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Chelsea 4-1 Napoli – Match Reports and Goal Videos

The Great Escape

The match reports

The Guardian, Daniel Taylor: “In the end it will be remembered as one of the great Stamford Bridge nights. The drama was almost unrelenting and it culminated with Branislav Ivanovic turning in the goal that keeps Chelsea in the Champions League and serves as a reminder of all the great qualities they have kept in storage for too long this season.”

The Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: “Chelsea’s old guard dug deep last night as Branislav Ivanovic scored the winner on a night of classic drama at Stamford Bridge to send the west London club through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Accused of running the dressing-room, the likes of Didier Drogba, John Terry and Frank Lampard ran the 90 minutes of this amazing game that went into extra time. Simply to take the game to extra time had been a phenomenal achievement by Chelsea. They had been given no chance after their 3-1 defeat in Naples. Yet with Andre Villas-Boas gone, and the old ones restored, Chelsea refound their resilience.”

The Independent, Sam Wallace: “It was the Chelsea of a bygone era, playing as if the last ten months have never happened. It was an extraordinary night of European football which ended with Roman Abramovich in the dressing room congratulating the same players whose manager he sacked just 11 days earlier.”

The Official Chelsea FC Website: “What a night! Plenty of talk before the game was about the possibility of another European classic at the Bridge and that is exactly what those watching enjoyed. It needed extra time and a Branislav Ivanovic goal to win it but the Blues showed bags of character to turn this tie around. We went ahead on the away goals rule just a minute into the second half of normal time, Didier Drogba having scored in the first half and then John Terry adding the second – both goals headers. But then Napoli, who played their part in the occasion with a very watchable style of football, netted to take them back in front on aggregate, only for Frank Lampard to make the tie absolutely level from the penalty spot. Goals looked possible at either end as the minutes ticked on but happily, it was the Blues who did the business to make the quarter-finals and maintain an English challenge in the competition.”

The goals

28′ Drogba 1-0
47′ Terry 2-0
55′ Inler 2-1
75′ Lampard (pen) 3-1
90′ + 15 Ivanovic 4-1

Robbie’s reaction

“For the club it meant a lot to be still able to play in the Champions League.

“And you could see how much it meant to the players. Everybody was delighted that we put in such a big performance.

“I have had some great nights [in football] but it will probably go down in the club’s history, coming back from a two-goal deficit from the first leg. You saw from the players and how they performed that they showed the passion and that they care about the club and the supporters. It will give us a big boost for the rest of the season as well.

“We just tried to get back to basics, tried to be solid and not concede goals, and we were always confident that with the quality we had within the team that we could score.

“The home advantage was important. Napoli are probably stronger at home and they are very dangerous with the transition, but our supporters helped us to win the game and every win will increase the confidence of the team.”

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  • http://www.chelseafcblog.com Nick

    I’ve just returned from the pub where I wasn’t watching the match because I had made other plans and I’m a coward anyway and I didn’t fancy watching the match. Now I regret not watching the match. Oh well. And bollocks! I should’ve feigned an injury or something, anything to stay home and watch the match. I’m too tired and inebriated to go back through hundreds and hundreds of tweets to post here so it’s press reports and goal videos only, sorry. I did record the match and I’m going to attempt to watch it though I doubt I’ll manage to stay conscious for another two hours. If anyone I didn’t contact before the match fancies writing a review drop me an email or leave a comment. Chelsea Football Club eh?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jack-Kim/100001057740416 Jack Kim

      damn near did the same thing. I thought, “if napoli scores the first goal, screw this, my heart can’t handle it.” 

  • Harry

    That was some performance! it goes to show AVB was not the right man for Chelsea FC.

