CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 2ND LEG: Battling Chelsea through to Champions League quarter finals

Chelsea needed extra time to progress through to the last eight of the Champions League 5-4 on aggregate after defeating Napoli 4-1 on a thrilling night at Stamford Bridge.
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Chelsea needed extra time to progress through to the last eight of the Champions League 5-4 on aggregate after defeating Napoli 4-1 on a thrilling night at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues clawed back a 3-1 deficit from the first leg against a talented Napoli side who always posed a threat on the break and even when the Italian’s pulled a goal back Chelsea responded to take the game into extra time.

For the first half-hour this result looked unlikely as the visitor’s had all the possession and created the better chances but once Didier Drogba had headed the hosts in front from a Ramires cross, it was game on.

Chelsea finished the half the stronger and continued after the break with a goal two minutes after the restart whish put them ahead on away goals.

Napoli gave away a needless corner and their vulnerability to set pieces was highlighted as John Terry was allowed a free glancing header from Frank Lampard’s corner.

But credit to the Italian’s who responded positively and quickly put themselves ahead on aggregate when Gokhan Inler fired a fierce half volley past a static Petr Cech.

Now it was Chelsea’s turn to show their character and when Andrea Dossena blatantly handballed a cross Lampard was nerveless in crashing home the penalty to level the score over the two legs and take the game into extra time.

Again it was Napoli who looked the more dangerous but just before half-time of extra time Drogba fired in a low cross and Branislav Ivanovic was unmarked in the centre of goal to fire high into the roof of the net.

It was their third straight victory since Andre Villas-Boas was sacked as manager, and their spirit saw them survive another 15 minutes to become the only English team in the last eight of the Champions League.

Referee: Felix Brych (GER)

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Attendance: 37,784

Chelsea scorers: Drogba 29, Terry 47, Lampard (pen) 75, Ivanovic 105
Napoli scorers: Inler 55

Yellow cards: Cole (CHE), Lampard (CHE), Cannavaro (NAP), Lavezzi (NAP), Inler (NAP), Campagnaro (NAP)

TRIBAL ASKS: The Chelsea ‘old-guard’ of Drogba, Terry and Lampard answered their critics with this performance.

 

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