Drogba off colour as Chelsea through

Stamford Bridge legend fails to find target on Champs League return with Galatasaray in a 2-0 loss to the Blue.

Drogba waves to the Chelsea fans after returning to the club where he won 10 major trophies [Reuters]

Didier Drogba’s love affair with Chelsea will not have been dampened by the Londoners’ 2-0 Champions League win over his new team Galatasaray on Tuesday, but the match may have convinced some that the Ivorian is better off as a glorious part of the Blues’ history books rather than on their team sheet.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho had hinted before this last 16 second-leg tie that Drogba could return to play again for the club where he spent a trophy-packed eight years before lifting the European Cup in his final match for them in 2012.

But while Drogba would doubtless do better in the lineup of the English Premier League leaders than in Galatasaray colours, he was nevertheless part of an attack at Stamford Bridge that was totally smothered as the Turks went out 3-1 on aggregate.

Last 16 second legs

Tuesday March 18

undefined Chelsea 2-0 Galatasary
Chelsea win 3-1 on aggregate

undefined Real Madrid 3-1 Schalke
Real win 9-2 on aggregate

Wednesday March 19

undefined Man Utd v Olympiakos
Man Utd 2-0 down from first leg

undefined Borussia Dortmund v Zenit
Zenit 4-2 down from first leg

Mourinho and Chelsea, meanwhile, march on into the quarter-finals thanks to another African legend, Samuel Eto’o, who scored in the fourth minute before Gary Cahill’s strike sealed the tie just before half time.

“We are a Champions League club, we are amongst the last eight, the best teams in the world, with all the big clubs. The players deserve to be there,” said Mourinho, who was given a kiss by Drogba before kickoff.

No credit

Mourinho had already turned down opposite number Roberto Mancini’s offer before the game of a free meal if Galatasaray ended up going through, and the Italian had even less reason to brandish a credit card in celebration after his players failed to trouble Petr Cech in the Chelsea goal.

“We really played very, very badly. Chelsea were the better side and they converted the opportunities they got,” said Mancini, who preceded Mourinho as Inter Milan manager and left Manchester City last year.

“It’s impossible to score with just one shot on goal. We need to take several steps in order to be a better team.”

Cameroon striker Eto’o swept home a cross from Brazilian Oscar to score his third goal in this season’s competition, while Cahill’s strike came after away keeper Fernando Muslera had parried John Terry’s header.

Thirty-six-year-old Drogba’s best chances came when he hit a free kick into a Chelsea banner in his honour hanging from the second tier of the stands, and when he failed to connect with a shot in the final minute.

Chelsea will be the only English team in Friday’s quarter-final draw if Manchester United fail to come back from 2-0 down in their match with Olympiakos at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s other match saw Real Madrid beat Germans Schalke with a club record 9-2 aggregate win at the Bernabeu, following their 6-1 win in the first leg.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in a 3-1 win as an under-strength team ensured they will go into Sunday’s Clasico with Barcelona on a high.

Source: Al Jazeera