Ballack and Lampard see Chelsea through to semi-finalApril 9th, 2008 - 12:03 pm ICT by admin
London, April 9 (DPA) Michael Ballack and Frank Lampard were both on target as Chelsea beat Fenerbahce 2-0 to secure their place in the last four of the Champions League. After a 2-1 defeat in the first leg last week, the result secured Chelsea a 3-2 aggregate success here Tuesday.
It took Chelsea just four minutes to settle their nerves. A 1-0 lead, with the advantage of an away goal, left them theoretically vulnerable, and although that remained the margin until three minutes from time, they were never truly in any trouble.
Lampard laid on the first, sending in a typically accurate free-kick in from the right.
Ballack met his cross with a glancing header, and goalkeeper Volkan Demirak could only watch it bounce across him and inside the far post.
It was the German’s sixth goal of the season and, crucially, it wiped out Fenerbahce’s first-leg advantage.
Zico’s side, though, had found themselves even worse off in the previous round, when they were 2-0 down inside 10 minutes of the second leg against Sevilla.
Comebacks have been a way of life for them this season - they took four points from their two group games against CSKA Moscow despite being behind in both, and hit back from a 1-0 deficit to beat Kayserispor with two goals in the last 25 minutes in the league on Saturday - but this time it wasn’t to be.
They didn’t panic, but they rarely looked dangerous either, and the first real drama in the Chelsea box came after 24 minutes when goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini went down with a knee injury.
Already without Petr Cech, their number one, who needed 50 stitches in a facial wound after a training-ground collision with defender Tal Ben Haim, that left Chelsea having to throw on their third choice, Hilario.
His only real involvement of the first half, though was to make a simple save from a Diego Lugano header from Alex’s free-kick.
The second half was largely a question of marking time, with Chelsea content to hold possession and Fenerbahce incapable of stealing it from them.
Lampard eventually settled things three minutes from time, firing in from Michael Essien’s cross.
The only downside for them was that Essien, booked with four minutes remaining, will miss the first leg of the semi-final through suspension.
Chelsea face Liverpool for the third time in four years in the semi-final later this month.
Tags: carlo cudicini, comebacks, cska moscow, diego lugano, far post, fenerbahce, four minutes, four points, frank lampard, free kick, group games, knee injury, marking time, michael ballack, petr cech, sixth goal, stitches, target, third choice, three minutes