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Chelsea profit from Meira mistake

Published: Thursday 26 February 2004, 0.10CET
VfB Stuttgart 0-1 Chelsea FC Fernando Meira's early own goal gives Chelsea victory in Germany.

Match statistics

StuttgartChelsea

Goals scored0
1
Attempts on target6
 
0
Attempts off target7
 
1
Corners5
 
3
Offsides2
 
2
Fouls committed11
 
13
Yellow cards1
 
4
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Matches

24 February 2004

Lokomotiv Moskva
2-1
Monaco
Celta
2-3
Arsenal
Bayern
1-1
Real Madrid
Sparta Praha
0-0
Milan

25 February 2004

 
Published: Thursday 26 February 2004, 0.10CET

Chelsea profit from Meira mistake

VfB Stuttgart 0-1 Chelsea FC Fernando Meira's early own goal gives Chelsea victory in Germany.

By Mark Bennett at the Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion

An early Fernando Meira own goal condemned VfB Stuttgart to a narrow home defeat in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie against Chelsea FC.

Dented hopes
The defender arrived to clear a Glen Johnson cross ahead of the waiting Hernán Crespo in the 12th minute, but instead of pushing the ball to safety he stabbed it past Timo Hildebrand. Despite constant pressure from the home side, Carlo Cudicini pulled off several fine saves to keep Chelsea in front.

Stuttgart settle
They may have been in their first Champions League knockout fixture, but Stuttgart began with confidence and with five minutes played Meira found Kevin Kuranyi on the edge of the area. The German international chested the ball down for Silvio Meissner whose shot sailed over the bar. Two minutes later Meissner was left unmarked in the penalty area after a pass from Andreas Hinkel. He shot quickly but was denied a goal by a brilliant reflex save from Cudicini.

Meira own goal
Chelsea's passing lacked accuracy in the opening minutes and Stuttgart gladly accepted the chance to push players forward. It was the visiting team which struck first, though. Johnson made a good run down the right, sent a cross in for Hernán Crespo which Meira attempted to intercept but only succeeding in turning beyond Hildebrand.

Goalline clearance
Stuttgart needed a few minutes to recover from the shock, but nearly got an equaliser on 19 minutes. Once again Meissner was left unmarked to head a Horst Heldt corner towards goal. With Cudicini beaten Wayne Bridge was standing in exactly the right place to clear the ball off the line.

Gudjohnsen chance
After being under heavy pressure for the first half-hour, Chelsea were able gradually to close the game down towards the end of the opening 45 minutes. Crespo found Eidur Gudjohnsen for the visitors' second good chance of the half in the 34th minute. The Icelandic international striker could only shoot over.

Tiffert on
When Stuttgart returned to the field Felix Magath replaced Meissner with Christian Tiffert. The home side needed a few minutes to get going before again finding their rhythm. Meira nearly bounced back from scoring at the wrong end by equalising with a vicious free-kick which went just wide. Substitute Tiffert tested Cudicini soon after, yet the Italian goalkeeper safely gathered his shot.

Duff comeback
With 65 minutes played Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri replaced Jesper Grønkjær with Damien Duff for his first appearance of 2004 after injury. Philipp Lahm then penetrated the Chelsea defence but opted to pass rather than shoot and the danger passed.

Chelsea hold on
Stuttgart could not be accused of a lack of effort in the final stages, but as time ticked on the hosts looked more desperate and their passing was more urgent than accurate. Chelsea, in contrast, could afford to calmly sit back and wait for the final whistle, leaving the German side with a mighty task in London on 9 March.

Last updated: 26/02/04 9.47CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2003/matches/round=1713/match=1059555/postmatch/report/index.html#chelsea+profit+from+meira+mistake

Lineups

stuttgart

Stuttgart

chelsea

Chelsea

1
HildebrandTimo Hildebrand (GK)
23
CudiciniCarlo Cudicini (GK)
Yellow Card58
2
HinkelAndreas Hinkel
2
G. JohnsonGlen Johnson
Yellow Card87
5
BordonMarcelo Bordon
Yellow Card66
4
MakeleleClaude Makelele
Yellow Card28
6
Fernando MeiraFernando Meira
Goal12
8
LampardFrank Lampard
Yellow Card26
7
MeissnerSilvio Meissner
Substitution46
13
GallasWilliam Gallas
15
HlebAleksandr Hleb
14
GeremiGeremi
16
HeldtHorst Heldt
Substitution66
18
BridgeWayne Bridge
19
SzabicsImre Szabics
21
CrespoHernán Crespo
Substitution89
20
SoldoZvonimir Soldo (C)
22
GudjohnsenEidur Gudjohnsen
Substitution73
21
LahmPhilipp Lahm
26
TerryJohn Terry (C)
22
KuranyiKevin Kuranyi
30
GrønkjærJesper Grønkjær
Substitution66

Substitutes

23
HeinenDirk Heinen (GK)
34
SullivanNeil Sullivan (GK)
4
ŽivkovićBoris Živković
6
DesaillyMarcel Desailly
8
VranješJurica Vranješ
9
HasselbainkJimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Substitution73
12
GerberHeiko Gerber
10
J. ColeJoe Cole
Substitution89
13
TiffertChristian Tiffert
Substitution46
11
DuffDamien Duff
Substitution66
14
CenturiónEmanuel Centurión
15
MelchiotMario Melchiot
18
CacauCacau
Substitution66
19
ParkerScott Parker

Coach

Felix Magath (GER) Claudio Ranieri (ITA)

Referee

Kyros Vassaras (GRE)

Assistant referees

Simeon Tsolakidis (GRE), Dimitrios Groutsis (GRE)

Fourth official

Athanassios Briakos (GRE)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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