Match Report: Chelsea 4 – Napoli 1
We progressed to the quarterfinals of the Champions League following a 4-1 win over Napoli, winning 5-4 on aggregate in what was an amazing night at Stamford Bridge.
Roberto Di Matteo made four changes from the team that beat Stoke at the weekend as David Luiz replaced Gary Cahill in the center of defense, Michael Essien started in favor of John Obi Mikel, Juan Mata came in for Raul Meireles and Daniel Sturridge took the place of Salomon Kalou in attack.
The first chance of the match fell to Sturridge as he volleyed goal wards at an angle in the penalty area, but Morgan De Sanctis palmed it behind for a corner.
It didn’t take long for Napoli to show their attacking ability either. Inler played the ball into Lavezzi on the edge of the penalty area and after swivelling he let rip, but Petr Cech made the save.
The Italians continued to look dangerous in attack. Cavani went close, getting on the end of Maggio’s low cross at the back post, but much to the relief of the Chelsea fans he could only find the side netting.
After 27 minutes Drogba gave us the first goal.
Ramires picked up possession on the left wing and delivered an excellent ball towards the near post for Drogba to throw himself at and nod down past De Sanctis.
We continued to control much of the action and went close to extending the lead just before halftime. Following a corner, Ramires found Luiz in space on the right side of the area, but his low drilled cross was brilliantly cut out by Paolo Cannavaro, just ahead of Drogba, giving De Sanctis the opportunity to gather it to keep the score at 1-0.
It didn’t take us long to level the aggregate score after the break.
Napoli sloppily gave away a corner, and John Terry rose highest to head the ball out of De Sanctis’ reach and double our lead on the night bringing Chelsea supporters inside Stamford Bridge to life with belief. But the two goal lead didn’t last long when Terry (pic below from Dave Sorrell) headed substitute Dossena’s cross out to the edge of the area only as far as Inler who chested the ball under control and smashed a half volley into the bottom right corner.
Roberto Di Matteo brought on Fernando Torres for Daniel Sturridge and a little later Drogba again tested the Napoli goalkeeper. Ivanovic’s throw found its way to Drobga who volleyed with his left foot, but De Sanctis threw himself down to his right and tipped the ball around the post for a corner.
With the game to-ing and fro-ing and 20 minutes left the Italians came so close to levelling the score on the night. Camilo Zuniga linked with Lavezzi and a slip from Ashley Cole allowed him into the area but his shot was saved by the right hand of Cech, who did well to palm it away from the lurking Cavani.
Then five minutes later a penalty took us to a 3-1 lead. From a corner, Ivanovic headed the ball onto the right hand of Dossena, with the referee rightly pointing to the spot, from where Frank Lampard buried his effort which took us to another half hour of football as the aggregate score was tied at 4-4.
Following a few chances for Ivanovic and Torres we got the breakthrough to send us through just before halftime as Ivanovic slammed a shot into the roof of the net after an excellent ball in from the right by Drogba.
The second half of extra time was very nervy but we held on despite pressure from the Italians and progressed to the next round and as Roberto Di Matteo invaded the pitch to jump all over the players Blues fans all around the Bridge celebrated by bouncing around to the Madness of a ‘One Step Beyond’ moment.
Chelsea made sure of an English presence in the Champions League last eight and the draw for the quarter finals will take place tomorrow.
Gill Reeves – CSG disabled rep.
Video of the final whistle celebrations can be found here
Other Chelsea v Napoli celebrations here:
“Blue Is The Colour” from Gate 13 Productions from the Shed Lower
“Blue Is The Colour” by Dave Sorrell in the East Upper
“Hey you, don’t watch this, watch that” from John Drewitt in MHU
“One Step Beyond” from Keith Payne in MHU
• 01 Cech
• 02 Ivanovic
• 03 Cole – Booked
• 04 David Luiz
• 26 Terry (Bosingwa – 98′ )
• 05 Essien
• 07 Ramires
• 08 Lampard – Booked
• 10 Mata (Malouda – 95′ )
• 11 Drogba
• 23 Sturridge (Torres – 63′ )
• 22 Turnbull
• 17 Bosingwa
• 24 Cahill
• 12 Mikel
• 15 Malouda
• 09 Torres
• 21 Kalou
• 01 De Sanctis
• 06 Aronica (Eduardo Vargas – 110′ )
• 14 Campagnaro – Booked
• 18 Zuniga
• 28 Cannavaro – Booked
• 11 Maggio (Dossena – 36′ )
• 17 Hamsik (Pandev – 106′ )
• 23 Gargano
• 88 Inler – Booked
• 07 Cavani
• 22 Lavezzi – Booked
• 83 Rosati
• 08 Dossena
• 21 Fernandez
• 85 Britos
• 20 Dzemaili
• 16 Eduardo Vargas
• 29 Pandev