Real eliminate Moscow as Chelsea edge past Napoli | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 14.03.2012
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Real eliminate Moscow as Chelsea edge past Napoli

Real Madrid booked a place in the Champions League quarter finals with ease, while Chelsea left it to extra time. Like Bayern Munich, both sides' dreams of a place in the final at the Allianz Arena remain intact.

Real Madrid booked their place in the Champions League quarter-finals with ease with a 4-1 win over CSKA Moscow. Meanwhile, there was a night of roller coaster emotion for both sets of fans at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea took on Napoli.

The result in the first leg in Moscow was 1-1, with away goals meaning that Russian side could not merely settle for a goalless draw against the Spanish football giants at the Santiago Bernabeu.

However, the Russians sat deep, and Madrid were unable to capitalize on the individual flickers of creativity - Germans Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil proving particularly effective. Despite this, there were chances for Moscow, in the eighth and 13th minutes.

Only in the 25th minute did the Spanish side make its breakthrough. Khedira crossed in the area to Kaka, who rolled the ball across the goal for Argentinian Gonzalo Higuain to side foot it home.

Özil continued to look sharp, creating danger from the left as Madrid gained dominance, but the score line remained 1-0 as both sides went in at the break.

Madrid remained the better side, despite forays forward by CSKA. It took a speculative range effort and goal keeping blunder for Madrid to double their score. Cristiano Ronaldo found space to strike the ball towards keeper Sergei Chepchugov, who contrived to deflect the ball off his hands and into the net off the post.

With Madrid looking strong, Jose Mourinho opted to put on Karim Benzema for goalscorer Higuain. It was to prove inspired, the Frenchman finding a through ball from Özil to score on 70 minutes.

Some consolation for the Russian side came on 70 minutes as Zoran Tosic hit in a long-range effort from the underside of the bar after 77 minutes. However, Ronaldo restored the margin by slotting home a pass from Benzema just before the match whistle - the result 4-1.

Ups and downs at the Bridge

At London's Stamford Bridge, a frenetic Chelsea dominated the early part of the game, with Napoli struggling to get to grips with the English side’s tempo and energy. Napoli stayed calm and even exploited a little nervousness, Chelsea keeper Petr Cech being forced to save more than once.

However, with Chelsea needing to overhaul a 3-1 away deficit, the Blues had to start finding the goal themselves. They did just that on 29 minutes with Didier Drogba heading the ball into the bottom of keeper Morgan De Sanctis’s net.

The Londoners went on to level the aggregate score with former England captain John Terry the source of a looping header after 48 minutes. For a few moments, Chelsea enjoyed the advantage of an away goal. Progress was in Chelsea’s grasp until the Italians struck back. A ball cleared by Terry went on as far as Napoli’s Gokhan Inler, who chested it down to fire into the bottom right to turn the tables and retake the driving seat.

The next turn in fortunes came courtesy of Chelsea’s Frank Lampard on 75 minutes, with a smash past the keeper and - with nothing between the sides - the game was set to go on past 90 minutes.

There could only be one winner, and it was Chelsea who finally sealed their place. Branislav Ivanovic scored half-way through extra time, smashing a Drogba cross into the roof of the net from 12 yards (11-meters) out, with 4-1 the final score (5-4 on aggregate).

Bayern Munich progressed with ease in Tuesday's Champions League soccer, smashing opponents on the night, Basel, 7-0.

Author: Richard Connor
Editor: Shant Shahrigian