  • David Studdert

    Haven’t seen a chelsea team perform like this for 2 years — the intensity and committment was immense from ever single player — this is the rejigged team of transition which AVB could not produce — the old and the new/young — whats more the young ones really responded to the leadership of Drogba, Terry and Frank – thought sturridge tried really hard to play for the team, tonight – even mata who didn’t have the best of games  busted a gut – Torres was great –Drogba ws out of this world – Luiz and Rameries were absolutely fantastic — almost blew a gasket when Bosingwa came on but even he and Malouda were decent –  as for JT, DD, Ivan and even essien who was at it all night what can you say — Aah and Ivan were really brilliant — i mean 4-1 against a bloody decent team too –  — Roberto must have been biting his lip to the bone for the eight months he sat on the bench — AVB yak yak yak about the group/the team but he couldn’t produce one — RdeM for manager next year? The players dig him and he listens and involves..– if this is player power lets have more of it

    • Blue_MikeL

      Yes it was a Chelsea of old days. Great emotional game what a win. Now use the moment; finish in top four take FA Cup and season will be practically saved :-) 
      KTBFFH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • NorthernVA

    Drogba is now the biggest free agent this side of Peyton Manning. Probably more valuable in that he hasn’t had 3-4 neck surgeries over the last 12 months like Peyton. But the tribe has spoken and the man is finished as I have been told. 

    I have said it before and I am gettin’ on my soapbox to say it again. The man is like the hook in Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi.” You don’t know what you got till it’s gone. Ivorian lion and Chelsea legend. No one leads the line on a European night like the Drog.

  • http://www.facebook.com/oladiran.abimbola Oladiran Abimbola

    A lot of self-proclaimed experts on this website will have you believe Drogba is bag of shit. Inconsistent season or not, that’s about as committed on the football pitch as I’ve ever seen any striker in my 23 years of following the game. Enough said.

  • Simon

    Long live the Untouchables!  

  • NorthernVA

    Proud tonight. Proud of the players old and young. Proud of Robbie and Eddie. Proud of the brilliant crowd tonight at the Bridge or as the “chivalrous” Collymore labeled it the “new library.” Proud to be a supporter of CFC and frequent visitor to this blog. Cheers fellas! 

    I celebrate a birthday on Friday and I can’t think of a better present since no one seems shelling out the rate for 60 minutes with Isabella Soprano from the Moonlight Bunny Ranch. Look forward to everyone’s comments tomorrow. Bring on Barca.

  • Machchan

    Fantastic commitment shown; luck rode well; bravo! 
    My crystal ball is doing it’s job well… not sure if you are still lowering yourself gently Mark ;)

    • Machchan

      Oops its not it’s – sorry for the lazy grammar.

  • GrocerJack

    Last nights Chelsea victory was all down to my sacrifice of not watching and going out for meal with work friends past and present (rather poignant). Nothing to do with passion, team selection or tactics. It was all down to me not watching. 
    And there’s no need to thank me fellow CFC fans, it was my duty and an honour to help the cause. What an unselfish person I am ;)

  • Musumba

    long live Ivanovic ,a player i really RESPECT.Give the old guard what belongs to them ,that is respect, and give the mediocre AVB what belongs to him, that is the sack.I find it very amusing AVB could not relate to his age-mates, and some of us almost went astray.The manager should consider playing Ivanovic as a forward he really knows how to simulate,is brave and  a pretty decent finisher.Torres(how many empty posts  does he need to score?) and Mata let me down.but we still won it is of less concern .

  • PeteW

    Amazing stuff. I thought we’d win, but a dour 1-0 or irritating 2-1. That was something else, an  incredible performance. Cech, Terry, Lampard and Drogba all outstanding after a slow first 30 mins, but Luiz, Ramires, Ivanovic and maybe even Torres played their parts. I hope we kick on from here, but they will be knackered after that – emotionally and physically. Hopefully we can bring in Cahill, Bertrand, Meireles, Mikel and Kalou to get a win on Sunday.

    So great to see though. Up there with Bruges, Vicenza, Barcelona and Liverpool as European nights to remember and the first European game I have enjoyed since the farce of 2009.

  • http://primaryaccount.blogspot.com/ WorkingClassPost

     
    That’s the team that we used to know.

    Now we should see the benefit of a deep squad, with guys accepting any rest that’s offered – lot’s of big games on the way…

    Impossible to single anyone out as MotM, just because some deserved it more than others, cos thy all deserved it anyway.

