Chelsea book Liverpool date

The Blues defeat Fenerbahce in London 2-0.

    Chelsea's Michael Ballack scores
    the opener [AFP]

    English Premier League club Chelsea reached the semifinals of the Uefa Champions League for the fourth time in five seasons with a 2-0 with a win over Turkish side Fenerbahce.

    Michael Ballack headed in a free kick from Frank Lampard to put Chelsea ahead in the fourth minute before Lampard added one of his own in the 87th.

    The victory advanced Chelsea on a 3-2 aggregate score.

    Chelsea reached the semifinals of the Champions League in 2004, '05 and '07.

    It was defeated first by AS Monaco, then twice by Liverpool.

    Chelsea will meet Premier League rival Liverpool in the semifinals.

    The result extended Chelsea's home unbeaten streak in Europe to 11, a run dating back 26 months.

    Fenerbache, which reached the quarterfinals for the first time and is coached by Brazilian great Zico, hadn't won away from home this season in the Champions League.

    After Ballack's goal, the Blues continued to attack in the first half, with Joe Cole hitting the post and Ballack forcing a save from Fenerbahce goalkeeper Volkan Demirel.

    Didier Drogba curled a shot just over the bar in the 22nd minute, and four minutes later, Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini limped off with what appeared to be an injury to his right hamstring.

    He was replaced by Chelsea's third-choice goalkeeper Hilario, who hadn't played since January 8, in the English League Cup.

    It was his only his sixth appearance of the season and his first in the Champions League.

    First-choice goalkeeper Petr Cech is also out for Chelsea out after having surgery for ripping his lip during a training accident on Sunday.

    He's expected to be sidelined for at least two weeks.

    Turkish confidence

    Fenerbahce had its first opportunity when Lugano headed a free kick from Alex past the post from close range in the 31st.

    The Turkish side then grew in confidence but failed to capitalise on its possession, generating no shots on target in the first half.

    Drogba had a shot saved a minute into the second half and had a scuffed shot saved in the 56th.

    Chelsea sent on defender Juliano Belletti for Kalou in the 57th minute and Fenerbahce responded by sending on former Blues forward Mateja Kezman three minutes later.

    Despite the extra defensive edge, Chelsea kept pushing for another goal.

    Ricardo Carvalho sent a shot over the bar in the 72nd and three minutes later, Lugano had Fenerbahce's second attempt on goal but it went wide.

    Drogba sent a 78th minute free kick to Demirel, who then saved from John Terry.

    Hilario made two strong saves in the final 10 minutes, pushing away a volley from Gokhan Gonul and Kazim Kazim.

    A week ago, Deivid de Souza and English-born player Kazim Kazim scored second-half goals to give Fenerbahce a 2-1 win.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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