Champions League - Chelsea tame Drogba but let Galatasaray off hook

Champions League, last 16, first leg, Turk Telecom Arena – Galatasaray 1 (Chedjou 64) Chelsea 1 (Torres 9)

Chelsea missed a big opportunity to put one foot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League as they let a goal advantage slip in a 1-1 draw against Galatasaray.

Fernando Torres, preferred in attack to Samuel Eto’o, rewarded his side’s good start when he poked Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross into an empty net with Galatasaray keeper Fernando Muslera committed.

In truth, it could have been much more for Chelsea as Galatasaray bombed forward with reckless abandon, forcing manager Roberto Mancini into a more defensive early change.

But they were a different side after Mancini’s tactical reshuffle and on the half hour and deservedly equalised when Aurelien Chedjou stole in front of John Terry to thump past a statuesque Petr Cech from a corner for his first Champions League goal.

Much of the pre-match focus had been on former Chelsea talisman Didier Drogba, who won the Champions League with his last kick for the club.

But Chelsea fans were grateful he had a quiet night and will be hoping for more of the same when he makes an emotional return to Stamford Bridge.

KEY MOMENTS

PRE-MATCH: Mourinho decides to start Torres up front with Eto’o on the bench. Lampard is preferred in the centre of the park to Oscar. Cech makes his 99th Champions League start for Chelsea.

4’ – WILLIAN CHANCE: It’s a terrible clearance from Muslera straight to the Chelsea man but to the keeper’s relief, his lobbed effort just clears the bar.

9’ – GOAL CHELSEA: Galatasaray commit men forward and Azpilicueta catches them on the counter. Muslera rushes out to tackle him but he squares to Torres who taps into an empty net.

27’ – RAMIRES CHANCE: It’s a good run by Schurrle down the right and his cross finds the midfielder, but he can’t keep his side-footed effort under the bar.

42’ – GALATASARAY FIND THE NET: Yilmaz rattles it past Cech from an acute angle from a quick throw but it’s called back for a booking for John Terry. The whistle had already gone and Cech made no attempt to save anyway.

51’ – GOOD SAVE MUSLERA: Hazard plays Torres through the middle and his shot is palmed past the post by the keeper.

62’ – GREAT CHANCE SELCUK: The skipper misses a glorious chance to level matters but hits the post from Drogba’s knock-down.

64’ – GOAL GALATASARAY: Chedjou steals ahead of Terry to thump home direct from the corner.

73’ – GOOD SAVE CECH: He palms a fine effort from Telles over the bar.

KEY STATS

Fernando Torres scored his sixth goal in his last five CL starts.

Aurelien Chedjou’s goal was his first in the Champions League.

Oscar made his 100th appearance for Chelsea.

Peter Cech started his 99th Champions League goal for Chelsea.

Chelsea are now unbeaten in their last seven Champions League knockout games (4 wins, 3 draws).

Chelsea have now conceded four goals in the Champions League this season.

Galatasaray have only lost one of their last eight Champions League home games (4 wins, 3 draws).

TALKING POINT: What was Mancini up to with his early suicidal tactics? The Galatasaray boss must be wondering what would have happened had he started with five across the midfield. Having been totally outplayed, his substitution of winger Hajrovic for Yekta changed the complexion of the match.

MATCHCAST: FULL MATCH STATS AND COMMENTARY

MAN OF THE MATCH

Selcuk Inan (Galatasaray): Became much more influential for his side in the middle of the park after Mancini’s enforced changes and stifled Chelsea’s dominance in midfield.

PLAYER RATINGS

Galatasaray: Muslera 6, Eboue 6, Chedjou 7, Hakan Balta 6, Alex Telles 6, Selcuk 8, Melo 7, Burak Yilmaz 6, Sneijder 7, Hajrovic 5, Didier Drogba 6. Subs: Semih 6, Yekta 7, Umut 6

Chelsea: Cech 6; Ivanovic 6, Cahill, Terry 6, Azpilicueta 6; Ramires 7, Lampard 7; Willian 6, Hazard 7, Schurrle 6; Torres 7. Subs: Oscar 6, Mikel 6, Eto'o 6.

THE MATCH IN A TWEET