Galatasaray 1-1 Chelsea
Wednesday 26 February 2014
Chelsea took the lead early in Turkey but the tie remains very much open after a second half goal levelled the match. Jose Mourinho’s pre-match talk about Chelsea not having a forward proved to be apt. They certainly lack a striker of the quality they need to win at the highest elite level. Chelsea will be favourites to prevail over Roberto Mancini’s men in the second leg, but this fatal flaw could cost them if they progress any further in the competition.
The blues started the game great with the Turkish team allowing far too much room in the wide areas. This was exploited for the opening goal, first by Schurrle, then by the excellent Azipilicueta. The Spaniard squared the ball to his countryman Torres who had the simple task of giving Chelsea the lead. Azipilicueta continues to show everyone why Ashley Cole is not getting a sniff at left back.
Chelsea could have been in front early in the match when the Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera cleared poorly straight to Willian. Unfortunately for Jose’s men, the Brazilian could not chip the Uruguayan, who cleared very well with his head from outside his area. Chelsea’s style seemed perfect for the opposition to sit back and counter into the open space left behind. However, the lack of a great front-man continued to hurt the Londoners as Chelsea dominated the first half but could not kill off the Turkish Champions.
When Torres missed a golden chance to make it 2-0 – after good work by Eden Hazard – minutes into the second half, they were punished for being wasteful. Chelsea had a few warnings before they actually conceded. Yilmaz had a goal disallowed in the first period because a second ball came onto the pitch before the striker put the ball into the net. Drogba headed down a corner for Inan but his teammate could only hit the post.
Finally, the blues paid the price for a sleepy second half performance when Sneijder’s corner – which both Cech and Terry failed to deal with – gave Chedjou the easy take of putting the ball into the open goal. It could have been worse for Chelsea as the home fans turned the noise up even more. Cech was up to the task, tipping over Telles’ fierce shot. The game petered out somewhat with Chelsea apparently happy to go back to The Bridge with an away goal and the tie level. However, if you look ahead to the talent that the likes of Real, Barca and Munich possess in the final third, it’s sobering to see that Chelsea are just not in the same league, and Jose knows it only too well.
Man of the Match Cesar Azipilicueta continues to show why he has made the left back berth his own this season. He is a great defender who is also more than willing to get forward. The goal was a fine example of this outstanding contributions.
Thanks for reading,