    Who cares who’s next? Only the poxy media, as if it matters now. We’ve just gotta beat who we meet. And how sorry the commentators all feel for AVB, after playing such big part in his downfall, they can’t just let Robbie and the guys get on with the rest of their season.

    Be interesting to see if they can get behind us now that we’re the last EPL side in CL.

    Keep hearing this track (both before and since the match), and it’s very Andre-ish. It’s also now my lucky theme song

  • Cunningplan

    Now then I’m back to a pragmatic view of the game in relation to where our season stands. Great result and performance we looked like the Chelsea I used to know from a few years back, but I’m not getting carried away.
    For us to progress any further in this competition, we need a kind draw on Friday, and if not a kind draw then a huge slice of luck, because we all know we’re far from being the best team in the competition. On saying that you don’t have to be the best team to win it, so who knows. I just hope this result will have the desired confidence boosting effect to finish higher than Arse and Spuds in the league, and possibly go on to lift the FA Cup.

    And just have a thought for our dopplegangers in the alternate universe/reality where we conceded with a minute to go in extra time, and lost 4-2 ;-)

    • Blueboydave

       I can exclusively reveal a “Fringe”-like bleeding through of that alternate universe from a bloke in the row behind me who kept doing a speaking-clock countdown of the minutes to go in the 2nd half of extra time and muttering “Iniesta” for reasons I’m sure we remember all too well …..

      • Cunningplan

        Another “Fringe” fan great.

        • mark_25

           I used to be a Fringe fan but now I haven’t got enough hair.

  • PeteW

    I wonder if this will give the press pause to think that maybe, just maybe, there were good reasons for believing that AVB was not up to the job and maybe start analysing his tactical innovations and how Di Matteo has changed things. But no, they’ll probably just bang on about player power again.

  • Fiftee

    Going slightly off topic for a sec, our Youth Team semi-final first leg is live on ITV (presumably 2/3/4) tomorrow night.

    • Cunningplan

      I think they said Friday ITV4 last night during the game

  • Musumba

    best case scenario   Chelsea vs    Apoel
                                   Milan   vs      Bayern
                                   UEFALONA FC vs Benfica   (+DODGY REFEREE)                           
                                   Real      vs    Olympique M.  hoping both Manchester clubs get dumped out,
                                  

  • Vik Sohonie

    JT said this was the best night of his entire career.  What would you glorious lot rank as the best football match this club has ever played if you had to choose between: 

    Chelsea 4-2 Barcelona, 2005 
    Chelsea 4-1 Napoli, 2012

    The 4-2 against Barca was one of the special moments of my life but, given the circumstances of then and now, I think the match last night was the most incredible spectacle/performance of my 10 years as a staunch supporter.  This is why we cannot miss out on 4th – You and I both know quite well that we LIVE for magical European nights like this one.  And is there any single elite crop of seasoned, hardened veterans more deserving of a Champion’s League trophy than our old (supposedly-Praetorian) guard? I think not.  Think this also puts paid to the argument that “its the players, not the manager.”  RDM + JT = best managerial duo… you BLUESSSSS!!

  • Blue_MikeL

    Just finished to watch Man Scum USA against Atletico Bilbao. Blimey they are seventh in La Liga….    

  • Fat Nakago

    I’m still a bit speechless 24 hours and change after watching this tilt. I mean..holy FOCK anyway…whatta game!! Did I really see what I just saw?? WOW!!

    The lads should be proud and happy at what they accomplished. But truth be told, whoever the manager is or was, they should also be ashamed of themselves that they haven’t played like this all season long. They’ve had this talent all along….and until this glorious and memorable defeat of Napoli…they’ve barely shown it. That’s THEIR lookout….not AVB, RDM or (player-coach) JT. I hope they take a moment of sobriety and feel a deep sense of regret and think, “Fock….why haven’t we played like this all season!”

  • limetreebower

    No comparison at all to the 4-2 against Barcelona, an astonishing seesaw win against one of the best teams in Europe graced by one of the most extraordinary goals I’ve ever seen in the flesh.

