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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Group E: Drogba inspires Chelsea to CL knockout stage

Chelsea comfortably made it through to the last 16 of the Champions League as a Didier Drogba brace helped the Blues to a 3-0 win over Valencia at Stamford Bridge. Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas chose to leave Frank Lampard on the bench, but it was another of his experienced campaigners who ensured Chelsea negotiated a tricky fixture.

Drogba made one and scored one before the break, before sealing the win with another strike in the second half.

Valencia came with a reputation for attacking play but apart from an early Ramos Jordi Alba effort which hit a post this was to be Chelsea's night.

Poor defending from the Spanish visitor's contributed towards the host's racing into a two goal lead by the 22nd minute.

On two minutes Juan Mata set up Drogba for the opener and whilst Valencia then hit the woodwork the Ivory Coast international then turned provider for Ramires to double the Blues lead.

Valencia came more into the game after the break but Chelsea held firm and scored a third from a swift counter attack in which Mata provided the through ball for Drogba to notch his second.

The Spaniards have now played eight Champions League matches against English clubs and failed to win any of them.

Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Attendance: 41,109

Chelsea scorers: Drogba 3, 76, Ramires 22 Valencia scorers:

TRIBAL ASKS: Is the dropping of Lampard to the bench a sign of things to come under Villas-Boas?

Yellow cards: Romeu (CHE), Costa (VAL)

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Dave Williams

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