Chelsea reach quarterfinals

Oleh: admin
March 17, 2011

chealse reach quarterfinal

Chelsea became the third Premier League soccer team to advance to the Champions League quarterfinals, which record nine-time winner Real Madrid reached for the first time in six years.

England has at least three clubs in the quarterfinal draw for the fourth time in five seasons after Chelsea drew 0-0 last night with Copenhagen to advance 2-0 over two games.

“We had at least 10 chances to score,” Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters. “We should have taken advantage of at least one.”

Real beat Lyon 3-0 to complete a 4-1 series win and take its place in the final eight for the first time since 2004.

“We deserve to be in the next round,” Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, who led Inter to the title last season, told reporters. “We controlled the game.”

Defending champion Inter Milan and three-time winners Barcelona and Manchester United already advanced. They’re joined by Schalke and two teams that have never before reached the quarterfinals in Europe’s top club competition, Shakhtar Donetsk and Tottenham. The draw for the quarterfinals and semifinals will be held tomorrow.

“I’d like to avoid Barcelona on Friday because they’re the strongest team — actually, if I could I would put both Barcelona and Manchester United in the other half of the draw so that we could only face them in the final,” Ancelotti said.

Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, who started up front with Fernando Torres on the bench, had early attempts at goal saved by goalkeeper Johan Wiland, while Yuri Zhirkov twice shot wide for the home team at Stamford Bridge, west London.

Copenhagen’s Dame N’Doye came close in the 26th minute with a free kick from outside the area that left Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech flat-footed as it crashed off the post. Wiland then caught Drogba’s shot from the edge of the area four minutes before halftime.

Drogba got a step on the defence early in the second half before sending his volley wide. Wiland then stopped Ramirez’s shot and John Obi Mikel’s header hit the crossbar before going over.

Torres replaced Anelka in the 68th minute and almost scored with a deflected shot that went wide. The Spaniard, who hasn’t scored since his 50 million-pound ($80 million) move from Liverpool in January, forced a diving save from Wiland moments later.

“It was a magnificent performance to get a goalless draw here,” Copenhagen coach Stale Solbakken told reporters. “Our central defense was extremely strong, our goalkeeper did well and in general our display was very satisfying.”

It’s the sixth time in eight seasons Chelsea has reached the quarterfinals. The Blues were beaten in the round of 16 by Inter in 2010.

At the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Marcelo, Karim Benzema and Angel di Maria scored as Real beat Lyon for the first time in eight Champions League games.

“We deserved to win,” Mourinho told reporters. “We played a complete game, offensively and defensively.”

Madrid took the lead in the 37th minute as Marcelo exchanged passes with Cristiano Ronaldo, avoided a defender’s challenge in the area and fired a shot past Hugo Lloris.

Benzema was called offside when he headed the ball in from close range five minutes later and the same player extended the lead in the 66th minute when he ran on to a loose ball, took one touch and put a shot by Lloris.

Di Maria made certain of the win 10 minutes later when he ran onto Mesut Ozil’s flicked header and lifted a shot over the onrushing Lloris.

“We couldn’t match them,” Lyon manager Claude Puel told reporters. “They put pressure on us from the outset and kept us down. We failed to raise the level of our game.”

— Bloomberg

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