    I’m a tad confused by all the triumphalism, to be honest. This was a very exciting game, a terrific result and a strong (though by no means outstanding) performance, but a home win against a decent Serie A side which puts us into the last 8 of the CL doesn’t quite seem to merit the outpourings of tearful hysteria with which it’s being greeted.

    Now if we can get a result at Citeh we’ll have something to crow about. It certainly looks possible, with their form a little shaky and ours more solid.

    I’m not sure that the whole “player power” story is irrelevant (although I agree that it would be nice to know a bit more about what Robbie’s done). The TV shots of JT standing behind Robbie and appearing to give the team its instructions can be dismissed as a convenient, if unfortunate, accident, but nevertheless there’s a strong sense that this performance came out of what everyone thinks of as the “old” Chelsea: tough, organised, outlasting rather than outplaying more technically accomplished opponents. And of course seeing Frank and JT and Drogs on the scoresheet somehow only underlines that impression.

    Given which it seems fair to wonder: was this a case of abandoning the “project” and letting the core of the 2005-7 team go back to playing like it was still 2005-7? (One couldn’t help noticing that Mata, who could be thought of as a symbol of the “project.” had a rather peripheral game — though that may of course just be a question of form/tiredness.)

    If so, it could just be a rational tactical decision. Or it could be to do with that core group of players agreeing that since the “project” by definition involves replacing them, they’re going to postpone the inevitable for as long as they can push their careers. Or (more likely I think) a convergence of the two: Chelsea badly need results if we’re going to finish fourth, Robbie recognises that the best way to get those results is to revert to what the key players know best and want to do, and we’ll forget the long term (or even the medium term) and let the next manager deal with it. (And get fired when it turns out that the long term and the short term are, who’da thunked it, different.)

    • http://primaryaccount.blogspot.com/ WorkingClassPost

       
      Agree that this game may well be over-hyped, but then, we are the last team left in Europe.

      The problem remains that 30+ players cannot, nor should they attempt, to play like that over a long and sustained period.

      That’s what we have younger players in the squad for and they need their opportunities too.

      That tough and experienced players can raise their game when needed is fantastic, but to try that for an entire PL season is just not on.

      Part of Carlo’s mistake, and it’s just my opinion, was in taking the easy option and fielding tired but known players, instead of fresh but less known ones.

      We need these big guys for big games, trouble when we’re fighting for fourth, is that they’re all big games. So Roberto will need to assess who is and who is not ready to play, and they guys will need to support him and take their chances as and when they can.

      Don’t underestimate the quality of this squad – let’s leave that to the media and the opposition.

    • Ososdeoro

      Hell limetree, I get what you’re saying, but after the last 1 1/2 seasons I was reduced to tears of joy by the Birmingham match, much less this one.

  • Gleb

    Benfica it is, then. Not bad. 

  • Agh57

    Hhhmmm……A Real/Barca final. I wonder who warmed up Platini’s balls this morning.

  • Blue_MikeL

    Let’s break Platinni’s plans :-) Let’s meet TSO in the final.

  • Musumba

    Go chelsea beat Barca and Real and we shall be legends ,Lets meet TSO in the final and beat him fair and square, to the old guard, lets slay that “TSOs dependecy ghost”and  the acrimonious Champions League semi-final exit to uefalona+Ovrebo in 2009 . It is the last chance to even the odds and write their names as CFCs legends.

  • Chris

    I have no more idea what has been going on behind the scenes at Chelsea over the last couple of months than any other outsider, but in terms of personnel, all the talk about the old guard seems a bit of a stretch. AVB always played Terry when he was fit, and he favored Drogs over Torres when they were both available. He also sidelined the next generation (Josh, Lukaku, etc). So the argument about Robbie favoring “the old guard” really only comes down to playing Lamps more consistently than AVB. A straight swap of Lampard for Meireles is hardly a seismic shift. In other words, these recent wins are at least as much about attitude as personnel.

