Chelsea stun Napoli on memorable night at home
Chelsea's old guard masterminded one of the club's greatest European escapes to reach the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday, beating Napoli 4-1 after extra time at Stamford Bridge to edge an electrifying tie 5-4 on aggregate.Updated: Mar 15, 2012 23:34 IST
Chelsea's old guard masterminded one of the club's greatest European escapes to reach the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday, beating Napoli 4-1 after extra time at Stamford Bridge to edge an electrifying tie 5-4 on aggregate.
Serbian Branislav Ivanovic smashed home the winning goal in the 105th minute of an enthralling clash to keep the English flag flying in the competition after both Manchester clubs and Arsenal had fallen by the wayside.
Trailing 3-1 from the first leg, it was Chelsea's much-criticised 30 somethings who provided the inspiration having struggled domestically under recently sacked coach Andre Villas-Boas.
Didier Drogba opened the scoring and captain John Terry's header made it 2-0 just after the interval only for Napoli to regain the advantage through Gokhan Inler's low drive.
Frank Lampard's penalty 15 minutes from time made it 4-4 on aggregate to send the tie into extra time and it was the 34-year-old Drogba who again showed his class, providing the perfect cut back for Ivanovic to send Chelsea through.
Interim coach Roberto Di Matteo jumped for joy on the bench as Chelsea kept their dream of a first Champions League triumph alive and ended Napoli's hopes of reaching the last eight for the first time.
Ronaldo steers real into quarters
Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as nine-time champions Real Madrid eased into the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday, a 4-1 win over CSKA Moscow giving Jose Mourinho's men a 5-2 aggregate victory.
Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema were also on target as Real joined bitter rivals Barcelona in the last eight, the draw for which will be held on Friday. The only negative on the night for Madrid was a yellow card for Xabi Alonso that means he will miss the first leg of their quarterfinal tie.
CSKA arrived in Madrid having not lost away in the Champions League all season and they started the game looking well-organised and determined. But Madrid's quick passing increased in intensity and it was no surprise when Sami Khedira and Kaka combined on 26 minutes to set up Higuain.
On 55 minutes, Ronaldo tried his luck with a spinning shot from fully 40 yards that Chepchugov failed to block. Mourinho then changed Higuain for Benzema and the Frenchman grabbed Madrid's third within a minute of his arrival, converting an Oezil pass for his fifth goal in this season's Champions League.
Tosic scored at 77 minutes with a stunning left-footed strike from the edge of the area. But there was still time for Ronaldo to add his second in injury time.
First Published: Mar 15, 2012 09:25 IST