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Chelsea 4-1 Napoli - views from the stands


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They've done it; the Italian Job completed. Goals from Didier Drogba, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Branislav Ivanovic saw Chelsea overturn a two-goal deficit from the first leg to beat Napoli and progress to the last eight of the UEFA Champions League. What a night of drama it was at Stamford Bridge!

Napoli dominated the first 25 minutes but it was Chelsea who opened the scoring, with Didier Drogba brilliantly heading home an inviting cross from Ramires. Moments after half-time the come-back was complete as John Terry superbly headed home from a Lampard corner, but a magnificent strike from Gokhan Inler again shifted the tie in Napoli's favour as he volleyed home from 20 yards, leaving Petr Cech stranded.

But vice-captain Lampard blasted the Blues back into the tie from the penalty spot before Ivanovic converted the winner after Drogba had broken free down the right-hand-side to cross for the Serbian defender, who finished with the aplomb of a seasoned forward.

Though the old guard of Terry, Lampard and Drogba had gotten Chelsea the foothold they needed to send the game to extra-time, it is perhaps fitting that one of the new generation supplied the tie-winning moment; the superb Ivanovic scoring a deserved winner for the home side, who supplied easily their best performance of the season in a night that will go down amongst the most famous European nights in the club's history.


A trademark feature here on TalkChelsea looks at the best analysis offered from our members - and remember, you can have your say as well! Here we reflect on the performance and the match's key incidents.


Indeed, it was a performance of exceptional effort, endeavour and impressive vigour. I was very pleased to see Michael Essien in particular complete the 120 minutes - he has obviously struggled with injuries recently, so seeing him gradually re-establish himself is a wonder to see. The passion of the celebrations at the end brought back happy memories of Mourinho running onto the pitch in 2005 after beating Barcelona. We completed our own Mission Impossible yesterday, and this is a day that shoudl be remembered for a long time, regardless of our ultimate fate in the competition.

It does, however, beg the following question:

I will say it again, great performance, but why did they not show that much passion before? It makes it the win bittersweet..

I absolutely agree. This isn't even the first time we have seen it from the squad this season; they have pulled it out of the bag against Valencia, Manchester City and Newcastle at St. James' Park, but since that period in December, displays of character and committment have been few and far-between. It makes you feel sorry for Villas-Boas that the players weren't able to perform in such a fashion more regularly, but this is perhaps testament to all of the pressure on the club at the minute. This was the players answering their critics, and emphatically so. Yet maybe Di Matteo requires some congratulations for motivating his players and getting his team selection and tactics as good as he possibly could. It was a professional display from our caretaker.


We are peaking at the right time. We still have Champions League places to fight for which I am sure we will win along with the FA CUp and Quarter Finals.

Hopefully we get Apoel or Marseille. But knowing Barcelona's luck they will get the easiest.

And knowing our luck, we'll get Barcelona! Remember you can have your say on who our quarter-final opponents will be by clicking here. Personally, I feel that if we can avoid one of the big three (Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich), we have a good chance. Of course, Milan are an excellent side as well, but I actually think we had the harder task in facing the all-out attack of Napoli. Beating them will give us a lot of confidence, and we should have no fear whoever we play. We will probably need to play the second leg at home once again, however.

David Luiz for MOTM. Playing through his injury, played a no-nonsense defensive game.

I wanted to pick you up on the no-nonsense aspect of his game, because I whole-heartedly agree. I was at the Birmingham match last week, where he quite rightly got the man of the match award from our supporters. He played in a no-nonsense fashion that evening; noticeably finding touch with all of his clearances. The footballing defender that he is, he often likes to turn out and try and play the ball out from the back, in a very Gerrard Pique-esque fashion. However he has started to display a more disciplined style of play which befits the Premier League, and last night he again took no prisoners with largely risk-free defending. There are still the occasional moments of madness - or should I say, trademark Luiz danger-moments - but this is part-and-parcel of his game. Eradicating it entirely would be foolish as he is an important attacking conduit and driving force in our side. However he is starting to find an efficient balance, underlining his importance to the team. He defender stoically last night - on one leg as well!