  • buddha9

    look, the press they’re stupid and are on a mission, but chelsea fans don’t have to fall for it — here’s why the entire argument about players not performing for AVB falls down.

    recall the arsenal game at home AVB plays a high line — even my granny knows a high line doesn’t suit JT — BUT JT WENT OUT AND TRIED TO DO IT ANYWAY even though he must have known with his experience that he couldn’t do it — it was the tactics choosen by AVB people, thats what caused his downfall and the players realised it and couldn’t cope with what he wanted.

    Its AVb ‘s fault for trying to force a dream in his head onto a team who couldn’t play it  – just another mark of his immaturity  — as a manager you have to adapt to what you have, not some fantsy  in your own head.
    The players did the best they could under him and now Roberto is simply doing what any manager would do —  indeed exactly what Guus did and another fuckin dreamer, Scolari did exactly what AVb tried — you can’t turn a dog into a cat no matter how hard you try and its a mark of a true idiot that AVB continued to believe he could

  • http://primaryaccount.blogspot.com/ WorkingClassPost

    Weirdest thing is that we’re off to Lisbon on the 3rd. so will be here for there and there for here, if you get my drift.

    Not sure if that counts as some kind of doppelganger event, or not…

  • bluebayou

    This is only one view but I enjoyed reading it. It is actually from a post about Ice Hockey from an Ellen Etchingham, who believes in a stats based analyisis of the game, in particular looking at “regression to the mean” for the explanation of how “hot” streaks or a “bad run” are not sustainable against historic averages. Think the Arsenal unbeaten year or our goal fest for the Double (our team since 2000 scored between 68 and 72 every other season).

    After an introduction she cuts to the chase:

    “Bad narratives, in this case, are almost always tales that give overwhelming explanatory power to factors of personality and disposition. In the absence of any concrete justification for success, there are invariably some people in every market who will want to spin a hot run as the result of some particular awesomeness of their own or one of their favored team members. There will always be a GM ready to say that it’s all due to his grand plan in action, or a coach happy to imply that he’s got a special secret system. There’s always a journalist ready to talk about a guy he thinks is great in the room, and Lord knows there are plenty of guys who are very happy to be called inspiring leaders.”

    Does this in any way sound familiar in the context of what passes for sports journalism and analysis in this country?
      

    She goes on to say:

    “Narratives of personality are almost always inaccurate and lacking in predictive power because they rely on evidence that cannot be surely known or proven. Issues of team chemistry, motivation, leadership, and effort almost certainly play some sort of role in influencing outcomes, but the role they play is tiny compared to on-ice issues of strategy, tactics, talent, and ability. Moreover, as outsiders- outside the room, outside the heads of the relevant parties- we cannot know anything about the real emotional and psychological characteristics of players. Narratives that locate the critical differences between winning and losing in feelings and character traits are at best exaggerations and at worst completely made-up shit that turn real people into fictional characters in the fantasy psychodramas of fans.”

    I think we’ve all travelled that road.

    “People who are deeply committed to self-created narratives about things they cannot possibly know, things like passion level and work ethic and chemistry in the room, will always be blindsided by regression. It’s their destiny, the price they pay for not being interested in tangible evidence that has proven itself true repeatedly in the past. But, while the bad-narrative believers may be the most aggressive shock-troops of the anti-regression crowd, I don’t think the entire backlash against the way the advanced stats community talks about regression and luck is entirely comprised of such people.  Because I know how regression works. I know what constitutes an unsustainable shooting percentage and an unsustainable save percentage. I am a PDO believer. I understand these concepts, I support them, I believe wholly in their validity and legitimacy, and I do not rely on narratives of personality to provide meaning in hockey for me.”

    Interesting considering our recent history and food for thought.

    http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2012/03/16/messier%e2%80%99s-skates-regression-luck-and-transience/

    • http://primaryaccount.blogspot.com/ WorkingClassPost

       
      Hope I’m not appearing a bit thick, BB, but I haven’t a clue what she’s on about.

    • Blueboydave

       So, if I’m following this, in layman’s terms – what goes up, must come down and vice versa, as all clubs will move towards average results.

