Chelsea eased through to the last eight of the Champions League on Tuesday as they recorded a comfortable 2-0 win over Galatasaray – and returning hero Didier Drogba – at Stamford Bridge which gave them a 3-1 aggregate victory.
First half goals from Samuel Eto’o and Gary Cahill ensured that Chelsea wouldn’t fall to the same fate as Manchester City and Arsenal, who both crashed of the Champions League last week. The hosts dominated the game throughout, completing a straightforward win that could well have been by an even greater margin.
The Blues had 20 shots in all, but despite having marginally less possession they controlled the game, with their Turkish visitors not even managing a single shot on target in the 90 minutes. Eden Hazard was a thorn in the side of the Galatasaray defence throughout, and he probably deserved a goal.
Drogba’s return to Stamford Bridge rightly dominated the news agenda ahead of this tie, just as it did in the build up to the first leg. Just before kick off the stadium united in appreciation for the Ivorian striker, but once the game began Chelsea made sure there would be no fairytale return for the former fan favourite.
Eto’o gave Chelsea the lead after just four minutes when he latched on to a pass from Oscar, and fired past Galatasaray keeper Fernando Muslera for his 30th Champions League goal. The Cameroon striker was good value for the goal, starting the game well and looking sharp.
Chelsea continued to press and Frank Lampard, Willian and John Terry all wasted good chances to double the lead for the Blues. However, with half time looming Terry got on the end of a Lampard corner, forced a save from his header and Cahill fired home the rebound.
That goal from Cahill effectively wrapped up the game for Chelsea but they could have recorded an even bigger win. Hazard continued to threaten in the second half and the Belgian forced a good save from Muslera, while Oscar, Lampard and Willian all had good chances. Drogba had the chance to score a consolation goal in stoppage time but he uncharacteristically missed the target.
Jose Mourinho was delighted with the win over Galatasaray, and even managed a parting shot at Rafa Benitez in his post match press conference.
“To come from the Europa League to the quarter-finals of the Champions League is important for the club, important for the players. We are a Champions League club and now we are among the best eight, the best clubs in the world, and we are there. The players deserve to be there.”
He also said that they have no preference about who they play in the next round, “All the big teams are there. All the big candidates to win the competition are there. And we would welcome any one of them. It would be very good for our evolution as a team and very important for us to play one of the best. We wait for the draw. It doesn’t matter who. They are all welcome.”