When Drogba plays like that no player in Europe can touch him. He was an animal, scoring goals upfront, chasing their players, defending like his life is on the line. He and some of the older players know that this could be the last chance.

It is indeed last-chance saloon for Drogba, but the 34 year old remains one of Europe's best strikers on his night. He may have scored the opener, but it was his set-up for the winner that typifies the player he is. He absolutely battered the Napoli defence last night, at times by himself. His strength and determination to cross for Ivanovic's goal was magnificent; it was a case study in typical Drogba last night. Pace and power, strength and skill. He is the epitome of this club's glory days and he is continuing to add to his own legend status with showings like that. He has had a good season for us - there are times he has won us games entirely by himself, and whilst he was aided by a great team performance yesterday, his experience and quality was the defining factor.

Excellent performance, but I'm still not convinced we've turned a corner. This has been the pattern of our team for the last 18 months or so, we get a great result in a big match but then turn around and drop points to lower mid table teams in the Premiership.

Drogba was excellent, Terry led the defence adroitly, Ramires and David Luiz and Ivanovic also turned in excellent performances. Mata, Lampard and Cole were decent today, Essien was a tad disappointing as was Sturridge.

The big suprise is that Bosingwa actually defended okay today. If he can do that on a regular basis I'm all for keeping him at the club.

Agreed one most points. We've had plenty of these false dawns the last few months. In fact there have been numerous similar moments over the course of the last 18 months or so. However, if this of all games fails to help us finally overcome this 'bad moment', then nothing will! It was a night where the players silenced the doubters, and the club established itself (albeit only temporarily if we fail to retain Champions League status for next term) amongst the big boys. Forgive me if I am wrong, but I believe we are now fourth-favourites behind the big three, and if we avoid them and they are all drawn against each other in the next round, we have a chance of doing the impossible. You wouldn't put it past us, for this is the currency of football. Unpredictability. Wouldn't it be ironic for the worst Chelsea side in a decade to lift the trophy the amazing squads of recent times have failed to win? Liverpool did it in fairytale circumstances in 2005 with the aid of Lady Luck. Who is to say we can't do the same?

Incredible night of football.

After the season we've had, I'm still somewhat taken aback by this result. David Luiz has finally convinced me, won't doubt his inclusion for big games again.

Luiz has affirmed himself as a competent defender for some time, but the aforementioned solidarity to his game is starting to emerge now. As you say it was an incredible night. This won't be remembered only by Chelsea and Napoli fans as the second half of a captivating tie, but it will go down in Champions League history as one of the most attacking match-ups of all-time. Incredible football, and 221 minutes of beautiful football for the neutrals to enjoy. The best thing about it is we didn't just pull it off last night - we did it by playing some fantastic football!

There is a sense of comfort when you see Didier Drogba in the starting lineup... some part of you tells you that "his love for the club and the game ... he will certainly salvage us from this tight situation" and so he does once again... Didier Drogba has always stepped up on such occasions

And we come back to the legend that is Didier Drogba. He is the ultimate Chelsea striker. More goals than Osgood and Bentley and more trophies than any centre-forward in our history. The man is a legend, and this night is another to add to the long list of defining moments in his Chelsea career. But that is perhaps of discredit to the team. To a man, they were brilliant. Mata was quiet, Sturridge was largely ineffective, and Ashley Cole was beaten too easily, too often. But the team defended manfully, attacked with purpose and demonstrated the sort of passion and fight we demand as supporters. Cech made some exceptional saves, Luiz and Terry formed a barrier of such resilience it took a wonder-goal to break them down. Ramires covered every blade of grass with remarkable athleticism, Lampard played his trademark simple game of pass-move-score, and Essien was a case study in composure in the midfield. And then, what a goal to win it! Just phenomenal.

