Didier Drogba was given a hero’s welcome at Stamford Bridge but at the end Chelsea prevailed by what was a comfortable win. Samuel Eto’s early opener and Gary Cahill’s blast just before half time ensured the home side would be on their way to the quarter finals of this year’s Champions League after overcoming Galatasaray by 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.
Finally a complete performance for the entire 90 minutes from Blues, after their win at Etihad. Hazard was magnificent, Oscar seems to be coming back to form, good goals by Eto’o and Cahill, and fantastic defensive performance.
Eden Hazard and Chelsea’s defence key for the Blues:
As the ninety minutes showed, Eden Hazard was simply sumptuous, his close control, dazzling and direct running caused Galatasaray all sorts of problems. The Belgian’s brilliant lay off for Samuel Eto’o was the heart of the home side’s opener while he was sublime throughout the encounter.
As the game went on, the diminutive Chelsea star created a great opportunity for Frank Lampard but the Englishman squandered a chance on what might have been a picturesque goal.
On the other hand, Chelsea’s defensive discipline was also full on display as the centre back pairing of Cahill and Terry worked their socks off in the tie. The English duo were probably best at everything on the pitch against the away side’s attackers and they will be key if Chelsea are to go anywhere close to picking up a silverware this season.
Jose Mourinho’s influence on the squad is easily on view:
Not surprisingly the self proclaimed ‘Special One’ has lambasted every decision that has gone against Chelsea this season. The Portuguese incessantly tries to gain favour from referees pressurising them to get decisions for his team’s favour. Not only did he protest from the sidelines regarding the two yellow cards the referee flashed to Oscar and Ivanovic, Mourinho made sure he urged captain John Terry to give the official an earful. Typical Mourinho!
Cesar Azpilicueta will go miles:
Playing Azpilicueta as an inverted left back ahead of Ashley Cole is certainly earning dividends. The Spaniard has the relentless energy, the willingness and the desire to press high up the pitch against any opposition. Rarely is he caught out of position, his defensive organization has been stupendous while he follows his manager’s instructions right from the first whistle. A brilliant tackler who rarely gives away free-kicks or possession, being comfortable on the ball is a real asset for the Blues and even though they will definitely buy a specialist left back in the summer, Azpilicueta will certainly go miles in his career.
Chelsea Vs Arsenal Preview:
Now going forward, Chelsea host Arsenal this Saturday and as it stands, a win against the Gunners will effectively end their title chances but on the other hand, a lose (which going by the records is highly unlikely) or a draw could come back to haunt Jose Mourinho’s men.
Chelsea will lose Ramires and Willian through suspension but can welcome back Matic who was left out of the Champions League tie due to his involvements with Benfica earlier in the competition. However, injured Ashley Cole might return to bench and Brazilian David Luiz who recovered from his groin injury last week should be fully fit.
For Arsenal however, there appears to be several injury woes with Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere continuing to work on their fitness while Aaron Ramsey’s supposed return from his hamstring injury has been further delayed by another days. The only positive news on the injury front is January signing Kim Kallstrom, who is fully fit now.