12/13/08

Drogba saves Chelsea from Euro football blues


Returning striker Didier Drogba hit the winner in Chelsea's 2-1 victory over Romanian team CFR Cluj on Tuesday to see last season's Champions League finalists safely through to the knockout stages.
PARIS (AFP) -
Returning striker Didier Drogba hit the winner in Chelsea's 2-1 victory over Romanian team CFR Cluj on Tuesday to see last season's Champions League finalists safely through to the knockout stages.
Chelsea's victory together with Roma beating Bordeaux 2-0 in Rome was enough to ensure Luiz Felipe Scolari's side did not suffer the embarrassment of exiting at the group stage for the first time ever in seven Champions League campaigns.
However it meant they finished second in Group A, which in theory hands them a more difficult clash in the last 16.
It left the combative Scolari a little underwhelmed, as he compared the spirit shown by his opponents as an example of what he wanted from his team.
"We had more of the ball but there was not a big difference between the teams. We didn't play very well, we played ok, but they have the spirit I want in my team," said the 2002 World Cup winning coach, who had claimed that exiting the Champions League wouldn't be a disaster.
"They fight for the ball and even if they made mistakes, everyone understood this and fought to help them. They played as a team," added Scolari, who it was claimed by assistant Ray Wilkins had been looking tired and stressed last week amid reports of internal discord with several senior players.
Roma coach Luciano Spalletti could rejoice in seeing his side's fortunes turn around over a matter of weeks when he was under immense pressure.
"This is a really prestigious result (to finish top of the group)," he said. "I would give my boys 12 out of 10," added the coach.
Chelsea will however avoid former manager Jose Mourinho's side Inter Milan in the last 16 as his team finished only second in Group B after being surprisingly beaten 2-1 by German side Werder Bremen.
"I am disappointed, but you had one side playing life or death football and the other who were just playing for a result," said Inter coach Jose Mourinho.
"I left a few names out of the team which was an indication of what we were trying to do here and so you have to except the result.
"We'd like someone like Bayern Munich, Barcelona or Manchester United in the next round, we won't be an easy game for them."
Panathinaikos finished top after beating Anorthosis Famagusta 1-0.
Mourinho's disappointment will have been Panathinaikos coach Henk ten Cate's joy as another man with a former Chelsea connection - he was assistant manager under Avram Grant till being sacked in May this year - celebrated his 54th birthday in style.
"No one can doubt us now," purred ten Cate, who was assistant coach at Barcelona when they won the Champions League and domestic title in 2006.
"These moments, with what is going on around us (the riots in Athens), this win is a call for joy. The team remained calm and had the opportunity to improve its image. This is the best present (his birthday) for me."
Chelsea's Premiership rivals Liverpool, though, did finish top of Group D after defeating PSV Eindhoven 3-1 with young French striker David N'Gog scoring their final goal.
It was, however, under-pressure Robbie Keane - a 20 million pound signing from Spurs - who drew large amounts of praise from stand-in captain Jamie Carragher.
"It wasn't an easy match," the defender said. "They obviously had a little more to play for but we wanted to finish top of the group.
"We conceded in the first half but our second-half attacking performance from the lads and Keano was superb."
Atletico Madrid finished second after eking out a 0-0 draw with Marseille, where the atmosphere had lightened considerably earlier in the day when it was announced that a Marseille fan handed a three-and-a-half year prison sentence for assaulting a Madrid police officer was to be released on bail on Wednesday.
Atletico's Spanish rivals Barcelona still finished top of Group C despite losing with a largely second string side 3-2 at home to Ukrainian outfit Shakthar Donetsk.
Sporting Lisbon too already knew they would finish runners-up and rounded off their group campaign with a 1-0 win away at Basel.
The qualification of Chelsea, Roma and Panathinaikos completed the 16-team line-up in next year's first knockout round, with the draw on December 19.


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16 comments:

  1. Drogba bisa menjadi andalan Chelsea untuk menjadi juara

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  2. IZIN BACA AZA,,,, gak terlalu paham bola gan,,,

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  3. wah luar biasa drogba bisa melakukan ini semua

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  4. maju terus Drogba lakukan yang terbaik

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