Champions League - Chelsea power past Marseille
Despite missing Didier Drogba, suspended from the match against his former club, and the injured Frank Lampard, Chelsea dominated the game and there was little doubt about the outcome once they took a seventh minute lead.
Didier Deschamps' Marseille did not have the look of a side who were out to spoil and block their way to a draw, beginning brightly and having much of the ball.
But then Florent Malouda broke down the right and went close with an effort tipped around the post by Steve Mandanda and despite a less-than-perfect delivery from Gael Kakuta's resulting corner, Terry was in the right place to deftly angle the ball past Benoit Cheyrou, supposedly guarding the near post.
That settled any nerves the home side might have been feeling after two defeats in their last two games, and Malouda, Anelka and Essien in particular looked incisive and dangerous.
Malouda fashioned several chances but failed to hit the target, while Anelka drilled a shot straight at Mandanda having been set free by Kakuta.
Marseille appeared as if they might have been re-establishing themselves in the match midway through the first half.
They fired warning shots at the Blues when Brandao came within a whisker of latching on to a corner from just a couple of yards away, and again when Cheyrou snatched at a chance and put the ball over the bar.
Moments later, though, Stephane M'bia was adjudged to have blocked Essien's cross with his hands, and the Belgian referee Frank De Bleeckere pointed to the spot.
Anelka tucked the ball away with nonchalance, deceiving Mandanda and leaving him rooted to his spot.
In the second-half Chelsea went off the boil - giving away a spate of cheap free-kicks and inviting the French side on to them.
Marseille pressed forward but without ever getting close to finding a goal.
The nearest they came was just after the hour when Lucho Gonzalez's crisp half-volley was blocked by Ashley Cole and might have gone anywhere.
But despite Chelsea coasting through much of the second period they still managed to hit the woodwork on three occasions.
Alex thundered a free kick against the right upright from all of 35 yards midway through the half while Essien hit the left post twice in the final quarter of an hour with sweetly-hit strikes following flowing moves.
Substitute Daniel Sturridge also came closer than any of the Marseille side to scoring, not making proper contact with Malouda's cross when a firmer touch would surely have beaten Mandanda.
Chelsea sauntered through to the final whistle, returning in the process to the top of the Group F table after Spartak Moscow's earlier victory against Zilina.