Friday, 30 September 2011

Chelseas European Campaign 2011- 2012 #CFC How We Won The CL Trophy

Another Memorable Night in Italy...

Semi-Final 2nd. Leg 24/25 April

 Bayern Won on Penalties (3) v (3) Real Madrid 

Chelsea 3 v 2 Barcelona

 Final-19 May, Munich

Chelsea 4 v 3 Bayern on penalties

The Story So Far........
The draw took place at 4.45pm UK time on Thursday 26th. August
Chelsea Were Seeded in Group E
Group E 
Bayer Leverkuson
KRC Genk

See Latest Group Details Group E

See all Starting Groups 

MatchDay 13 : The Final 

Saturday 19th. May 

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 ChelseaChelsea FC 1v1 FC Bayern München Bayern Munich (4-3 on penalties)


Posted on: Sat 19 May 2012
Moscow seems a long time ago now as the ghost of 2008 was buried by a penalty shoot-out win for the Blues.

We seemed dead and buried when Bayern Munich took the lead after 82 minutes of a game they dominated in the face of some high-class Chelsea defending, but showing the resilience yet again that had taken us all this way to Munich, Didier Drogba netted his ninth goal in nine cup finals with two minutes left to play.
Cech then saved a penalty, given away by Drogba in extra-time, and not converted by Arjen Robben, so 10 more penalties had to be taken to determine the destiny of the European Cup.
It didn't start well as Juan Mata failed with Chelsea's first but Cech saved one and Bastian Schweinsteiger struck woodwork before that man Drogba stepped up to win the competition for the first time for a London club.

Team news
Roberto Di Matteo decided upon Ryan Bertrand in front of Ashley Cole on the flank that Arjen Robben and Philipp Lahm attack down for Bayern. The 22-year-old made his Champions League debut. David Luiz and Gary Cahill were fit to start with Jose Bosingwa completing the defence.
Frank Lampard and John Mikel Obi were the deeper midfielders with Juan Mata in front of them, Salomon Kalou on the right and Didier Drogba leading the attack.
Bayern replaced their two suspended defenders with Diego Contento and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, the midfielder deployed at centre-back. Thomas Muller came into midfield.

First half
The pre-match proceedings were loud and colourful with Bayern able to organise their end in a display not possible for visiting Chelsea, but the Blues support were in fine voice and the 'Pride of London' flag travelled with them.
And then it was time for kick-off, Chelsea attacking towards the German side's supporters. Lampard tackled Robben and then Cole went in hard on Kroos to give away a free-kick in the opening seconds.
Inside two minutes Schweinsteiger was booked for a clear handball as Mikel tried to play out from the back and find Lampard.

Bayern advanced on four minutes and Schweinsteiger shot but Cahill stretched out a long leg and deflected it for a corner.
Chelsea's first attack came with six minutes played, a few nervy looking passes leading to a Drogba cross that was overhit. Chelsea kept the pressure on but then Robben broke threateningly, only to sky his shot badly.
Champions League Final
Bayern were dominating possession but without the feeling they were about to break through the defence at any second that comes when Barcelona do similar. Gomez stretching over the top of David Luiz headed a cross over.
On 17 minutes Robben met a Kroos corner with a half-volley but it was deflected for another corner which led to the scariest moment yet when Gomez tricked Cahill, Lampard couldn't get the ball out of the six-yard box and Bosingwa sliced his clearance behind him but into a safe zone.
Twenty minutes had gone and Chelsea still hadn't tested Manuel Neuer. Cech on the other hand had to be at his best to turn wide a Robben shot after the former Blue wriggled past Bosingwa.
Just before the half-hour, David Luiz put an arm across the front of Muller and fouled him. Robben's free-kick was a long way off clearing the Chelsea defensive wall. The former Chelsea man did not have a good night.
Two minutes later we briefly found space and Bertrand, supplied by Mata, took on Lahm but the German international stood firm and made the necessary tackle.
On 32 minutes, Cahill was found upfield by Kalou and drew a foul out of Boateng. It was just outside the area, a bit to the right and made for the left foot of Mata, but the Spaniard shot several yards over the bar.
Three minutes later Bayern missed their best chance yet, Muller found unmarked near the penalty spot by Contento but he volleyed wide. Wayward shooting by the men in red continued as one of the themes of the night.
Suddenly the ball was up the other end and Drogba was battling with the Bayern central defence, only the third time a Chelsea player had touched the ball in their area, but he was crowded out.
It seemed to spark some belief into the performance and Bertrand picked out Drogba who in turn played the ball out wide to an unmarked Kalou. The shot was low and hard and forced the first save out of Neuer.
However as we pressed a bit, Bayern became more of a counter-attacking threat and there was much relief when Gomez shot well, well over when presented with a golden chance.
Second half
The first-half stats had shown 60 per cent possession to Bayern with eight corners to our nil and 13 attempts on goal to just two from the team from London. The options were to hope for a smash and grab or find some way of taking the game more to a side with an unfamiliar defence.
Champions League Final
Ribery attacked and shot after Chelsea lost the ball within a minute of the restart but David Luiz blocked it inside the six-yard box. The Brazilian then got his positioning wrong to let Robben past but Cole saved the day initially and then David Luiz was able to head a shot to safety.
Drogba didn't waste the opportunity to attempt a spectacular on the turn from distance on 50 minutes but didn't trouble Neuer.
Bayern had the ball in the net soon after but Ribery had lashed it in from an offside position. It was a sign though that they were finding increasing space around our penalty area and the defiant Cole needed to be razor-sharp to block Robben's attempt after Gomez had shown good control.
The game entered the final half-hour with Bayern continuing to drag shots wide. Chelsea's attacking potential was diminished by diligent crowding of Mata when he was on the ball.

Cole again threw himself in the way of a shot, this time from Kroos before on 71 minutes, Chelsea broke our shackles and Kalou wasn't too far away at all from making something of a Bosingwa cross. Then Drogba got away down the left and nearly picked out Mata right in front of goal but Bayern cleared for a corner.
Drogba could have made them pay soon after but didn't catch a shot properly. Were Bayern starting to fear the sucker punch?
Malouda had by now come on for Bertrand who seemed to indicate a problem to the bench a minute earlier. RIbery, inside the Chelsea area on the right, shot and it deflected up and dropped worryingly but Cech stretched back and made sure the ball went over the bar. Muller then waited for the ball to fall on his right-foot after an attack started by Schweinsteiger but his shot was a long way wide.
Cole became Chelsea's first booking for a foul on Muller who soon after finally found the breakthrough.
Kroos was allowed to cross towards the far post unchallenged and Muller headed down, able to beat Cech with a ball that bounced up above the Chelsea keeper and in off the underside of the bar. There were 82 minutes played.
Torres came on for Kalou, David Luiz was booked for kicking Robben, and it was hard to see any way back into this game for Di Matteo's men.
But never underestimate Didier Drogba in a cup final. Mata sent an 87th minute corner over towards the near post and the Ivorian thundered a header through the tiny gap between Neuer and his crossbar.
He could have even won it in stoppage time after Bayern gave away a free-kick in a very promising position, but the shot was too high.
Extra time first period
 It was a bright start by the Blues but then with three minutes gone, Drogba unnecessarily caught the heel of Ribery and gave away a penalty. It fell to Robben to try to beat his friend Cech but the pressure told, as it had done on Lionel Messi in the semi-final, and the Chelsea keeper was able to save low down to his left as Robben couldn't find the corner.
Ribery didn't recover from the foul by Drogba and was replaced by Ivica Olic.
Mistakes were increasingly creeping into the German side's play and although they were still on top, the game was less one-sided than in normal time. Further chances at either end were scarce.
Extra time second period
 Bayern really should have retaken the lead two minutes in when Olic was found all alone at the far post and paddled the ball across to Van Buyten, but the substitute hadn't reacted quickly enough to tap in to the gaping net.
Chelsea survived another goalmouth scramble after which Cahill, who played a might game, felt the effect of those weeks out, needing treatment for cramp.
Torres was booked for dissent after giving away a foul as he seeked a last-minute winner but it was to be the gut-wrenching experience of a shoot-out once again.
Penalty shoot-out
 At the Bayern Munich end of the stadium, Cech faced the first one from Lahm and got a hand to it but couldn't keep it out.
Mata then shot too centrally and had his saved by Neuer. Gomez found the bottom corner to make it 2-0 to Bayern but David Luiz scored his powerfully and it was 2-1.
The Bayern keeper took the next one, and beat Cech low to the left so it was 3-1 to the Germans. Lampard roofed his to bring the score back to 3-2 before Olic had his saved by the outstretched arm of Cech and Cole drew the scores level at 3-3 with a crisp strike.
Schweinsteiger was next up and the pressure told as he hit the post, Cech possibly getting a finger to it. So it was there for Drogba to win it and this time there was no slipping on the turf by the final taker as he rolled it into the corner.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Bosingwa, Cahill, David Luiz, Cole; Mikel, Lampard; Kalou (Torres 83), Mata, Bertrand (Malouda 72); Drogba
Unused subs Turnbull, Ferreira, Essien, Romeu, Sturridge,.
Scorer Drogba 87
Booked Cole 80, David Luiz 85, Drogba 93, Torres 119.
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Lahm (c), Tymoshchuk, Boateng, Contento; Schweinsteiger, Kroos; Robben, T Muller (Van Buyten 85), Ribéry (Olic 96); Gomez.

Unused subs Butt, , Rafinha, Usami, Pranjic, , Petersen.
Scorer Muller 82.
Booked Schweinsteiger 1.
Referee Pedro Proença from Portugal.

MatchDay 12 : Semi-Final 2nd. Leg

Tuesday 24th. April 7.45 pm. BST 

Barcalona FC Barcelona 2-2 Chelsea FC Chelsea

Summary There cannot have been many nights more dramatic nor heroic in the history of Chelsea Football Club.
Having gone 2-0 behind on the night and one man down in the first half, we scored in stoppage time at the end of each half to book a date in Munich for our second Champions League Final.
John Terry was the man sent off. Ramires was the first Chelsea scorer with a brilliant goal before Lionel Messi missed the chance to put his side 3-1 ahead when he wasted a penalty.

