri Kombarov on Yuri Zhirkov.
79:40 Shot by Ferreira Ari. Save by Petr Cech.
78:57 Centre by Aiden McGeady, Ferreira Ari takes a shot. Save made by Petr Cech.
78:16 Mikel gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ferreira Ari. Aiden McGeady restarts play with the free kick.
77:11 Dmitri Kombarov takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, Mikel manages to make a clearance.
77:04 The ball is swung over by Dmitri Kombarov, John Terry manages to make a clearance.
76:58 The ball is delivered by Dmitri Kombarov, clearance by Ashley Cole.
76:30 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Dmitri Kombarov.
75:35 Free kick awarded for a foul by Yuri Zhirkov on Barreto Ibson. Barreto Ibson restarts play with the free kick.
75:07 The assistant referee signals for offside against Aiden McGeady. Free kick taken by Petr Cech.
74:35 The assistant referee signals for offside against Nicolas Anelka. Free kick taken by Marek Suchy.
73:07 Substitution Joshua McEachran joins the action as a substitute, replacing Salomon Kalou.
72:42 The ball is crossed by Salomon Kalou, Effort from inside the area by Michael Essien misses to the left of the target.
71:27 Morais Welliton concedes a free kick for a foul on Branislav Ivanovic. Petr Cech takes the direct free kick.
69:53 Outswinging corner taken by Yuri Zhirkov from the left by-line, Header from deep inside the area by Branislav Ivanovic goes
over the bar.
68:24 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Dmitri Kombarov from the left by-line, Nicolas Anelka makes a clearance.
68:17 The ball is delivered by Aiden McGeady, Branislav Ivanovic manages to make a clearance.
66:16 Barreto Ibson fouled by Yuri Zhirkov, the ref awards a free kick. Barreto Ibson takes the free kick.
65:24 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mikel by Alexander Shyeshukov. Michael Essien takes the direct free kick.
64:34 Sergei Parshivlyuk delivers the ball, Mikel manages to make a clearance.
64:10 Aiden McGeady takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post.
63:58 Barreto Ibson takes a shot. Petr Cech makes a save.
63:39 Aiden McGeady decides to take a short corner.
63:22 Barreto Ibson has a volleyed shot. Save by Petr Cech.
61:50 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marek Suchy by Florent Malouda. Direct free kick taken by Andrei Dikan.
60:57 Dmitri Kombarov fouled by Paulo Ferreira, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Yevgeni Makeev.
60:47 Salomon Kalou is ruled offside. Marek Suchy takes the free kick.
59:38 Dmitri Kombarov takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.
59:32 Morais Welliton crosses the ball, clearance by Mikel.
57:41 Unfair challenge on Michael Essien by Alexander Shyeshukov results in a free kick. Salomon Kalou takes the free kick.
56:58 Long range effort from John Terry misses to the left of the target.
55:21 Direct free kick taken by Yuri Zhirkov.
55:21 Booking Marek Suchy is booked.
55:06 Free kick awarded for a foul by Marek Suchy on Salomon Kalou.
53:58 The ball is sent over by Sergei Parshivlyuk, Petr Cech makes a save.
53:04 A cross is delivered by Dmitri Kombarov.
51:11 Aiden McGeady crosses the ball, Foul by Ferreira Ari on John Terry, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Petr Cech.
51:00 Aiden McGeady decides to take the corner short.
49:52 Shot from 18 yards from Aiden McGeady. Save made by Petr Cech.
48:55 Effort on goal by Morais Welliton from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.
47:12 Aiden McGeady takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech. Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Dmitri Kombarov, Nicolas
Anelka manages to make a clearance. Corner taken left-footed by Dmitri Kombarov, save made by Petr Cech.
46:25 The ball is crossed by Dmitri Kombarov, clearance by Branislav Ivanovic.
45:45 Effort on goal by Ferreira Ari from just outside the area goes harmlessly over the target.
