Champions League Results: No Winning Return for Drogba as Chelsea Cruise Past Galatasaray; Ronaldo Stars for Real Madrid
By Deepak Vikraman | March 19, 2014 2:59 PM EST
Didier Drogba did not have the greatest of returns to his favourite ground as Chelsea strolled past Galatasaray in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie at Stamford Bridge.
Joining Chelsea in the quarterfinals of Europe's premier club competition is Real Madrid, with the Spanish heavyweights thumping Schalke 9-2 on aggregate after a 3-1 win at the Bernabeu, courtesy a brace from their star man Cristiano Ronaldo.
At Stamford Bridge, all eyes were on Drogba, the Chelsea legend, looking to dent his former side's hopes of making it to the last eight of the Champions League. However, the Ivory Coast striker, who enjoyed eight wonderful years in Chelsea blue, including scoring the decisive penalty to win them the 2012 Champions League, was pretty much in the periphery for much of the game, with the home side taking full control from minute one.
With the tie nicely poised at 1-1, the opening goal was always going to be important, and Chelsea got the scoreboard ticking in just the fourth minute courtesy another African veteran striker Samuel Eto'o.
The Cameroonian waltzed behind the non-existent Galatasaray defence, to latch onto a through ball from Oscar before forcing the ball past the hands of Fernando Muslera.
It was all Chelsea really in the first half, with the hosts dominating proceedings without having to get out of second gear. Galatasaray, for all their veteran stars - Wesley Sneijder was also hardly influential -- and attacking power, were pretty poor and rarely looked like threatening the opponent's goal, with Drogba, given a huge ovation from the Chelsea fans, looking almost overawed by the occasion.
Eden Hazard, at his brilliant best yet again, Willian and John Terry came close to doubling Chelsea's lead in the first half, before two minutes from halftime, Gary Cahill did just that. Muslera parried Terry's effort from a corner straight onto the path of Cahill, who volleyed home to pretty much put the tie to bed.
The second half was pretty pedestrian as Chelsea, more than happy with their lead, cruised with Galatasaray looking incapable of giving Petr Cech a chance to earn some of his wages.
At the Bernabeu, it was the Ronaldo show yet again, as Real Madrid made easy work of Schalke. Leading 6-1 heading into the second leg, Real made it 7-1 on aggregate in the 22nd minute, with Ronaldo tapping home off a cross from Gareth Bale, who came on early, after Jese Rodriguez suffered a seemingly serious injury.
Schalke, completely outclassed in the first leg, at least made a game of it in the first half of the second leg, and were deservedly level on the night just past the half hour with Tim Hoogland firing in a deflected effort past Iker Casillas.
However, Real always looked capable of cranking it up a notch whenever necessary and Ronaldo made it 2-1 on the night with a low effort after a nice run from midfield.
Alvaro Morata then made it 3-1 (9-2 on aggregate) slotting home off another Bale pass, after Ronaldo's initial effort had crashed off the crossbar to give Real a thumping win and easy passage into the quarterfinals.
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