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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 September 2006, 20:37 GMT 21:37 UK
Levski Sofia 1-3 Chelsea
By Phil McNulty

Didier Drogba celebrates his first goal for Chelsea in Sofia
Didier Drogba celebrates his first goal for Chelsea in Sofia
Didier Drogba's hat-trick gave Chelsea a comfortable win against Levski Sofia and made it maximum points from their opening two Champions League games.

Drogba and Michael Ballack had already hit the woodwork before the striker fired home from close range seven minutes before the interval.

He rolled in his second from Wayne Bridge's pass after 52 minutes.

Drogba turned in Frank Lampard's shot for his third before Mariyan Ognyanov pulled one back a minute from time.

Chelsea captain John Terry was declared fit after the back injury that ruled him out of the win against Fulham - and in a surprise move Bridge was preferred to Ashley Cole at left-back.

Levski made a lively start, but Chelsea's extra quality told as they carved out all the serious chances.

Drogba should have given Chelsea the lead in the 14th minute, but he hit the bar from close range with Levski's defence in chaos.

Levski were not afraid to make their physical presence felt, and Andriy Shevchenko was furious that Zhivko Milanov went unpunished after an aerial challenge that left him with blood pouring from a facial wound.

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Ballack was at the heart of Chelsea's midfield, eligible to play with his current suspension only ruling him out of domestic games.

And he was denied by the woodwork after 20 minutes when a shot from fully 30 yards was turned on to the post by Georgi Petkov.

Chelsea finally broke the deadlock seven minutes before half-time when Drogba was on hand to fire home powerfully after a shot from Jon Obi Mikel - making his first start for Chelsea - was palmed away by Petkov.

And Drogba doubled Chelsea's advantage after 52 minutes, chesting down a long ball from Bridge before beating Petkov with a left-foot finish the keeper half-blocked but could not stop rolling into the net.

Mikel had taken a couple of hefty knocks, and it was no surprise when he was replaced by Salomon Kalou after in the 63rd minute.

Drogba's hat-trick goal followed swiftly, and he enjoyed a slice of good fortune to get it, re-directing Lampard's shot into the net via his heel.

The striker was substituted almost immediately, his night's work over as he was replaced by Arjen Robben.

Shevchenko had been quiet once more, but he demonstrated his trademark sharpness with a shot only inches over the top from Kalou's clever pass.

Petr Cech then showed his quality as Chelsea suddenly found themselves under pressure, saving well from Hristo Jovov.

He also saved well from Georgi Ivanov, but Chelsea still looked dangerous, with Robben shooting into the side-netting and heading over from Kalou's fiercely-driven cross.

Chelsea switched off slightly in the closing stages, allowing Ognyanov to pull one back from the edge of the area and score Levski's first goal in the Champions League.


Levski Sofia: Petkov, Milanov, Topuzakov, Tomasic, Wagner, Borimirov (Koprivarov 79), Bardon (Ognyanov 71), Eromoigbe, Telkiyski (Georgi Ivanov 66), Stanislav Angelov, Yovov.
Subs Not Used: Mihailov, Hristov, Minev, Miroslav Ivanov.

Booked: Stanislav Angelov.

Goals: Ognyanov 89.

Chelsea: Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Terry, Ricardo Carvalho, Bridge, Mikel (Kalou 63), Essien, Ballack, Lampard, Shevchenko (Wright-Phillips 82), Drogba (Robben 70).
Subs Not Used: Hilario, Ashley Cole, Makelele, Boulahrouz.

Booked: Mikel.

Goals: Drogba 39, 52, 68.

Att: 27,950

Ref: Laurent Duhamel (France).



SEE ALSO
Champions League photos
27 Sep 06 |  Photo Galleries


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