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Home > Sports > Football > Reuters > Report


Chelsea in semis despite loss

April 13, 2005 02:21 IST
Last Updated: April 13, 2005 10:19 IST


Chelsea reached the Champions League semi-finals for the second successive season by completing a 6-5 aggregate win over Bayern Munich on Tuesday, despite losing the second leg 3-2 in a frantic finale.

Chelsea, in control of the tie after a 4-2 win in the first leg, moved further ahead when a shot from Frank Lampard deflected in off Lucio after half an hour.

Bayern equalised through Claudio Pizarro with 25 minutes to go, after Petr Cech tipped a Michael Ballack header against the post, and the four-time European champions briefly threatened a heroic comeback on the night of their 100th Champions League game.

Didier Drogba's header 10 minutes from time restored the Chelsea lead before Bayern substitute Paolo Guerrero tapped in the equaliser in the 90th minute and Mehmet Scholl blasted home the winner for the German side four minutes into injury time.

However, there was only just enough time left to kick off before referee Manuel Mejuto Gonzalez blew for full-time to send Chelsea through to face Liverpool or Juventus in the last four.

The manner of the Premier League side's aggregate victory was a lot more comfortable than the scoreline suggests.

"I actually still thought we could pull it off until they scored the second goal," said Bayern coach Felix Magath, who was in charge of the VfB Stuttgart side that went out to Chelsea in the Champions League last season.

"I was certain that once we got a second goal we'd have a good chance for a third goal," he told Germany TV station SAT-1. "But when Chelsea got their second goal it was over for me."

ABSENT COACH

Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho, serving the second half of a two-match suspension, watched the match from the hotel after deciding the executive box would not give him enough privacy.

"I didn't speak with Jose," said Chelsea's fitness coach Rui Faria. "I think he's happy, naturally.

"I think we performed well today. The result did not reflect what happened today."

Mourinho would certainly have been pleased by his side's efficient first-half performance, as they successfully kept the Bayern attack at arm's length and moved three goals clear on aggregate with Lampard's fortunate strike.

The England midfielder shot first time from the edge of the box and, just as with Joe Cole's first goal in London, it was Lucio's deflection that sent the ball past Oliver Kahn.

Chelsea had one early chance, when Kahn had to produce a perfectly timed interception to whip the ball away from Drogba on a run through on goal.

Otherwise, the opening quarter was all Bayern, as Brazil's Ze Roberto and Bastian Schweinsteiger got round the Chelsea fullbacks time and again.

The problem for Bayern was in the forward line.

They started with their first-choice strike partnership of Roy Makaay and Pizarro, who both missed the first leg with thigh injuries, but it was unclear whether either man was fully fit.

Pizarro dragged a shot well wide from a good position in the fifth minute, while Makaay had a weak effort blocked midway through the first half and then missed his kick completely with the follow-up.

Ballack was also guilty of two terrible misses either side of Lampard's goal, as Bayern continued to waste the good work being done by their two wingers.

Cech did well to save a bouncing shot from the eye-catching Schweinsteiger but otherwise the keeper had little to do.

Bayern finally started to look convincing in attack after Pizarro's equaliser and in the space of a minute Bixente Lizarazu saw a cross deflected on to the bar before Eidur Gudjohnsen was forced to clear off the line from another Ballack header.

Drogba's headed second goal took the wind out of Bayern and in truth they were lucky to come away with a win.

Bayern are moving to a new stadium at the end of the season, making this the last night of European football at the famous Olympiastadion.


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