Chelsea FC and Galatasaray met at Stamford Bridge for their UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match. With the first leg finishing 1-1, the second leg could go anybody’s way. Chelsea would be looking to brush aside the threat from the Turkish side, and a win for Galatasaray would surely go down as an upset, especially with the game being played at the Blues home stadium.
An early goal would have been a huge boost for either team, and it was Chelsea who capitalized on their opportunity. Samuel Eto’o got the start today, and rewarded his manager with a goal in the third minute. Eto’o got on the end of a good cross into the box, and looked to place a shot to the far post. Keeper Fernando Muslera was able to get a touch, but not enough to take the ball off its course. Before the fans could even get comfortable it was 1-0 to the Blues.
Following the Chelsea goal, things got a bit more physical. It seemed as if the officials were letting them play, and it showed with both teams showing a more aggressive style. Multiple fouls were committed, and both Felipe Melo and Oscar were shown yellow cards.
Even though the game may have been slowed down some, Chelsea didn’t stop trying to add to their lead. John Terry almost found himself on the score sheet after connecting with a Frank Lampard free kick, but his volley skied over the net. Then Willian received a pass from Eto’o and had a close range chance, but couldn’t get enough power on his shot to beat the keeper.
In the 42nd minute, Chelsea’s persistence would pay off. Oscar was able to chase down a lofted ball, and earned a corner by playing it off of a Galatasaray defender. Lampard then stepped up to take the corner, which Terry connected on. While the Chelsea captain again missed a chance to score, Gary Cahill picked up the rebound and thumped the ball into the back of the net
As the halftime whistle blew, Chelsea were two goals ahead, and lead 3-1 on aggregate score. The Blues knew they just had to keep things tight at the back, and they would advance to the next stage of the tournament.
As the second half began, Chelsea played like a team that had no thoughts of relinquishing the lead. While they didn’t create many early opportunities themselves, they kept the ball well, and most importantly kept the Galatasaray attackers at bay.
It wasn’t until the 66th minute that a scoring chance came for the Blues. Once again Frank Lampard found himself in the middle action of the action after nearly scoring a volley from an Oscar cross.
Chelsea continued to coast to the finish line, until a late flurry almost saw them triple their lead. Eden Hazard worked his usual magic down the left flank, and forced a save after 84 minutes had gone. Then substitute Fernando Torres was denied in the 87th minute, after his close range effort was blocked away by the keeper.
Just as stoppage time arrived, Galastasray sent a warning shot, and nearly got a consolation goal. A beautiful ball was sent into the box, in the direction of Didier Drogba. The Chelsea legend couldn’t get on the end of the ball though, and it instead ricocheted off of Bransivlav Ivanovic, and into Petr Cech’s waiting arms.
Chelsea fans will be happy to advance to the last eight of the UEFA Champions League, and do so in comfortable fashion at home. Now the club will look forward to their crucial league tie against Arsenal this weekend, then the draw for the next round of the Champions League.
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