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Chelsea 3-0 Olympiakos (agg 3-0)

By Phil McNulty

Chelsea's Frank Lampard celebrates his goal with Didier Drogba
Chelsea's Frank Lampard celebrates his goal with Didier Drogba

Chelsea strolled into the Champions League quarter-finals with an easy victory against Olympiakos.

Michael Ballack headed home Frank Lampard's cross to set Chelsea on their way after six minutes.

Lampard doubled the lead from close range in the 25th minute after keeper Antonis Nikopolidis blocked Ballack's powerful shot.

Chelsea added a third three minutes after half-time when Salomon Kalou turned in Lampard's corner.

Little Devil

Chelsea were dealt a blow before kick-off when keeper Petr Cech was ruled out with an ankle injury - but replacement Carlo Cudicini was virtually redundant as Avram Grant's side took complete control.

Joe Cole hit a post inside two minutes, only to be ruled offside - but it was a brief reprieve for Olympiakos as Chelsea went ahead shortly afterwards.

Lampard was the provider with a left-wing cross that was glanced home in trademark fashion by Ballack at the near post.

The German repaid the compliment midway through the first half when his shot was pushed out by Olympiakos keeper Antonis Nikopolidis, leaving Lampard with the simplest of tasks to double Chelsea's advantage.

And any lingering hopes Olympiakos had of salvaging something from a dreadful night disappeared three minutes after the break when Lampard's corner evaded Ricardo Carvalho in the six-yard area but fell invitingly for Kalou to steer home from close range.

Lampard should have added his second and Chelsea's fourth after 52 minutes following good work by Kalou, but his finish was uncharacteristically poor as he shot wide.

Chelsea had barely needed to break sweat to outclass the Greeks, and twice in the space of seconds they could have extended their lead as Nikopolidis saved well from Joe Cole and then dived to clutch a low drive from Claude Makelele.

Olympiakos broke the shackles with eight minutes left as Fernando Belluschi struck the bar from 25 yards with Cudicini motionless.

And in a rare flurry of attacking action, Chelsea's Italian keeper blocked a free-kick from Belluschi then recovered to save Paraskevas Antzas's header.

But Chelsea were never in any serious danger and moved into the last eight of the Champions League in emphatic fashion.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Ferreira, Carvalho, Terry, Ashley Cole, Ballack, Makelele, Lampard (Essien 76), Kalou (Malouda 70), Drogba, Joe Cole (Wright-Phillips 79).

Subs Not Used: Hilario, Alex, Belletti, Anelka.

Booked: Lampard, Ferreira, Terry.

Goals: Ballack 6, Lampard 25, Kalou 48.

Olympiakos: Nikopolidis, Zewlakow, Julio Cesar, Antzas, Pantos, Ledesma (Belluschi 53), Patsatzoglou, Torosidis (Sisic 75), Djordjevic (Leonardo 57), Stoltidis, Kovacevic.
Subs Not Used: Sifakis, Nunez, Mendrinos, Konstantinou.

Booked: Pantos.

Att: 37,721

Ref: Manuel Enrique Mejuto Gonzalez (Spain).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Chelsea's Michael Ballack 8.38 (on 90 minutes).

  • Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

  • see also
    Wednesday's football photos
    05 Mar 08 |  Europe
    Olympiakos 0-0 Chelsea
    19 Feb 08 |  Europe

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