      So Liverpool have been so bad for so long now to counterbalance their long domination of English football in the increasingly distant past  and not as some karmic punishment for their fans being such self-righteous gits and to embarrass Alan Hansen on MOTD?

      • http://primaryaccount.blogspot.com/ WorkingClassPost

        Think I prefer the karmic punishment of all things red and poo, to the application of some random, self-leveling compound.

    • Cunningplan

      “Hockey is a little bit schizophrenic in this way. It holds two mutually
      contradictory values, the short-term and the long-term, and this is
      reflected in the structure of the season itself. The regular season is
      constructed to prize durable, sustainable talents, to average out
      streaks and slumps and give the favorable position to the most
      consistent teams. But then that reward is followed up by a  tournament of
      ridiculously small sample sizes where any little surge of awesomeness,
      from anyone, no matter what their true talent level, might make the
      difference between a Cup ring and a golf cart. The game is designed, in
      the end, to give out its highest prizes based on unsustainable streaks.”

      So does this mean that we’re going to beat Barca in the semi-final, and then go on to win Big Ears?
      Of course if I’m wrong, which I probably am, then I’ll join the “appearing a bit thick brigade” with WCP

      • CELERY

        The Yoof just done United in 1-2 at OT. Great fluid football to boot!

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  • Blue_MikeL

    Just finished to watch Yoof Cup. Islam Feruz seems to be a real deal. How come we don’t use our youth I don’t understand. Three times in a row playing in finals, won the Cup last year, it can’t be that none of them is good for the first team!     

  • limetreebower

    Bugger — missed the yoof due to an obligation at the kids’ school. Congratulations to them.

    I see that Josh was an unused substitute for Swansea when they beat Citeh. The poor lad must have sat his painfully narrow bottom on half the benches in England. I wonder if he’d do better dropping down a division on loan so he could at least play every game.

  • Fiftee

    Feruz does look very sharp (as far as Youth Football goes). Decent signing by the club to get him from Celtic.

    Chalobah scares me (in a good way). England U17 regular and captain, now in the U19′s. Reserve regular for us as a defender, but still eligible for the youth team where he plays as central midfielder.

    We’ve been fairly poor at getting the right kids and bringing them through but, my God, does Chalobah seem to be the real deal. Been around the first team already. If anyone’s going to make it, prime contender no?

  • Ard

    Chelsea is 10-1 to win the Champion’s league! I’m an arsenal Fan but I’m betting on Chelsea I think it’s their year. I mean put 100 down you get over a thousand back that’s ridiculous

  • limetreebower

    “I mean put 100 down you get over a thousand back that’s ridiculous”

    I don’t gamble, but I have a feeling it doesn’t quite work like that …

    • Ryan

      If you had a £100 bet at 10-1 you’d stand to recoup £1100 (winnings plus returned stake). However you are right to say it doesn’t quite work like that because if you had £100 on CFC to win the CL you’d most likely win fuck all.

  • Cunningplan

    Just a quick note to ignore tribalism in football or any sport for that matter, with the sad news on Muamaba.
    My thoughts are with his family and friends in this sad, and tragic situation.

    • GrocerJack

      Damn rotten thing to happen. Got a Spurs mate (yes we all have ‘em) who texted me with what I thought was one his usual jibes/jokes, but genuinely very upset at what he’d seen. Said the strangest thing was how quickly the crowd realised how serious it was, within seconds and then how quiet it was. he thought he’d genuinely witnessed someone dying. 

      Sort of highlighted the triviality of football for me. 

      • Cunningplan

        Yes very upsetting to witness if you were there, it was bad enough on TV,  I just hope that he pulls through, and yes football is secondary in these situations.

  • Biggs

    fernando scorres!

  • Blue_MikeL

    Torres, scores two, creates two runs all over the pitch. Fernando now the same against Man Citeh please! 

  • limetreebower

    Much zippier, pacier, more fluid (if a bit chaotic at times — Obi held things together superbly). It looked like a different team.

    Oh wait — it *was* a different team. 

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