45:17 The ball is sent over by Ferreira Ari, clearance by John Terry.
45:01 The second half kicks off.
45:00+0:34 The half-time whistle blows.
45:00+0:03 Foul by Nicolas Pareja on Florent Malouda, free kick awarded.
43:44 Corner taken by Aiden McGeady from the left by-line, Nicolas Pareja takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.
43:26 The ball is sent over by Yevgeni Makeev, Branislav Ivanovic manages to make a clearance.
42:17 Assist on the goal came from Michael Essien.
42:17 GOAL - Nicolas Anelka:Spartak Moscow 0 - 2 Chelsea Nicolas Anelka finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Spartak Moscow
39:26 Dmitri Kombarov delivers the ball, blocked by Michael Essien.
37:13 Yuri Zhirkov fouled by Morais Welliton, the ref awards a free kick. Ashley Cole takes the direct free kick.
36:24 Foul by Ferreira Ari on John Terry, free kick awarded. Petr Cech restarts play with the free kick.
35:09 Inswinging corner taken by Florent Malouda from the right by-line played to the near post.
34:42 Inswinging corner taken by Florent Malouda, save by Andrei Dikan.
34:37 The ball is crossed by Nicolas Anelka, Nicolas Pareja gets a block in.
34:21 A cross is delivered by Dmitri Kombarov, Ashley Cole manages to make a clearance.
34:09 Yevgeni Makeev takes a shot. Blocked by Mikel.
33:40 Free kick awarded for a foul by Branislav Ivanovic on Morais Welliton. Aiden McGeady restarts play with the free kick.
32:54 Morais Welliton takes a shot. John Terry gets a block in.
32:07 Effort on goal by Nicolas Anelka from a long way out goes over the bar.
31:09 The ball is swung over by Michael Essien, Yevgeni Makeev manages to make a clearance.
30:11 Nicolas Anelka delivers the ball, clearance made by Nicolas Pareja.
29:53 The ball is delivered by Yevgeni Makeev, clearance made by Ashley Cole.
28:16 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Aiden McGeady by Mikel. Shot comes in from Nicolas Pareja from the free kick.
25:56 Shot from just outside the box by Nicolas Anelka misses to the left of the goal.
23:00 GOAL - Yury Zhirkov:Spartak Moscow 0 - 1 Chelsea Goal scored by Yuri Zhirkov from outside the area to the top right corner of the goal. Spartak Moscow 0-1 Chelsea.
21:07 Unfair challenge on Salomon Kalou by Barreto Ibson results in a free kick. Branislav Ivanovic takes the free kick.
19:16 Free kick awarded for a foul by Nicolas Anelka on Nicolas Pareja. Nicolas Pareja takes the free kick.
17:43 Corner taken by Florent Malouda from the left by-line, Michael Essien produces a header from the edge of the box and misses
to the left of the goal.
16:25 Florent Malouda crosses the ball, clearance made by Barreto Ibson.
16:13 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Florent Malouda.
15:51 Ashley Cole crosses the ball, Nicolas Pareja gets a block in.
14:44 Effort from the edge of the box by Florent Malouda goes wide of the right-hand upright.
13:26 The ball is delivered by Dmitri Kombarov, Morais Welliton takes a shot. Petr Cech makes a save. Dmitri Kombarov sends in a
10:22 Nicolas Anelka gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alexander Shyeshukov. Andrei Dikan takes the free kick.
9:39 Effort on goal by Dmitri Kombarov from just inside the area clears the bar.
7:07 The ball is delivered by Paulo Ferreira, Nicolas Pareja manages to make a clearance.
4:49 Shot on goal by Salomon Kalou from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
3:50 Morais Welliton crosses the ball, Mikel manages to make a clearance.
2:56 Barreto Ibson sends in a cross.
0:57 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sergei Parshivlyuk by Nicolas Anelka. Andrei Dikan takes the free kick.
0:00 The ref blows the whistle to start the match.
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