With the pressure on, substitute Fernando Torres scored a late, late goal on the counter-attack from his own half. The only disappointment on a joyous night is that Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and Raul Meireles were all booked and so will join the skipper in missing the Final.

Team news Didier Drogba was passed fit so Roberto Di Matteo named the same side as the first leg.

Barcelona did change however, bringing in Gerard Pique and going to three at the back. Both full-backs at the Bridge were on the bench with Issac Cuenca coming in and playing wide on the right with Cesc Fabregas on the left. The formation was the same as deployed in Camp Nou in the previous round against AC Milan.
First half Chelsea kicked off and had the ball inside the Barça penalty area within 18 seconds, but Cole's pass was too strong for Ramires and Valdes collected.
The visitors were awarded the first free-kick too, for a foul on Mata on halfway.
But then Barcelona attacked and Messi had his first chance with two minutes played. He put it into the side-netting from inside the area.
The pressure stayed on for almost the whole of the rest of the half and there was a problem for the Blues on six minutes when the ball was played behind Cahill to Sanchez. In recovering, the big Chelsea defender slipped and almost did the splits. He needed treatment but after a spell off the pitch, initially continued.
Iniesta lobbed a ball into the six-yard box that Cole booted clear before finally, on 11 minutes, Cahill had to limp off dejectedly to be replaced by Bosingwa. Ivanovic went into central defence.
Barcelona v Chelsea
It wasn't only Chelsea players in the wars. On 17 minutes Drogba chased a Cech kick that bounced high up field and in clearing it, Valdes collided with Pique. Both needed treatment and the Barcelona central defender looked in some distress, but given recovery time he was back in action.
On 19 minutes it was Cech's time to turn hero. A trademark exchange of passes by the home team cut through the Chelsea defence, Fabregas backheeling into the path of Messi, but with the Camp Nou crowd drawing breath to celebrate, our keeper's leg extended and made the save.
There was a rare Chelsea attempt from Drogba at the midway point of the half but on the swivel and from distance, he shot well over.
Barcelona v Chelsea
He was much closer to the target two minutes later after muscling past Pique but lacking support, he took on Valdes from a very narrow angle and could only ripple the sidenetting.
That was the end of Pique's game. The previous Chelsea attack had convinced Pep Guardiola the player was still suffering from his bang on the head and he brought on Dani Alves. They didn't change their shape with the diminutive substitute deployed as one of the back three.
Referee Cüneyt Çakir had given Chelsea no cause for complaint with his decisions so far but he did make Mikel his first booking, the midfielder catching Sanchez with an outstretched leg inside the Barça half.
Three minutes later the home team took the lead. The move was similar to many during the half but for once Chelsea found ourselves outnumbered as the ball was played wide to the left. Messi was out there and he squared to Busquets who side-footed in from six-yard out.
Barcelona v Chelsea
Any chance for consolidation after that set-back for Roberto Di Matteo's men was blown out the water just two minutes later with the straight red card for Terry. The ref decided that the skipper had kneed Sanchez in the back on the edge of the area in an off-the-ball incident.

A tough task had just become immensely harder and Barcelona rubbed home the advantage with three minutes left on the clock before the interval. Meireles conceded possession and Messi was able to slip the ball forward to Iniesta who had run away behind Ramires. The finish was low to Cech's left and for the first time in the tie Chelsea were behind on aggregate.
Ramires was booked too and would miss the Final as well as Terry should the team find a way back from this.
They certainly made a good start in that quest. With just a minute of stoppage time left to play we won the ball inside the Barça half and Lampard slotted the perfect pass through to Ramires. There was no way the Barça defence was going to catch the Brazilian whose chip over Valdes was as exquisite as it was essential to restore belief before the break.
Barcelona v Chelsea
With the score 2-2 on aggregate, it was Chelsea heading to the Final as it stood.
Second halfBarcelona made an alteration to the way they lined up with Alves now wide on the right and Cuenca switching wings. Iniesta had a shot deflected wide after Messi chested down.
Then just three minutes into the half the Blues looked certain to go behind in the tie when Drogba tripped Fabregas inside the area but Messi fired the penalty on to the crossbar. The Argentinian's search for his first goal against Chelsea went on.
Barcelona v Chelsea
If that was good news, Ivanovic's booking in the aftermath of the penalty award wasn't. He joined Terry and Ramires in earning a suspension.
Iniesta was the first Barça player booked for a trip on Drogba, shortly before the Ivorian tried to catch Valdes by surprise with a shot from the halfway line. The only thing caught was the ball by the keeper.
Di Matteo decided on new legs just before the hour, replacing Mata with Kalou, and a minute later Cech was booked for taking too long over a goal-kick. He at least was not facing a ban.
It was all Barcelona pressure and Cech saved from Cuenca after Mikel had lost the ball. On 63 minutes Chelsea broke out of our shackles and Drogba won a corner. Played in by Lampard, Ivanovic got to it first but frustratingly, couldn't send it on target.
The cards kept coming, Messi for a foul on Lampard and Lampard for upending Fabregas. And still Chelsea hung on to our away-goals lead as shot after shot and pass after pass were blocked.
There was no one in the way when the ball fell invitingly for Busquets on 77 minutes but he shot over wastefully.
Two minutes later Torres came on for Drogba who had worked tirelessly up front with his team-mates mostly a long way behind. He had also played his part as ever in clearing opposition corners.
Barcelona did have the ball in the net on 80 minutes through Sanchez but Alves who supplied the cross was offside. Then Messi shot on-target and it was turned onto the post by the finger tips of Cech.
We were inside the final 10 minutes and now every Barça mistake was drawing a frustrated reaction from the crowd. When Chelsea won the ball, we by and large cleared it into the open spaces up the field, although Torres missed one chance to counter attack by taking a heavy touch.
With 88 minutes of the game played Meireles picked up his fifth booking of the campaign for a trip so he too was now suspended.
Cech pushed a Mascherano shot round the post and we were into stoppage time. It was time for the most dramatic of endings.
Barcelona were so committed forward that when the ball was cleared up field by Ivanovic, Torres was in his half with no-one between him and Valdes. He took the ball on and went past the keeper before slotting in, as he had done so many times in the past against this opposition - and it was good night Barcelona!

Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill (Bosingwa 13), Terry (c), Cole; Lampard, Mikel, Meireles; Mata (Kalou 57), Drogba (Torres 79), Ramires.
Unused subs Turnbull, Essien, Malouda, Sturridge.
Scorers Ramires 45+2, Torres 90+2.
Terry 36.
Booked Mikel 31, Ramires 44, Ivanovic 47, Cech 58, Lampard 71, Meireles 88.

Barcelona (3-1-4-2): Valdes; Puyol (c), Pique (Alves 25), Mascherano; Busquets; Cuenca (Tello 67), Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas (Kieta 73); Sanchez, Messi,
Unused subs Pinto, Adriano, Thiago, Pedro.
Scorers Busquets 34, Iniesta 43.
Booked Iniesta 49, Messi 70.
Referee Cüneyt Çakir from Turkey.
Crowd 95,845.

MatchDay 11 : Semi-Final 1st. Leg 

Wednesday 18th. April 7.45 pm. BST 

Barcalona (TippyTapping v Catch'EmKnapping)
SummaryA pulsating encounter at Stamford Bridge sees the Blues head to Spain next week with a slender 1-0 advantage after Didier Drogba's strike late in the first half proved the difference on the night.
It was a remarkable defensive performance by the Blues, carrying out Roberto Di Matteo's instructions to a tee, and while we lived dangerously at times, it was a result our bravery merited in the end.
Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas had gone close to opening the scoring for the visitors in the first half, while after the break Petr Cech saved well from Carlos Puyol. Right at the death, Thiago was denied by the post, but we held on for a famous win.
Ultimately, it was a fantastic result which stands us in good stead for the return leg next week, but our immediate attention now turns to a crucial league match away at Arsenal on Saturday.
Team newsFollowing Sunday's impressive 5-1 drubbing of Tottenham in the FA Cup semi-final, Roberto Di Matteo made only two changes to the side which started the game at Wembley. With David Luiz unavailable after aggravating his hamstring at the weekend, Gary Cahill made his first start in the Champions League since the away leg in Napoli, while there was also a start for Raul Meireles, who came in for Salomon Kalou, with Frank Lampard playing further forward. Drogba, so often the man for the big occasion, started up front for the Blues, with Fernando Torres named among the substitutes.
For Barcelona, Puyol, an injury doubt prior to the game, was passed fit and captained the side in central defence alongside Javier Mascherano, who was preferred to Gerard Pique.
First half With the visitors enjoying plenty of possession in the opening stages, Chelsea defended deep and looked to utilise the threat of Drogba on the break, and it almost paid dividends on two separate occasions, firstly when he failed to control a Cech kick, and soon after when he opted to take Puyol on instead of holding the ball up and waiting for support.
The Spanish side's ability to open teams up at will was all too apparent, however, when Andres Iniesta played a ball over the top of the Blues' back-four and Alexis Sanchez raced on to it before lifting his strike beyond Cech, only to see it bounce back off the bar.
It was a frenetic opening to the game, and while Drogba was penalised for a tackle on Sergio Busquets, the home crowd quickly became aggrieved as decision after decision went Barcelona's way.
Lionel Messi had been a peripheral figure for the opening 10 minutes, but a trademark run saw the Argentinian tee up Iniesta whose shot was parried by Cech. The rebound fell directly into the path of Cesc Fabragas, but as the former Arsenal man looked destined to break the deadlock, he scuffed his strike and allowed Chelsea to clear.
The ability of Pep Guardiola's side to retain possession before finding a killer pass was beginning to tell, and Cech had to be alert twice in quick succession to prevent Messi from opening the scoring, while Iniesta felt he was pulled down in the penalty area by Cahill, one of the few decisions that went our way early on.
Xavi, so often the man who makes the holders of the trophy tick, was dictating the pace of the game, with one particular pass seeking out Daniel Alves requiring a last-ditch clearance from Ashley Cole.
While we defended desperately, albeit resolutely, at times, as an attacking force we'd been virtually non-existent , with Victor Valdes not having a save to make.
Three minutes before the break, Mikel lost out to Messi on the halfway line, and as the forward broke at speed, he slipped in the advancing Fabregas to his left who cleverly lifted the ball beyond Cech, but as the away fans began to celebrate, Cole, once again, made a wonderful clearance off the line to keep the scores at bay.
Amazingly, and against the run of play, the Blues took the lead in added time of the first half with our first real attempt. Lampard sprayed it out wide to Ramires, and as the Brazilian fizzed a cross to the back post, Drogba was on hand to force his strike beyond the despairing dive of Valdes to give us a priceless advantage,his fifth goal in this season's tournament.
drogba goal

