Chelsea FC 4-2 FC Bayern München Two Frank Lampard goals help the Premiership leaders to a fine victory.
By Paul Saffer at Stamford Bridge
Two Frank Lampard goals in ten second-half minutes helped put Chelsea FC in control of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final against FC Bayern München.
Joe Cole's early strike was cancelled out by substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger. But Lampard, not his dynamic self in the first period, justified his stellar reputation with two blistering finishes and Didier Drogba then made it 4-1, before an added-time Michael Ballack penalty gave Bayern hope for next Tuesday's return.
With striker Mateja Kezman suspended, Arjen Robben injured and manager José Mourinho absent, Chelsea used Didier Drogba as a front-runner supported by Cole and Damien Duff. Both of Bayern's first-choice strikers, Claudio Pizarro and Roy Makaay, suffered weekend hamstring injuries, so José Paolo Guerrero was the lone forward while Torsten Frings dropped back to replace suspended sweeper Martin Demichelis.
The opening exchanges seemed tentative, but within four minutes Chelsea broke through. A long ball from John Terry was headed straight to Duff by birthday boy Robert Kovac. The Irishman slid the ball to Cole on the edge of the box, and his shot took a cruel deflection off Lucio that wrong-footed Oliver Kahn. Soon after, a Lampard corner was headed towards goal by Terry only for Kahn to tip it away.
Owen Hargreaves and Duff had shots blocked, but the majority of the action came in the shape of some crunching midfield tackles. Claude Makelele did angle a shot over, and at the other end, a Guerrero strike was deflected wide. Home goalkeeper Petr Cech was finally called into action midway through the half by a Hargreaves free-kick, while Kahn's heart then must have stood still as Gudjohnsen received the ball in the box, but this time Kovac made a cool saving tackle.
Zé Roberto seemed set to score when Glen Johnson inadvertently chested the ball into his path but shot wide, and then curled a free-kick over from the edge of the area. With Chelsea soaking up all Bayern's pressure and Guerrero isolated, first-half openings for the visitors were rare. Lampard, like his opposite midfield number Ballack, had been unusually subdued, but the English international did curl a shot just wide following a corner.
Schweinsteiger replaced Hasan Salihamdzic at the break to bolster Bayern's attack. However, Chelsea threatened within 60 seconds in a typically ferocious counterattack, Duff's shot blocked after beating Kahn. Indeed, Chelsea seemed intent on again catching Bayern cold, but it was they who were soon picking the ball out of the net. Chelsea only half-cleared a Ballack free-kick and Zé Roberto's shot, parried by Cech, fell nicely for Schweinsteiger to swiftly justify his introduction.
Time then for Lampard to burst into life. A Johnson clearance was headed down by Drogba, and a typically emphatic Lampard shot gave Kahn no chance. Bayern had been level for just eight minutes. Robert Huth was swiftly sent on for Johnson to further shore up Chelsea's defence against his compatriots, but moments later it was Kahn who had to save a stinging Duff drive.
Lampard soon beat Kahn again though, as Makelele's cross was brilliantly chested down by the English international, who swivelled and sent the ball inside the far post. Drogba nearly increased the advantage, but after showing some fine skills to make the chance blasted over. Next time, though, he slammed in from close range following a corner, but there was still time for Bayern to snatch a lifeline with seconds remaining as Ballack was fouled by Ricardo Carvalho and duly stroked in the penalty.