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Chelsea dominant in dispatching Galatasaray

Chelsea FC 2-0 Galatasaray AŞ (agg: 3-1)
Samuel Eto'o's early goal was added to before half-time by defender Gary Cahill's close-range strike as the 2012 winners eased through.

Chelsea dominant in dispatching Galatasaray
Chelsea dominant in dispatching Galatasaray ©UEFA.com

Chelsea FC made it an unhappy return to Stamford Bridge for Galatasaray AŞ's Didier Drogba by marching into the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the eighth time in 11 seasons.

While all the attention had been focused on the reunion with their former forward, it was one of their current ones, Samuel Eto'o, who got the ball rolling Chelsea's way with a strike after four minutes. If that was a well-worked incursion, the second goal owed everything to smart reactions, Gary Cahill following up a John Terry header to score from close range.

Drogba – a winner of ten major prizes with Chelsea and who will always be remembered for the decisive penalty against FC Bayern München which ensured they lifted the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League – battled as hard as he could and typically won a number of headers and free-kicks, but support was in short supply simply because the home side were so dominant.

The game panned out that way from the fourth minute when Eden Hazard drifted infield and was not picked up as he gathered a throw-in, a smart turn shrugging off his nearest challenger. Oscar joined in and set Eto'o free inside the box, the low finish containing sufficient power to beat Fernando Muslera.

It was a wonderful boost for the Blues while Galatasaray had paid a heavy price for granting Hazard and Oscar the room to weave their magic. If the Turkish champions were to improve on a record of no victories in eight visits to England they would need to show far more discipline.

Drogba, who was afforded a stirring welcome from the home supporters, sent a bicycle kick over the bar but was overambitious when chancing his arm from 35 metres, his free-kick threatening only the 'Always in our hearts' banner that adorned the upper section of the stand behind Petr Čech's goal.

Lampard came close following a delightful combination between Oscar and Hazard. Then, from Lampard's free-kick, Terry's volley flew just too high. With three minutes remaining in the first half Lampard's corner was again met by Terry and when Muslera beat out the header, Cahill reacted first to ram the ball in.

The visiting fans tried to lift their team with a constant wall of noise, but most of the action after the break was in the opposite half of the field as Chelsea sought a third goal, Willian stinging Muslera's palms from the edge of the area.

Late on Muslera denied Hazard and Fernando Torres, and Drogba missed a late opportunity to mark his return with a goal. Two for the hosts hardly did justice to their superiority.

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