Second halfBarcelona, clearly stung by that late first-half sucker punch by Drogba, came out for the second half on the front foot, and Cech was forced into an impressive early save from a curling Adriano effort, while Cahill made a fantastic block from a Messi strike.
Minutes later we rode our luck once more when Sanchez fired wide after exchanging passes with Messi, before Alvez blazed high over the bar from an Iniesta cross.
It was Cahill again who brought a roaming Messi run to a halt as the Argentine exposed three Blues defenders, and our January acquisition was enjoying one of his most impressive games in a Blue shirt.
As the game wore on, Messi's influence on proceedings began to increase, and another marauding run required an expertly timed block from John Terry.
Chelsea v Barcelona
Guardiola, sensing an opening, made the first change of the evening, replacing Sanchez with Pedro in a straight swap, while both Ramires and the Barcelona substitute found themselves booked in the space of a couple of minutes for late, albeit fairly innocuous challenges.
Salomon Kalou was introduced to the action with just under 20 minutes, replacing a tired Juan Mata as Di Matteo sensed the necessity for fresh legs in a side who had been overrun for large parts of the game.
Fabregas made way for Thiago with 10 minutes left to play, but it was backs to the walls for the Blues as we came under an inevitable flurry of pressure from the European champions.
Much like the first 45 minutes, there was an impotency about our attacking play, with clear-cut opportunities few and far between, not that the home fans were bothered, as they sung their hearts out, willing their team on.
Cech made a stunning save with five minutes left on the clock, as Puyol flicked on a teasing Messi free-kick which was delivered at pace, making the stop all the more special.
Di Matteo replaced Ramires with Bosingwa in an attempt to shore things up in the closing stages, while Drogba became the second Chelsea player to have his name taken by Felix Brych.
Barcelona looked to have stolen a late equaliser in the dying seconds when Thiago's effort beat Cech, only to bounce back off the foot of the post, while Busquets could only smash the rebound high up into the Shed End.
Chelsea v Barcelona
It was to be the last chance of the game as the Blues recorded a famous victory.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill,Terry (c), Cole; Lampard, Mikel, Meireles; Mata (Kalou 73), Drogba, Ramires (Bosingwa 86).
Unused substitutes: Turnbull, Essien, Malouda, Torres, Sturridge.
Scorer: Drogba 45
Ramires 67, Drogba 85
Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Puyol (c), Mascherano, Adriano; Xavi (Cuenca 85), Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Sanchez (Pedro 65), Fabregas (Thiago 78).
Unused sustitutes: Pinto, Pique, Batra, Keita.
Pedro 69, Busquets 75
Referee: Felix Brych


MatchDay 10 : Wednesday 4th. April 2012 


 Frank Lampard opens the scoring for Chelsea against Benfica in the Champions League - 0


It took a late Raul Meireles goal to settle Chelsea nerves after a game that was drifting towards a comfortable if unspectacular home win was brought back to life by an 84th minute Benfica goal.
It was a much stronger performance by the Lisbon club than had been witnessed on their home turf but after Frank Lampard had put his side ahead from the penalty spot and the visitors had been reduced to 10 men by a sending off for Maxi Pereira, Chelsea were well on course for the semi-finals.
Roberto Di Matteo's men should have put the tie beyond all doubt in the second half but missed a handful of good chances and were then punished for poor set-piece defending by a Benfica side that had always carried a threat. Javi Garcia made it 1-1.
Fortunately with the Portuguese outfit committing men forward in stoppage time for the goal that would have sent them into the semi-final, Chelsea landed the sucker punch.

Team news There was just one change from the weekend win at Villa. Ramires, such a problem to Benfica left-back Emerson in the first leg, returned with Daniel Sturridge making way. Scorer in Portugal Salomon Kalou was on the other flank and Fernando Torres continued in attack. Didier Drogba was fit enough to return to the bench, while David Luiz, who came off on Saturday, was able to start.
In contrast, Benfica were missing both centre-backs from the first leg, captain Luisão and Jardel, so Emerson moved more across and Spanish World Cup winner Joan Capdevila came in on the left of their defence. Former Chelsea man Nemanja Matic was handed a start in midfield.
First half Chelsea had to defend almost non-stop for the first four minutes as Benfica, attacking the Shed End containing their fans, started with a high tempo. There were important block tackles from Lampard and John Terry on the edge of our area before we eventually took the ball inside the opposition half.
The Blues won our first corner on seven minutes, flicked on to David Luiz in space who rifled a shot goalwards, blocked well by the leg of Capdevila.
The Blues threatened to cut through the Portuguese side on the break soon after but Mata got his angles wrong in attempting to find Torres ahead of him. Mata had the ball in the net seconds later, but had run offside in the move.
The Slovenian ref wasn't slow to whistle up physical contact and on 18 minutes he produced a yellow card for the first time. David Luiz had anticipated well, nipping between Oscar Cardozo and the ball and receiving a kick on the ankle from the Benfica striker as a reward.
A minute later the ref was reaching for his card again, this time in the aftermath of awarding Chelsea a penalty. Cole had just taken down a lofted ball forward when he was bundled to the floor by the stand-in centre-back Garcia. Bruno Cesar and Maxi Pereira were booked in the aftermath.

Chelsea v Benfica
The keeper went the correct way with his dive but Lampard found the bottom corner with his spot kick. Chelsea were 2-0 up on aggregate with 20 minutes of the second leg played.
Five minutes later, there was more vulnerability at the back from Benfica when everyone missed a Cech long punt . Torres ran clear but wide and then picked out no one in blue with his ball across.
Aimar made it three Benfica bookings for dissent and four overall before his side came close to a goal with that rarest of sights in the modern game, a free-kick routine. Initially played out wide, it was eventually nodded down to Carodozo who beat Cech with his shot but Terry blocked on the line and Ivanovic cleared.
 Chelsea v Benfica
Ivanovic was the first Chelsea name in the book on 37 minutes for a trip on Gaitan after the previously high-standard Mikel and Ramires conspired to give away the ball. The Benfica free-kick that followed was played straight into the Chelsea wall.
The cards kept coming on this stop-start evening and when Pereira slid his studs into Mikel's shin, he saw his second yellow and had to walk early down the tunnel.

Chelsea v Benfica
Ramires was cautioned for a late tackle on Bruno Cesar who was now right-back. Prior to that the Brazilian made what was one of very few first-half Chelsea chances, firing across the area but just out of the reach of Torres and Kalou.

Second half
Three minutes after the restart, Cech needed to produce his best save of the game after Cardozo swung a leg at a bouncing ball and sent it towards the top corner. Our keeper dived, extended one of those long arms and sent the ball over.
A minute later and up the other end, Ramires somehow missed the chance for a Chelsea second after Kalou had deceived Bruno Cesar at the far post and shot for the opposite corner. His Brazilian team-mate slid in and made contact but the player rather than the ball ended up in the net.

Chelsea v Benfica
Torres turned sharply inside the area and looked to have placed his shot inside the post but it was deflected just wide and Kalou headed a Mata cross wide. Chelsea had started the second half much better than the first.
A second goal was coming but Artur saved acrobatically from Mata before Benfica made a surprising substitution, taking off Cardozo and bringing on Oliveira. Chelsea made a sub too, replacing Terry with Cahill. The skipper went straight down the tunnel for treatment.
Chelsea's grip on the half loosened a little when Ivanovic misdirected a header and another substitute, Djalo, had a goal-bound shot deflected wide by Cahill, but then Kalou, who was seeing plenty of ball on the left, should have scored but couldn't beat the keeper from close-range.
Mata was next to shoot wide, having been teed-up by a skilful Kalou pass but although there was more of a goal threat about Chelsea this half, we were looking less secure at the back. Djalo headed a cross just over Cech's crossbar.
On 74 minutes, MIkel spread the play out to Cole who crossed low. Kalou controlled it, spun but shot wide again.
The card count was much reduced in the second half and Cole and David Luiz managed to avoid bookings that would have ruled them out of the first game against Barcelona, but Mikel did pick up a caution for tripping Matic.
On 84 minutes came the Benfica goal. Cech had only just saved well to prevent Djalo heading in but from the corner that followed, Garcia ran unmarked to flick home with his head.

Chelsea v Benfica
Drogba was quickly introduced for Torres in attempt to keep more of the ball but Chelsea had not been the same defensively since Terry went off.
Happily, inside the four minutes of stoppage time that were played, another substitute, Meireles was able to charge from his own half against a depleted Benfica backline, stretched even further by a supporting run from Ramires. The Portuguese international, once again much booed by the Benfica fans, smashed the ball into the net and Chelsea were through.

Chelsea v Benfica
A repeat of the 2009 Champions League semi-final awaits, although this time Barcelona visit us first.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry (c) (Cahill 59), Cole; Mikel, Lampard; Ramires, Mata (Meireles 79), Kalou; Torres (Drogba 87).
Unused subs Turnbull, Ferreira, Essien, Sturridge,.
Scorers Lampard pen 20, Meireles 90+1.
Booked Ivanovic, Ramires 43, Mikel 78.
Benfica (4-1-3-2): Artur; Pereira (c), Garcia, Emerson, Capdevila; Matic; Bruno César (Rodrigo 72), Witsel, Gaitán (Djalo 61); Cardozo (Oliveira 56), Aimar.
Unused subs Subs: Eduardo, Almedia, Nolito, , Saviola.
Scorer Garcia 84.
Sent off Maxi Pereira 39.
Booked Cardozo 18, Bruno Cesar 19, Maxi Pereira 19, Aimar 26.
Referee Domir Skomina from Slovenia.
Crowd 37,264.

