Tuesday, September 28, 1999 Published at 21:41 GMT
Petrescu keeps Chelsea dreams alive
Petrescu: Took his time over the winner
Chelsea 1-0 Galatasaray
Chelsea revived their flagging Champions League campaign - but only just as they struggled to a 1-0 win over ten-man Galatasaray at Stamford Bridge.
Forced to reshuffle, ten-man Galatasaray sacrificed striker Urdem Arif who until then had been their most menacing player.
The dismissal proved the game's turning point and although Galatasaray battled bravely, Chelsea eventually found the net on the hour mark when Petrescu chipped the winner.
But it was tense 90 minutes for Chelsea and it took the introduction of inspirational midfielder Gus Poyet in the second half to break the deadlock.
But within seven minutes his presence in midfield produced results.
He helped set up a chance for Petrescu, and although the initial shot was saved by replacement keeper Bolukbasi Mehmet, Petrescu kept his head to collect the re-bound, switch feet, and side-foot a chip into the empty net.
The sense of relief at Stamford Bridge was tangible.
After a shock defeat to Hertha Berlin, Chelsea desperately needed a home win to keep their Champions League campaign on track.
From the kick-off Gianluca Vialli's men had surged forward as they sought to put their recent goal-scoring problems behind them.
Striker Chris Sutton was preferred to Tore Andre Flo, who replaced him with ten minutes to go, but once again their pair showed an inability to finish.
Gianfranco Zola had three golden opportunities to score -a free header from six yards, a well-struck free-kick which hit the post and a one-on-one shot - but it was Chelsea's midfielders who had the best chances.
Ambrosetti caused the Turks problems with his penetrating crosses from the left flank which both skipper Dennis Wise and Petrescu almost fired home.
But until Taffarel's dismissal Chelsea's need to score left them looking extremely vulnerable at the back.
In only the fourth minute the Turks appeared to score from a corner when Chris Sutton headed over his own line - but the referee only saw the foul on keeper Ed De Goey.
Arif broke through several times, the first when he put his well-struck shot wide and the second when he just failed to reach a cross after Frank Leboeuf and Marcel Desailly both left him unmarked.
But, after Taffarel's dismissal on the half hour, Arif was sacrificed as coach Fatih Terim was forced to re-shuffle and the Turkish threat was blunted.
Replacement keeper Mehmet made a series of fine saves as Chelsea eventually began to make the extra man count.
But Chelsea, who stay third in the group behind Berlin and Milan, squandered a hatful of late chances which they know would have been punished by full-strength European opposition.