The honour of post of the day goes to The Big Drog, who beautifully summarises a magnificent night in the history of Chelsea FC:

Vintage Chelsea. For 2 hours we were transported back in time. Forgotten were the doubts about the old guard, erased was the idea of instituting a new style of play at Chelsea, gone were all of the criticisms, all of the off the field antics that have dominated the back pages and what we were left with was pure, raw Chelsea, this was Chelsea at its very core, the fight, the spirit, the quality that made us a force to be reckoned with.

The lads were nothing short of heroic tonight, you could find examples all over the pitch. Terry was absolutely immense at the heart of the Chelsea back four, transformed from disgraced ex England captain back onto his rightful pedestal of Chelsea legend, the club's greatest ever captain. David Luiz beside him was equally terrific, playing the last half hour with an injury he was every bit as heroic as his centre back partner. Ivanovic as steady and reliable as you can possibly get at right back and a spectacular winner to boot. Frank Lampard, transformed from a substitute who was past his best under AVB to midfield general. Michael Essien, from has been crock to midfield powerhouse. Ramires, from much maligned Brazilian to powerful box to box runner.

But greatest of all, for my money, Chelsea's greatest ever striker, Didier Drogba. When the occasion calls for it, Didier still delivers. AN awesome performance leading the Chelsea attack, striking fear into the hearts of the Napoli back 3 as only Drogba can, his all important opening goal was Drogba 101 and set the tone for the rest of the game. His assist for Ivanovic's winner, simply sublime. It has been said over and over again, repeated to death but I will say it one more time, never ever write off Didier Drogba, he remains Chelsea's great man, a Chelsea legend.

Also I loved the post match celebrations. Di Matteo running and jumping straight at Drogba and then at Torres, it was telling of their contribution. Suddenly the feeling in the press that the players didn't like him all seemed a bit flimsy, he embraced the players, the players embraced him. Also loved Terry and Di Matteo talking tactics at half time, Terry's reputation at the club is such that he deserves to be listened to by the club managers.

Terrific win, one of our best ever in Europe. How far can we go? With a favourable draw you never know, this win, with the right draw, might catapult us into a Champions League semi final or even a final. We are the 4th favourites with bookies, with that kind of heart, spirit and determination, we cant be taken lightly. Are we favourites? of course not, but will we give anybody a game, absolutely.

And that brings me to the concluding thoughts...

Conclusion - as you can see, it was a night of great emotion for both sets of supporters. We extend our commiserations to the wonderful Napoli fans who have made TalkChelsea their home over the last couple of weeks, and hope to see them in next year's edition of the competition. Ultimately, it was a game Chelsea deserved to win based on their performance alone, but one of the most attacking ties of all time - with 67 shots on goal over the course of the two ties - this will go down as one of the great European encounters in both teams' respective histories, as well as in Champions League renown. The Blues now have incredible momentum; three massive wins in three different competitions has left Roberto di Matteo and his side in a far rosier circumstance than just two weeks previous. A win against Leicester on Sunday can reaffirm the notion that Chelsea FC well and truly are back.

Remember you can have your say on today's game by checking out the post-match thread - discuss the game, analyse the key moments and vote for your man of the match! You can do that by clicking HERE.

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I still haven't stopped smiling. Just been reading about the game and watching the match and highlights over and over again. Gonna go through the entire match thread next. It'll be worth it.

Love you CHELSEA !!! I can't remember a better day.

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I still haven't stopped smiling. Just been reading about the game and watching the match and highlights over and over again. Gonna go through the entire match thread next. It'll be worth it.

Love you CHELSEA !!! I can't remember a better day.

9th of May 2010 :D

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Is it likely for us to win the competition? Hell, no, but the dream lives on.

Like I said before Napoli, we have at least 2 more exciting UCL nights left for us. Something ManU, City, Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool can't say.

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