MatchDay 9 : Tuesday 27th. March 2012 

BenficaSL Benfica 0-1 Chelsea FCChelsea

Kalou scores
 A stark contrast to the Napoli away game as Chelsea matched the home side, defended well and snatched victory thanks to a second-half Salomon Kalou goal.
Benfica had chances, mostly for Oscar Cardoza, and Petr Cech had to save one well. We also survived a strong penalty appeal for handball by John Terry but we were rarely clinging on and could have scored more. Juan Mata hit the post and went close again late on in a second half that was far more eventful than the first.
Unlike our previous away games in this Champions League campaign, on this occasion one goal was enough as Chelsea win for the first time abroad in 13 months.
Team news
There was a surprise selection at right-back where Paulo Ferreira was given his first action of 2012. Branislav Ivanovic was not fit and Jose Bosingwa was on the bench. David Luiz replaced Gary Cahill in the centre.
John Obi Mikel and Raul Meireles were the deeper midfielders. Kalou came in wide on the left and Fernando Torres was preferred to Didier Drogba in attack.
Benfica made one change from their last Champions League outing, Pablo Aimar replacing Rodrigo as Oscar Cardozo's partner up front.

First half
 Prior to kick-off, David Luiz and Ramires went together to embrace their former manager Jorge Jesus and the Chelsea line-up was not short of players experienced in playing is this stadium, either for or against Benfica. What followed were 45 minutes of football during which the visiting side were pretty comfortable, if short of much goal threat ourselves.
There was danger in the fourth minute with the ball bouncing inside the Chelsea six-yard box and Ferreira not able to reach to clear, but it went wide of Cech's far post.

That moment apart however, it was a safe opening from the Blues who managed to pressure their red-shirted opponents into a few errors in midfield. David Luiz on 11 minutes spotted a gap and advanced before hitting a grasscutter wide of the Benfica goal.
On 14 minutes, Ramires clearly showed he had the legs on the Lisbon side's left-back Emerson, sprinting past to help Torres win a corner that keeper Artur punched away limply.

Benfica v Chelsea
On 17 minutes, Meireles was booked for tripping the flying Gaitan inside the centre-circle and Chelsea failed to mark up properly as the free-kick was taken quickly, but fortunately Cardozo put a chance wide. It would prove to be their best opportunity of the half.
The next shot was by Torres, taking a David Luiz pass on his chest and then hitting the ball on the turn before it bounced. An ambitious attempt, it was well off-target.

Benfica v Chelsea
Benfica midfielder Bruno Cesar was booked for a foul on the advanced Ferreira before there was another chance for Cardozo, a tougher one this time. He was marked by Terry as he headed a cross over. The tricky Aimar had cleverly drawn Mikel and Ramires towards him to make the space for the move.
Benfica were pressing high up the pitch and were beginning to take control. Bruno Cesar fancied his chances from distance but struck his shot straight at Cech.
On 38 minutes Chelsea made an overdue visit to the Benfica penalty area and Torres did well to surge past his initial marker but when he turned back on his left-foot, his shot flew several yards over.
Two minutes later Kalou teed up Meireles for our first shot on-target. Well-struck and swinging away, Artur had to dive to push it away.
Second half
No doubt conscious they had to make home advantage count, Benfica came out for the second-half with a vigour previously lacking. A throw into the Chelsea area wasn't headed far out by Meireles and Cardozo smacked a shot at the Chelsea goal that fortuitously hit David Luiz, back on the goal line. A foot either side of him and the Brazilian wouldn't have had time to react.
The Portuguese side kept the pressure on. Bruno Cesar struck another shot straight at Cech.
There was respite when Kalou went on a run and won a free-kick and then shortly after he nipped in front of his marker but headed a Torres cross over.
The placid first half was quickly becoming forgotten as the contest sprang to life. John Terry had been outstanding in dealing with Benfica's crosses and high balls towards Cardozo but he escaped unpunished on the hour when the ball hit his arm away from his body inside the penalty area, immediately after Cole had acrobatically blocked a shot.
The indignant Benfica would have been even more outraged had Mata scored moments later but instead the Spaniard struck woodwork. The angle had been very tight after the ball ran wide, Mata having beaten the out-rushing keeper to it, but it was still most definitely a chance.
So was Cardozo's on 66 minutes when the striker looked certain to score, meeting a diagonal cross at the far post but Cech doing brilliantly to push it away. Chelsea broke and it took a foul from Luisao to stop Ramires at the cost of a yellow card.
It was time for a Chelsea change, Lampard a 67th minute substitute for Meireles who as a former Porto man received an ear-splitting whistling from the home support. Benfica made two changes including introducing former Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic.
The Benfica fans were whistling again when Terry just about diverted a dangerous-looking pass with an outstretched foot but despite Cech picking it up, no back pass was the Italian ref's verdict.
Ramires had been among the pick of the Chelsea players and he played his part in the winning goal, taking a painful whack in the process as he played Torres in down the right. The centre-forward again showed his goal-making prowess by picking out Kalou among defenders for a close-range first-time finish.

Benfica v Chelsea
The Blues could have added a second on the breakaway when substitute Sturrridge charged forward and found Mata but his attempted chip was too high. Before that, Benfica sub Nolito had shot over.

Benfica v Chelsea
There was still work to do for Chelsea inside stoppage time before the win was secure but as the ball was hammered threatingly into the danger zone, Cole was once again airborne to make a tension-relieving clearance.
Prior to the end, Chelsea's goalkeeping coach was sent down the tunnel by the officials for a touchline misdemeanour, but that was certainly not going to spoil our night.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ferreira (Bosingwa 79), David Luiz, Terry (c), Cole; Meireles (Lampard 67), Mikel; Ramires, Mata, Kalou (Sturridge 82); Torres.
Unused subs Turnbull, Cahill, Essien, Drogba.
Scorer Kalou 74.
Booked Meireles 17,
Benfica (4-1-3-2): Artur; Pereira, Luisão (c), Jardel, Emerson; Garcia (Nolito 80); Gaitán, Witsel, Bruno César (Rodrigo 68); Aimar (Matić 68), Cardozo.
Unused subs Eduardo, Oliveira, Miguel Vitor, Saviola.
Booked Bruno Cesar 25, Luisão 66, Garcia 74.
Referee Paolo Tagliavento from Italy.
Crowd 60,830
 Big calls: Roberto Di Matteo has some tricky decisions to make

Matchday 8 : Wednesday 14th. March 2012

ChelseaChelsea FC 4 v 1 SSC Napoli Napoli 

Chelsea through 5-4 on agg.

MATCH REPORT on a Historic Night

Summary What a night! Plenty of talk before the game was about the possibility of another European classic at the Bridge and that is exactly what those watching enjoyed.
It needed extra time and a Branislav Ivanovic goal to win it but the Blues showed bags of character to turn this tie around.
We went ahead on the away goals rule just a minute into the second half of normal time, Didier Drogba having scored in the first half and then John Terry adding the second - both goals headers.
But then Napoli, who played their part in the occasion with a very watchable style of football, netted to take them back in front on aggregate, only for Frank Lampard to make the tie absolutely level from the penalty spot.
Goals looked possible at either end as the minutes ticked on but happily, it was the Blues who did the business to make the quarter-finals and maintain an English challenge in the competition.
Team news It was a new formation selected by Robbie Di Matteo, a 4-4-1-1 as Chelsea went for solidity with Juan Mata playing behind lone striker Didier Drogba.
David Luiz returned to central defence with Gary Cahill making way. In midfield Michael Essien replaced John Mikel Obi and Frank Lampard dropped back from his advanced role against Stoke, with Raul Meireles suspended. Daniel Sturridge took the place of Salomon Kalou but played on the right flank with Ramires unusually on the left.
Napoli were unchanged from the first leg.
First half Although Chelsea dominated possession at the very start, the game soon settled into the predicted pattern - the home team probing away in front of a well-manned opposition defence but then stretched from time to time by the rapid Napoli attacking play.
Lampard challenged Edinson Cavani hard in the opening seconds but conceded a free-kick on that occasion and Terry sent a header well off-target from a Chelsea free-kick, taken by Mata. The first proper effort was by Sturridge, a shot along the deck that the keeper scrambled past the post.
On nine minutes Napoli for the first time caused trouble for Chelsea, a Hamsik shot deflecting off Terry and needing Cech to quickly shift his weight and save with his legs. Three minutes later the Neapolitan side unleashed just the type of counter-attack that had hurt Chelsea in the first game - Maggio charging into space on the right and firing low to the far post where on this occasion, Cavani shot wide.
It was worrying times for the Blues and Cech was soon asked to save again, this time from Ezquiel Lavezzi after a very good pass had beaten the offside call.
The coveted early goal for Chelsea hadn't come. Midway through the half Ramires did well to take a Mata pass and spin into the area but the reputedly suspect Napoli rearguard was defending well.
It was hard to spot where a Chelsea breakthrough could come from but then Ramires was given the ball out by the left touchline and worked it onto his right foot for a cross. It was perfect for Drogba to head down into the bottom of the Shed End net. We were ahead on the night with 27 minutes played.
Chelsea v Napoli
We could have been ahead in the tie just a minute later had Hugo Campagnaro not reached the ball just in front of Drogba who looked certain to tap in a Sturridge cross.
The Napoli threat remained and Cavani dragged a shot wide after Inler had sent him clear to the frustration of the Napoli fans, but then Sturridge headed not too far wide at the other end.
There was a forced change for the Italian side 10 minutes before the break. Right wing-back Christian Maggio, so lively in the first leg, had not recovered from an early challenge from Ramires whose selection on that wing might have been to use his running against the Italian international. Maggio was replaced by former Liverpool man Andres Dossena.
Lampard was the first player cautioned, for a 42nd minute foul on Zuniga. It was a stop-start, whistled-filled end to the opening period. In stoppage time David Luiz hammered the ball into the six-yard box and Cannavaro stretched to cut it out, very much running the risk of an own goal in the process.
Second halfThe half was barely a minute old when Cannavaro carelessly headed over his own goal to give Chelsea a corner to cue up a time-honoured combination. Lampard placed his set-piece delivery towards the near-post area where Terry was running towards and the skipper flicked the perfect header over De Sanctis and in.
Chelsea v Napoli
Napoli had conceded a third of the goals against them this season from headers and it was proving their Achilles heel tonight. Now they had to score.
Cannavaro was booked for a foul on Lampard but the Napoli response was good as Chelsea were soon asked to do plenty of work back in our own area. We conceded an away goal on 54 minutes when Terry initially headed clear a cross but Inler controlled the ball on his chest and sweetly struck it into Cech's net from the edge of the area. Now Chelsea needed a goal.
Just prior to Napoli scoring, Di Matteo had been about to bring on Jose Bosingwa, possibly to play on the wing rather than at full-back, but that moment had passed. Instead Torres entered the action with just over an hour played.
The Spaniard was soon foraging hard inside the Napoli area and the ball broke to Ivanovic who smashed a shot that the keeper hurriedly blocked. Then after another Chelsea corner, Drogba battled, spun and unleashed a volley that needed the save of the game from De Sanctis to keep it out of the net.
Dossena was booked on 67 minutes for catching Essien on the thigh before Zuniga came off the flank to force another save from Cech. Some of the Chelsea defending was by now falling into the last-ditch category.
At the other end the corners kept coming, each one bringing hope, and there was a scramble after a sliced Napoli clearance when Drogba had headed on.
The Blues kept the pressure on and Napoli cracked, Dossena clearly handling an Ivanovic header and on this occasion it was spotted by a Champions League ref - Felix Brych from Germany pointing to the spot.
Chelsea v Napoli
 Lampard smashed the penalty in to make the scores level on aggregate with 74 minutes played.
The challenges from both sides strengthened. It was a night of blood and thunder, thrills and spills. The Stamford Bridge crowd responded.
With 86 minutes played, David Luiz did well to juggle the ball away from a lurking Cavani and moments later Walter Gargano launched an ambitious effort onto the roof of the Chelsea net. Before the 90 minutes were up, Drogba was wanting a penalty after he and Aronica tangled but this time the ref wasn't interested. Another 30 minutes was to be played.
Chelsea v Napoli
Extra time first half The Chelsea threat in the air continued on unchecked - Ivanovic this time heading a corner a yard wide, but then Napoli counter-punched with a fierce Hamsik volley that went equally close.

