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.”
“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.”