Malouda was the second Chelsea substitute introduced, replacing Mata four minutes into extra time with Bosingwa on three minutes later, a forced change due to a Terry injury. Rather than bring Cahill on, Ivanovic moved into central defence. Moments before that switch, Cole had been shown a yellow card for fouling Campagnaro.
De Sanctis in the Napoli goal had done well on the night but completely misjudged a long punt forward by Drogba, running underneath it to allow Torres in behind him, but the angle was always against the Spaniard finding the target.
A minute before the interval Chelsea did go ahead - Drogba the craftsman and Ivanovic applying the gleaming finish. In a tight space, the Ivorian wriggled clear enough to cross low and the Serbian turned it in first time from 12 yards out.
Extra time second half Ahead on aggregate, now Chelsea could play on the counter-attack and Torres made De Sanctis sprawl to save his long-range shot after Ramires had broken forward.

It was desperate times for the Italian side and Inler and Campagnaro were both booked. One goal for them would turn the tie from a Chelsea win to a Napoli one however, and football doesn't get any more tense than that.
We could have made it safe with less than a minute left on the clock after Malouda nicked possession high up the pitch and fed Drogba but he volleyed wide. But the four goals proved to be enough. It was time for 'One Step Beyond' as Chelsea took another step forward.
Chelsea v Napoli
We will discover our next opponents when the draw is made on Friday.
Chelsea (4-4-1-1): Cech; Ivanovic, D Luiz, Terry (c) (Bosingwa 97), Cole; Sturridge (Torres 62); Essien, Lampard, Ramires; Mata (Malouda 94); Drogba.
Unused subs Turnbull, Cahill, Mikel, Kalou.
Scorers Drogba 27, Terry 46, Lampard pen 74, Ivanovic 104.
Booked Lampard 42, Cole 97.
Napoli (3-4-3): De Sanctis; Campagnaro, Cannavaro (c), Aronica; Maggio (Dossena 36), Inler, Gargano, Zuniga; Hamsík, Cavani, Lavezzi.
Unused subs Rosati, Vargas, Dzemaili, Fernandez, Pandev, Britos.
Scorer Inler 54
Booked Cannavaro 52, Dossena 67, Inler 111, Campagnaro 114.
Referee Felix Brych from Germany.


Matchday 7 : Tuesday 21st. February 2012

Last 16 Knockout Stage 1st. leg

3-1Chelsea FC Chelsea 

SummaryA spirited display could not prevent the game turning on its head following Juan Mata's opener in Italy, yet we remain very much in this Champions League tie.

At the Stadio San Paolo against a Napoli side that has played its best football on the European stage this season, and after surviving a couple of early scares, we went ahead through Mata's controlled volley, only to see the lead turn into a deficit before half-time.
First, Ezequiel Lavezzi stroked home from the edge of the area and then in injury time Edinson Cavani turned the ball home as Chelsea failed to deal with a whipped cross across the box.
The second half began brightly too, but optimism faded when Lavezzi converted his second of the evening just after the hour, and although Chelsea continued to look for a way back into the game, it was Napoli who could have added to the score when Ashley Cole, a substitute on for the injured Jose Bosingwa early on, cleared Christian Maggio's effort off the line.
So we return to London with a two-goal deficit, but knowing we can do damage against Walter Mazzarri's side. The scene is set for one of those famous nights at Stamford Bridge.
Team news John Terry failed in his race to be fit for the game, and will now undergo an arthoscopy in order to determine the extent of his knee problem. Fellow injury doubt Ashley Cole was rated fit enough only for the subs' bench, meaning Jose Bosingwa started at left-back with Gary Cahill keeping his place in the centre of defence.
In midfield Andre Villas-Boas selected Florent Malouda ahead of both Frank Lampard and Michael Essien, with Raul Meireles chosen to sit deep, while Didier Drogba returned to lead the attack at the expense of Fernando Torres, who was among the substitutes.
Hosts Napoli were unchanged from their last Champions League group game, including defender Hugo Campagnaro who had been rated as a doubt.
First half Cahill, making his Champions League debut, had to be alert to cut out a clever Lavezzi reverse pass just into the second minute and shortly afterwards Petr Cech was quick off his line to punch clear with the diminutive Argentine giving chase.
It was the other South American that brought the first proper save from the Chelsea man however, Cavani the Uruguayan was found in space by Swiss midfielder Gokhan Inler, and with time to bring the ball down and pick his spot fired fairly straight and low, Cech blocking well with his feet.
Shortly afterwards Bosingwa required treatment and was forced to withdraw. On in his place came Cole with only 11 minutes on the clock.
After Walter Gargano won possession and fed Lavezzi, who in turn played in an offside Cavani, it looked as though the hosts were going to carve open the visitors at will and Maggio brought another cat-like stop from Cech before the 20-minute mark.
Chelsea were still getting forward and finding spaces in which to play on a sizeable San Paolo surface, but it was Napoli carrying all the threat, so imagine the surprise when Chelsea went in front before the half-hour.
A hurried passing move ended with Sturridge sending a loose pass into the home side's area, where Napoli captain Paolo Cannavaro scuffed his clearance to allow Juan Mata the opportunity to side-foot his volley home from 10 yards past the helpless Morgan De Sanctis.
Napoli v Chelsea
Despite all the pressure, all the negative publicity and recent poor results, Chelsea were in front against the odds. But could we hang on to the lead?
In the 10 minutes following the goal, Napoli failed to fashion any more chances, and the Blues, in black, went close through a David Luiz header from Mata's corner. That chance came about after a Daniel Sturridge break, where had he crossed with his weaker right foot rather than trying to go outside his marker, he may well have found an unmarked Mata for a second goal.
But, just when Villas-Boas's men may have been gaining confidence, Lavezzi struck, turning on the edge of the box and sending two Chelsea men the wrong way before curling neatly into the bottom corner beyond Cech.
Wounded, Chelsea came back and Ramires found himself with a decent chance almost immediately, but fired over with his left foot having accelerated past a Napoli defender on the area's edge.
The midfielder would have been rueing his miss by half-time, as it was he who had conceded the throw-in that eventually led to Napoli's second goal.
The ball was eventually worked from left to right where the cross was not prevented, and nor would it be cut out in flight, allowing Cavani the simplest of bundled finishes at the far post.
Awful timing, yet having scored once Chelsea must surely have felt it possible again in the second period, so long as we could tighten up.
Napoli v Chelsea
Second halfFour minutes into the second period Napoli's defence almost contrived to give us another slice of luck, a low corner diverted goalwards but cleared off the line before we could claim an equaliser.
Drogba, Mata and Malouda linked up to force a save, possibly a first of the game, from De Sanctis yet at the other end incisive passes were still too frequent to see, with Ramires and Meireles, forming a shield in front of the back four, too easily bypassed.
Mata fizzed another shot straight at De Sanctis while Lavezzi dragged a golden chance wide. Malouda then spurned a decent-looking volley before almost setting Drogba free with a lofted pass on the hour.
Chelsea were taking the game to Napoli, admirable in a hostile atmosphere, but the task became a whole lot harder on 64 minutes as the hosts doubled their advantage.
David Luiz was beaten by Cavani following a long ball from Campagnaro, and the forward then squared the ball to Lavezzi, taking an advanced Cech out of the game and allowing the Argentine to sweep home his second goal of the evening.
Napoli v Chelsea
Villas-Boas called for Lampard and Essien, replacements with experience aplenty. With Meireles and Malouda withdrawn, Chelsea switched to a diamond midfield with Mata at its head, and Sturridge joined Drogba in attack.
This also prompted a slight change in approach, with more direct balls played up to Drogba in the hope that others would be able to support the target man. With men committed forward though we were more open than ever at the back.
Another Napoli break saw the ball squared by Marek Hamsik and Maggio poke towards goal only for Cole to be covering with a two-footed clearance right on the line. It was an intervention that may just have kept us alive.
Napoli v Chelsea
Drogba turned over on the stroke of 90 minutes, and Lampard saw a long-range effort held by De Sanctis as we pushed for a late goal to tighten things up, but there was no breakthrough and so we return home needing a sizeable but not impossible victory.
Napoli (3-4-2-1): De Sanctis; Campagnaro, Cannavaro (c), Aronica; Maggio, Inler, Gargano, Zuniga; Hamsik (Pandev 81), Lavezzi (Dzemaili 73); Cavani.
Unused subs Rosati, Grava, Dossena, Fernandez, Britos.
Goals Lavezzi 37, 64 Cavani 45+1
Booked Cavani 39

(4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, David Luiz, Bosingwa (Cole 11); Ramires, Meireles (Essien 69); Sturridge, Mata, Malouda (Lampard 69); Drogba (c).
Unused subs Turnbull, Mikel, Kalou, Torres.
Goals Mata 26
Booked Meireles 40, Cahill 55
Referee Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain)
Attendance 52,495

Matchday 6 : 6th. December 2011


SUMMARYWhat was all the fuss about? Chelsea are through to the last 16 of the Champions League after a brilliant home win, with goals courtesy of a Didier Drogba pair and Ramires.
It had all looked so dangerous before the game, with victory needed to absolutely guarantee qualification, but nerves were quickly settled when after two minutes Drogba had put us in front when he danced around a defender inside the box and smashed low into the bottom corner.
The same player turned creator for the second when he sent Ramires through, though the goal owed as much to the midfielder's persistence in chasing a speculative through ball as it did the slide-rule pass in behind the defence.
It was not all plain sailing though, as in between Valencia struck a post and Petr Cech pulled off a save of world-class proportions to deny David Albelda an equaliser, but Chelsea rarely looked threatened afterwards.
Drogba rolled in a third 15 minutes from time to make three huge points safe, and the Stamford Bridge party could begin.
Genk's draw at home to Bayer Leverkusen only served to improve the mood, as we sneak through top of the group into next Friday's draw for the last 16.
BEST MOMENTA minute after netting the third, Drogba was withdrawn to huge applause around the Bridge having turned in one of his best displays in memory, a performance quickly acknowledged to the 33-year-old by every member of Chelsea's backroom team and substitutes.
TEAM NEWSThere was one change from the side that started at Newcastle on Saturday, Frank Lampard replaced in midfield by Raul Meireles which meant Drogba kept his place in attack having scored the first of our three at the weekend.
Chelsea v Valencia
Oriol Romeu continued at the base of the midfield for his fourth consecutive start having impressed over the past 10 days, so that meant John Mikel Obi joined Lampard and Fernando Torres among the subs.
Only Michael Essien and Josh McEachran were unavailable for selection ahead of this one, though Andre Villas-Boas had stated at the weekend that while the futures of Alex and Nicolas Anelka were in doubt, they would not be taking part in first-team activity.
FIRST HALFAndre Villas-Boas and his men knew a win would guarantee a place in the last 16, but anything else would throw qualification into serious doubt.
A goalless draw would suffice provided Genk did not beat Bayer Leverkusen in the group's other game tonight, but a score draw would see Chelsea eliminated on goals scored to the benefit of our Spanish opposition.
If ever there was cause for nerves, this was it, yet it was the visitors who succumbed to the pressure. Inside three minutes Valencia had given the ball away needlessly four times, and after Meireles had tested Diego Alves with a bending effort, we went in front through Drogba.
Daniel Sturridge nicked the ball inside the Valencia half and crossed deep to former Valencia man Mata, who brought the ball down and pulled it back for the forward to control and fire home with his left foot into the far corner.
Valencia were quickly on the lookout for an equaliser though, and before five minutes were up they had struck the woodwork when attacking left-back Jordi Alba had broken into the Chelsea box and cracked an effort against Petr Cech's near post with the goalkeeper beaten.
Minutes later David Albelda, the captain, had produced a stunning drive from range destined for the top corner until Cech extended every inch of his 6ft 5ins frame to tip it behind for a corner.
There had not yet been time to pause for breath and this was perhaps just as well, because when respite did come the vulnerability of Chelsea's position came immediately to mind. One Valencia goal would still knock us out.
There was enough experience in this Chelsea side to stand strong though, Cech had done his bit, John Terry was clearing everything inside the box, and then Drogba created a second, killer goal.
The Ivorian showed pace and power to run at the away defence before adding a little guile too, slipping a ball through for Ramires in behind the defence, and while defender Victor Ruiz was favourite, the Brazilian had determination to succeed, got round his man and slotted it calmly beyond Diego Alves. This had been the perfect start, with 21 minutes on the clock.
Chelsea v Valencia
Sturridge had a right-footed drive pushed around the post and Meireles flashed one wide while at the other end Tino Costa drove two yards off target with Chelsea looking comfortable despite Valencia enjoying the majority of possession.
The Blues went in at the break looking in complete control, though Villas-Boas will have warned that one slip would allow Valencia straight back into contention.
SECOND HALFA low-key start to the second half came to life when Romeu set Sturridge away on a counter-attack after winning the ball on the edge of his own box, and having skinned his marker, Sturridge forced Diego Alves into a decent stop at his near post.
Cech was called into action when Sofiane Feghouli broke into the box but the keeper was on fine form and able to palm the shot away, before defensive reinforcement arrived in the form of John Mikel Obi who replaced Ramires in midfield. He would sit deep alongside Romeu, allowing Meireles to go foraging further forward in what effectively became a 4-2-3-1.
Valencia still searched but it was Drogba who should have netted to kill the contest. Sturridge produced some classy footwork and sent the forward away in a tussle with a defender, and having beaten his man should have hit the net but, under pressure, dragged wide across goal.
Even at that stage, with a little under 20 minutes still to play, it did not look like mattering too much. Then, when Drogba went through once more, he made it absolutely sure that his previous miss could be forgiven, rolling the ball calmly beyond Diego Alves after Mata had been gifted the ball in dangerous territory.
Chelsea v Valencia
Moments later Drogba departed the field, with Torres on in his place, to rapturous applause from an adoring Stamford Bridge.
Cech had to palm away an Aritz Aduriz header and clutch onto a Pablo Hernandez drive as the minutes ticked away, but the win was never in doubt and the Blues go marching into the knockout rounds.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry (c), Cole; Ramires (Mikel 64), Romeu, Meireles; Sturridge, Drogba (Torres 77), Mata (Malouda 82).
Unused subs Turnbull, Ferreira, Lampard, Kalou.
Goals Drogba 2, 75 Ramires 21
Booked Romeu 67
Valencia (4-2-3-1): Diego Alves; Barragan, Rami, Victor Ruiz, Jordi Alba (Aduriz 54); T Costa (Parejo 75), Albelda (c); Feghouli (Pablo Hernandez 64), Jonas, Mathieu; Soldado.
Unused subs Guaita, Mehmet Topal, Piatti, Dealbert.
Tino Costa 68
Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)
Crowd 41,109


 Chelsea Win The Group With Levekusen in Second Place

 Group E


1Chelsea FC Chelsea FC6300021321134911
2Bayer 04 Leverkusen Bayer 04 Leverkusen630001231288010
3Valencia CF Valencia CF621001222212758
4KRC Genk KRC Genk6030003033216-14  3

Matchday 5 : 23rd. November 2011

Summary With 90 minutes played, it looked as if Chelsea were to draw away 1-1 for the third time in this group stage but then the home team struck a sickening blow, scoring from a corner to leave just a point covering the top three sides going into the final games.
After a largely forgettable first half in which Michael Ballack had hit woodwork for the Germans, again from a corner, it was Didier Drogba who fired the Blues ahead early in the second half.
Cech then kept Ballack out with two fine saves but it still proved a lead Andre Villas-Boas's side could not hold onto, Leverkusen equalising with 72 minutes played of what had been a fairly even encounter. Chelsea had chances to restore the lead but it was Leverkusen who tool theirs.
A win or a 0-0 draw at home to Valencia  in two weeks' time is now imperative.
Team news Ashley Cole suffered an ankle injury in training so did not take part. He is rated as a 60 per cent chance of making the game against Wolves at the weekend. Ryan Bertrand is ineligible for the Champions League squad so Jose Bosingwa was asked to play left-back with Branislav Ivanovic on the right.
Raul Meireles came in for John Mikel Obi in midfield and Daniel Sturridge replaced Florent Malouda in attack. Didier Drogba began his first Champions League game of the season.
Bayer Leverkusen made four changes from the side that lost at Stamford Bridge, three in defence where only Michal Kadlec remained. Gonzalo Castro came in on the right of midfield. Michael Ballack started complete with Cech-style nose mask.
First half Leverkusen had the early territorial advantage but with little menace to their attack. Chelsea's first foray forward floundered on a lack of understanding between Lampard and Bosingwa down the left.
On 12 minutes Sturridge escaped into space in the box and hammered the ball square but Leno in the home goal caught well.
Leverkusen v Chelsea
There was an interruption just past the quarter-of-an-hour mark when David Luiz went down hurt having challenged for an aerial ball that had come back off Bosingwa. The stretcher came on but wasn't need as the Brazilian walked off the pitch for treatment. He continued soon after.
The cagey start to the game continued past the halfway mark in the first period. Chelsea won a free-kick over 30 yards from goal but Lampard's ambitious attempt had far too much height on it.
Chelsea's first shot on target came in the 29th minute - a Drogba free-kick but it was comfortable for the keeper.
Three minutes later Chelsea were far more concerned when Ballack got to a corner first and from close range, headed against the bar. The former Chelsea midfielder's aerial prowess is not diminished.
The home side's centre-forward Kiessling had been losing out to Terry in the physical contest so far and when he dropped deeper, his foul on Bosingwa earned him a booking.
It had been an even contest for a while but as half-time approached there was the promising sign of Chelsea finishing the half the stronger side.
Drogba had the best Chelsea chance so far when he was put through on the right side of the area by a touch of Sturridge class but from out wide the Ivorian shot over. It wasn't a straightforward chance but was one well within his capabilities.
Then with three minutes remaining Sturridge held the ball in an advanced position, allowing Mata the chance to shot but without the power to beat the keeper. That was another presentable chance. Chelsea moved forward quickly once more and after Lampard had been halted in front of goal, Sturridge tried to curl one in from distance but Leno claimed.
Late on Ballack was shown a yellow card for dissent, Kadlec having earlier gone in the book to make it 3-0 on cautions at the interval.
Second halfDrogba may not have made the most of it the first time Sturridge had set him up with an opening but he was making no mistake second time. In possession with his back to goal 15 yards out, he was initially well policed but then turned inside in trademark style and found the bottom corner.

Leverkusen v Chelsea
Ivanovic then tried to hammer home the advantage but his shot from distance was too straight, The Serbian then became Chelsea's first booked player for a foul on Sam.
For a minute just before the hour, the game turned into a duel between the two masked men, first Cech tipping over at full stretch after an adept bicycle kick by Ballack, and then when the same player got on the end of a ball into the six-yard box, it looked for all the world a goal but Cech somehow parried from point-blank range.
Leverkusen v Chelsea

There was an escape soon after as substitute Schurrle headed straight into the Chelsea keeper's arms.
It was a strong few minutes by Bayer but when Terry cleared a Ballack cross, Sturridge was able to use his pace to run from his own half past his marker. He made space outside the last defender but couldn't then beat the keeper.
Malouda and Alex were introduced in quick succession, Mata and David Luiz making way. Bayer made a change too, Derdiyok coming on and it paid off almost immediately for the home team.
Sam was the player who was found in space on the left and with Cech exposed and covering the potential shot, the winger chipped the ball over to Derdiyok at the far post who headed in. There were 72 minutes played.
Drogba thought he should have had a penalty when he was tumbled in the box as Chelsea looked for a response but there was nothing given. The game was very much in the balance.
It looked to be opening up for Chelsea when Malouda floated a ball over to Drogba who was not tightly marked but he volleyed wide. Instead it was the home side who snatched it as stoppage time began. From a corner, Friedrich got above Alex on the penalty spot to head in off the underside of the bar.
Leverkusen v Chelsea
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ivanovic, D Luiz (Alex 68), Terry (c), Bosingwa; Ramires, Meireles (Mikel 79), Lampard; Sturridge, Drogba, Mata (Malouda 65).
Unused subs Turnbull, McEachran, Kalou, Torres.
Scorer Drogba 47.
Booked Ivanovic 54, Meireles 71.
Leverkusen (4-2-3-1): Leno; Schwaab (Schürrle 56), Friedrich, Toprak, Kadlec (Derdiyok 70); Bender, Rolfes (c); Castro, Ballack, Sam; Kiessling (Oczipka 81).
Scorer Derdiyok 72, Friedrich 90.
Unused subs Giefer, Reinartz, Ortega, Jørgensen.
Booked Kiessling 35, Kadlec 39, Ballack 43.
Referee Viktor Kassai from Hungary.


Matchday 4 : 1st. November 2011



Chelsea surrendered a first-half lead once more as we could only draw at Genk despite controlling long periods of our Champions League Group E game.
It had all looked so straightforward when Ramires had advanced through a static home defence to fire Chelsea into a 26th minute lead, an advantage that should have been doubled when David Luiz took responsibility before the break, the Brazilian's spot kick saved by Genk goalkeeper Laszlo Koteles.
The miss would come back to haunt the Blues on the hour mark when striker Jelle Vossen levelled from close range, Genk's first goal in this competition, to earn his side an unlikely point.
The introduction of Frank Lampard to central midfield shortly after Genk's goal handed the initiative back to the Blues, but it was the England midfielder who would miss the best opportunity to win the game, getting his footing wrong as he failed to connect with a low Daniel Sturridge cross just feet from the Genk goal line.
Florent Malouda almost snatched it for Chelsea at the death, but in the end we had to settle for a draw, and further question marks over our defending under pressure.
The draw is no disaster in the context of Champions League qualification however, with Bayer Leverkusen beaten at Valencia, leaving us still in command at the top of Group E.
Such was the strength of our position in this group, Andre Villas-Boas was again able to rotate his squad and still feel confident of achieving a result.
John Terry and Frank Lampard were both rested but available from the bench with David Luiz recalled to defence, while Raul Meireles started in midfield with Oriol Romeu in for the injured John Mikel Obi.
In attack, Fernando Torres continued with Didier Drogba left at home following a medical procedure on his arm, with Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka on the flanks.
Chelsea were in the all black away kit, which for the first time featured the Right to Play logo across the back, a feature recently permitted by Uefa.
In spite of their 5-0 thrashing at Stamford Bridge a fortnight earlier, Genk started the game playing the better football but visibly lacked the killer edge that Robin van Persie had shown against the Blues just a few days earlier. As a result it was Koteles, the home goalkeeper, who was called into action first when Ramires poked a shot goalwards from the edge of the box in the ninth minute.
That move prompted Chelsea to take a better grip on the game, threatening down the left through the old combination of Malouda and Cole, with Meireles gaining plenty of ball-time in central midfield.
While Meireles sat in the centre, his midfield partner galloped forward and it was Ramires who would open the scoring for Chelsea after 25 minutes, taking control of a loose ball after some sloppy Genk play and driving on, exchanging passes with Torres before shooting low through the legs of the keeper from a tight angle.
As at the Bridge, the Belgians had created their own problems, and they nearly worsened on the half-hour when Torres flashed an effort just wide from 25 yards, and Ramires headed a Cole cross wide of the post.
An exquisite Chelsea move involving Cole and Meireles sent Malouda into the area with space to pick his pass, but his Torres-bound ball was cut out by Khaleem Hyland, who had to hold his breath to see the ball drop wide of the post for a corner. Villas-Boas's side were in complete control as half-time approached.
Wave after wave of Chelsea attack continued. Meireles struck the angle of post and bar after David Luiz and Torres had teed him up, and then came a chance to kill the game.
Malouda attempted a cross but at close quarters the ball struck Thomas Buffel's arm - penalty to Chelsea.
David Luiz stepped up confidently and struck cleanly, but Koteles guessed correctly and palmed the ball away low to his right. It would prove a frustrating moment after half-time.
Genk's Kevin De Bruyne passed up the opportunity to advertise himself to potential suitors when he scuffed a decent chance five minutes after the break, following patient right to left build-up from the home side. Chelsea were rumoured to be interested in the winger this summer, having already signed his former team-mate, the goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Cech had to dive bravely at the feet of Kennedy Nwanganga to preserve Chelsea's lead a couple of minutes later after the back four went missing with the ball bouncing around the away side's penalty area.
A couple of corners had the home fans in the mood too as they willed their side forward once more, and their reward would arrive on the hour.
Fabien Camus, absent at the Bridge, strode into the area down Chelsea's right and pulled back into the danger area where forward Jelle Vossen stroked the ball beyond Cech and into the net.
Villas-Boas cannot have been impressed with his side's second-half output, and wrung the changes with 25 minutes remaining, introducing Lampard and Daniel Sturridge for Ramires and Anelka.
Whether it was the shock of conceding or the changes brought by the manager, Chelsea began to wrestle control back from the hosts and Meireles could have headed us back into the lead when he met a Malouda cross, instead heading straight at the goalkeeper.
Lampard missed an even easier one on 78 minutes when Sturridge ploughed into the box and crossed low, the midfielder failing to make contact with the ball despite having a good view of the incoming delivery.
At the other end Cech had to advance off his line again to stop substitute Anthony Limbombe sliding Genk into an unlikely lead after De Bruyne had weighted a smart pass through the channel, but as the clock ticked over the 90-minute mark it was Malouda who could have snatched a win for the visitors.
The Frenchman did everything right, lifting the ball over Koteles from the tightest of angles, but between them the two covering defenders managed to scramble the ball behind for only a corner.
It was the last chance in a game Chelsea will feel we should have won, but could still have lost. The task for the manager is to rebuild confidence before Saturday's awkward-looking trip to the Premier League's bottom side, Blackburn.
Genk (4-4-2): Koteles; Vanden Borre, Hyland, Nadson, Ngongca; Buffel (Ndabashinze 68), Tozser (c), Camus, De Bruyne; Vossen (Barda 86), Nwanganga (Limbombe 81).
Unused subs Sandomierski, Sarr, Durwael, Ofori-Appiah.
Goals Vossen 60
Booked De Bruyne 75
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech (c); Bosingwa, Ivanovic, David Luiz, Cole; Ramires (Lampard 65), Romeu (Mata 76), Meireles; Anelka (Sturridge 65), Torres , Malouda.
Unused subs Turnbull, Terry, McEachran, Kalou.
Goals Ramires 25
Booked Meireles 90
Attendance 22,584



Matchday 3 : 18-19 October 2011

SummaryAn impressive, ruthless performance from Chelsea saw us consolidate our position at the top of Group E, and register our best ever win in the Champions League at Stamford Bridge.
Two goals in the opening 10 minutes, from Raul Meireles and Fernando Torres set the tone for what was to come, and some devastating finishing, particularly in the first half, made it as comfortable an evening as Andre Villas-Boas is likely to enjoy all season. Torres netted again and Branislav Ivanovic and substitute Salomon Kalou also made the scoresheet.
A win in Belgium in a fortnight's time will all but ensure qualification from the group, but Villas-Boas will want his side to finish top of the pile in order to keep away from the big guns in the knockout stages of the competition.
While Barcelona, Real Madrid and the two Manchester clubs hog the limelight, Chelsea will relish their tag as dark horses of the tournament.
Best MomentGood or bad, Fernando Torres is simply a headline writer's dream, and while he will be disappointed not to have walked away with the match ball, his first-half brace was a timely reminder to his critics that the Spanish striker is slowly but surely recapturing the form which led to Chelsea paying £50million for his services.
Chelsea v Genk
Team NewsAndre Villas-Boas made six changes from the Chelsea side which beat Everton 3-1 on Saturday. David Luiz replaced captain John Terry in central defence, whilst Oriel Romeu and Raul Meireles came in for John Mikel Obi and the injured Ramires in midfield. Fernando Torres, still serving a domestic suspension, spearheaded the attack, with Florent Malouda on the left and Nicholas Anelka on the right.
Genk were severely depleted, particularly in defence, with captain David Hubert, Jose Nadson, Torben Joneleit and Jeroen Simaeys all missing through injury. On the plus side for manager Mario Been, creative midfielder Daniel Pudil and top-scorer Jelle Vossen, who were both expected absentees, were passed fit and started.
First HalfFernando Torres created the first opportunity of the game in the third minute with a fantastic turn which left two Genk defenders in his wake on the halfway line, before he found Malouda out wide, but the Frenchman's delivery was turned behind for a corner.
Only minutes later the Spaniard could, and probably should, have put the Blues in front, when he was put through by a fantastic flighted ball from Raul Meireles, but Torres could only nudge his effort onto the post.
Chelsea weren't to be denied a minute later, though, when a sublime Meireles effort from just outside the Genk box flew beyond the stranded Laszlo Koteles into the bottom corner to give the Portuguese midfielder his first goal for the Blues.
Chelsea v Genk
Four minutes later and the lead was doubled when Torres, intelligently played in by captain for the night Frank Lampard, finished in trademark fashion for his first goal in the competition since he, somewhat ironically, netted against the Blues for Liverpool in the 2008/09 quarter-final at Anfield.
Twenty-year-old Romeu, making his first start in the Champions League for Chelsea, was showing no sign of inexperience or fear in central midfield, orchestrating things effortlessly with a combination of tough tackling and simple, efficient passing.
Florent Malouda, so instrumental down the left in the opening exchanges, should have made it 3-0 in the 22nd minute but he could only steer Torres's cross just past the post.
The Spaniard had his second of the night and Chelsea's third a minute later, expertly getting in front of his man to head home from an exquisite Meireles cross from wide on the right.
Chelsea v Genk
The midfield trio of Romeu, Lampard and Meireles were completely running the show, and the injury-ravaged Belgians had no answer for the pass-and-move style of play which Villas-Boas is so keen to implement.
Lampard almost made it 4-0 just after the half-hour mark only to see his header from Torres's cross narrowly miss the target.
David Luiz was then on the receiving end of the type of tackle he is renowned for giving out, before dusting himself down and taking the resulting free-kick, but the flamboyant Brazilian's effort was comfortably saved.
Genk, to their credit, refused to cave in, but their rare attacks often broke down in the final third before they had a chance to test the virtual spectator Petr Cech in the Chelsea goal.
Five minutes before the break, a fantastic counter-attack involving Torres and Lampard came to nothing when Nicholas Anelka, a surprisingly peripheral figure up until this point, shot wide from just inside the penalty area when he should really have done better.
It was 4-0, however, a minute later when Branislav Ivanovic rose above the sloppy Genk defence to head home Malouda's free-kick to end the game as a contest.
Chelsea v Genk
Second HalfWith Sunday's west London derby against QPR in mind, Villas-Boas replaced Ashley Cole with Paulo Ferreira at the break, making full use of his favoured rotation policy and giving fringe players some much-needed game time.
Some neat interplay between Bosingwa and Anelka down the right-hand side almost resulted in a chance two minutes after the restart but the veteran forward's inviting delivery was turned behind for a corner.
Thomas Buffel had the visitors' first real sight of goal when he found himself unmarked at the far post, but he dithered on the ball and found his weak effort blocked by Ivanovic.
Torres opted for the spectacular in the 53rd minute when he attempted to turn and volley a floated pass from the technically-gifted Luiz, but the Spaniard failed to connect. Malouda should have scored soon after when he was clean through on goal, but his tame effort was easily stopped by Koteles.
Lampard was then penalised for his honesty in the 58th minute after attempting to stay on his feet when he was clearly fouled in the Genk penalty area. The Blues were again dominating possession but, unlike in the first-half, they lacked a cutting-edge in front of goal.
Jose Bosingwa then tested the palms of Koteles with a stinging effort from distance, but the keeper was equal to it, before Villas-Boas made his second change of the night, replacing Lampard with Salomon Kalou.
The Ivorian striker had to wait only four minutes for his first goal of the season, reacting first and finishing from close range, after Koteles had denied Torres his hat-trick.
Chelsea v Genk
Alex then went close with a trademark free-kick from distance with practically his first touch of the ball, but his effort fizzed wide of the post.
As the game petered out into what amounted to little more than a glorified training session for the home side, Malouda met a pinpoint Ferreira cross from out wide on the left, but his header sailed high over the crossbar.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Bosingwa (Alex 77), Ivanovic, David Luiz, Cole (Ferreira h/t); Meireles, Romeu, Lampard (c)(Kalou 67); Anelka, Torres, Malouda.
Subs not used Turnbull, Mikel, Mata, Sturridge.
Scorers Meireles 7, Torres 10, 26, Ivanovic 41, Kalou 71.
Booked D Luiz 16.,
Genk (4-4-2): Koteles; Ngongca, Masuero (Camus h/t), Tozser (c), Pudil; Buffel, Vanden Borre, Hyland, De Bruyne; Vossen (Nwanganga 80), Barda (Ndabashinze 70)
Subs not used Sandomierski, Derwael, Limbombe, Ogunjimi
Booked Hyland 14, Pudil 41.
Referee Aleksei Nikolaev (Russia)
Crowd 38,518

Matchday 2 : 27-28 September 2011 

Summary A Valencia penalty in the dying minutes of the game denied Chelsea a third win out of three visits to the Mestalla. Frank Lampard, with his 20th Champions League goal, had given the Blues a second-half lead deserved on chances created.
After a tight first half of few opportunities created, both keepers put in star performances in the second half, Valencia's Diego Alves in particular with a strong claim to be man of the match. Fernando Torres was denied with one special stop and after the home team had levelled, Nicolas Anelka could have won it for the Blues but for the keeper's good form.
Best MomentOn his first start in three games and following his manager answering numerous questions on the player in the pre-match press conference, Lampard was always going to be a good bet for first goal in this game, and although he made it look simple, the accuracy achieved with a first-time srike on a ball coming across the pitch is worth appreciating.
Team news
Andre Villas-Boas made one change in each of the defence, midfield and attack, bringing in David Luiz for Branislav Ivanovic, Frank Lampard for Raul Meireles and Florent Malouda for Nicolas Anelka. Malouda played on the left with Juan Mata switching to the right.
Valencia were able to welcome back their captain David Albelda back into their midfield. He missed their weekend defeat at Sevilla.
First half Valencia looked to have anything but a solid defence in the opening five minutes. First they gifted the ball to Fernando Torres but the Spaniard took a strong touch as he raced towards goal and then couldn't win a chase with the last defender. Malouda then benefitted from similar generosity by Ever Banega and as he tried to thread the ball through to crowd to Ramires in the area, it was cleared for a corner that keeper Diego Alves punched away very unconvincingly.
Valencia v Chelsea
Valencia put together a couple of promising moves with Sergio Canales at the heart of them but Petr Cech was able to deal with the end results before Chelsea broke from the back, David Luiz sending Ramires haring into their half. Having beaten one player, a great run was ended by a foul from centre-back Victor Ruiz who could have been judged last man by a harsher ref. Instead he was shown yellow and Chelsea didn't capitalise from the free-kick that Lampard hit too straight.
Chelsea survived a couple of Valencia corners midway through the half and although the home side were finding space with intelligent movement when they went forward, they weren't creating chances.
That was until Alba got forward from left-back with Ramires briefly off the field for treatment. His ball into the near post was struck first time by Soldado but happily into the sidenetting. That was a close as either side came to scoring in the first 45 minutes.
Both sides enjoyed spells in possession and it needed Terry at his most defiant when centre-forward Soldado was threatening to find the room to shoot. Cech continued to gather speculative balls into his six-yard box.
Valencia v Chelsea
Mata, who had been quiet on his return to the Mestalla, played one of the passes of the game so far as half-time approached, across the pitch to Cole who headed into what could have been the danger zone but for the lack of blue shirts.
Pablo Hernandez spun sharply and tested Cech from distance before the half came to a close but our keeper had not been truly extended by the interval, and Chelsea in what looked our toughest fixture at the start of the group stage could be satisfied with that.
Second halfIt was all about the Valencia keeper Diego Alves at the start of the second period. Firstly he pulled off a marvellous diving save to keep out Torres's firm header after Bosingwa's cross had found our number 9 just six yards out. Then moments later he stood up and saved from Ramires who had used great pace to make the most of a Lampard pass and really should have scored.
Valencia v Chelsea
The one-man defence continued with another save from Torres followed by a stop with his foot when Valencia defender Victor Ruiz could only divert a hard, low cross at his own goal.
There was, however, nothing Alves could do except stand rooted on 56 minutes when Malouda's right-foot ball across the box fell to Lampard, just inside of the area, and the vice-captain was unerring in his low finish, as he has been so many times before.
Valencia v Chelsea
That had most certainly been coming although the Valencia threat had also been greater than in the first half, one slightly over-hit cross having a less-than-full Mestalla gasping, and Cech dealing well with an angled shot with the game still scoreless.
Later in the half and with Chelsea by now ahead, Terry was in place to kick clear when Cech had left his goal to address danger and had been bypassed by a cross. Cech did very well on 70 minutes to save from substitute Piatti and Chelsea escaped when Rami planted a header just wide when a cross cleared David Luiz.
Cech saved again from Fegholi and Piatti shot wide with Valencia knowing they were only 15 minutes from defeat and piling on the pressure.
Chelsea could have eased it by scoring a killer goal when Lampard teed up Malouda but his low shot was saveable.
Cech's best save of the game came with just five minutes left on the clock, a full-length effort from Jonas's sweetly struck shot, but the deserved and overdue clean sheet was not to arrive.
Substitute Kalou who had not been long on the pitch was judged to have handled when a corner was delivered into a crowd. He might have been pushed. Soldado converted the penalty.
With 89 mins on the clock, it was Anelka's turn to be kept out by Diego Alves who one-on-one with the Chelsea substitute, saved from close range with his leg.
At the final whistle, Cole and Mata picked up bookings for protesting that a free-kick had not been allowed to be taken. It was a night when a point was not a bad return, but we could have easily taken more.

(4-3-3): Cech; Bosingwa, D Luiz, Terry (c), Cole; Ramires (Meireles 65), Mikel, Lampard (Kalou 82); Mata, Torres (Anelka 72), Malouda.
Unused subs Turnbull, Ivanovic, Romeu, Drogba.
Scorer Lampard 56
Booked Kalou 86, Malouda 90+2, Mata 90+3, Cole 90+3.
Valencia (4-2-3-1): D Alves; Miguel, Rami, Víctor Ruiz, Jordi Alba; Albelda, Éver (Jonas 72) ; Pablo (Feghouli 72), Canales, Mathieu (Piatti 58); Soldado.
Unused subs Guaita, Bruno Saltor, Maduro