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Page last updated at 20:39 GMT, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 21:39 UK

Chelsea 2-0 Fenerbahce (3-2)

By Jonathan Stevenson

Michael Ballack glances in the Chelsea opener
Ballack glances in the Chelsea opener against Fenerbahce

Chelsea booked a Champions League semi-final spot as Michael Ballack and Frank Lampard goals saw off Fenerbahce.

Ballack latched on to Joe Cole's free-kick from the right after four minutes to head past Volkan Demirel.

Cole clipped a shot against the post soon after, before Chelsea lost keeper Carlo Cudicini to a hamstring injury.

Lugano and Ugur went close for the Turks before Lampard tapped in late on after good work from Michael Essien to set up a last-four tie with Liverpool.

The result, coupled with Liverpool's 5-3 aggregate win over Arsenal, means the two clubs will go head-to-head in the Champions League semi-finals for the third time in four seasons.

606: DEBATE
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With Chelsea only three points behind leaders Manchester United in the Premier League, they must harbour genuine hopes of winning both trophies now.

After losing the first leg 2-1 there were nerves aplenty at Stamford Bridge, but they were settled somewhat with only four minutes on the clock as the hosts' barnstorming start led to a crucial opener.

Essien was fouled down the right and when Joe Cole swung in the cross, Ballack was on hand to plant a header downwards and across the keeper into the far corner of the net.

Chelsea had started like a train and Salomon Kalou scampered down the left and pulled the ball back for Cole to impudently flick it against the right-hand post with Volkan well beaten.

But having made such a fine start, Chelsea inexplicably dropped the tempo and began to allow Fenerbahce a route back into the contest.

The mood of the visitors improved when Blues keeper Cudicini limped off clutching his hamstring, replaced by Portuguese substitute Hilario.

Chelsea's injured goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini
An injury to Cudicini was the only blemish on Chelsea's night

With Petr Cech out for at least another two weeks with his facial injury, a problem for Cudicini must have been the last thing boss Avram Grant wanted at such a key stage of the season.

Soon after, Hilario was rooted to his line as Lugano sneaked in at the back post to meet an Alex free-kick, but he wastefully headed off target.

Chelsea's increasing willingness to gift possession away continued to make the contest closer than it might have been and only served to give the visitors hope.

Didier Drogba tried to increase the Blues' lead, but twice the big striker saw shots from distance fall into the arms of Volkan.

Fenerbahce brought on former Chelsea striker Mateja Kezman on the hour mark in place of defensive midfielder Claudio Maldonado as they went searching for a goal that would turn the tie around.

Chelsea nearly wrapped it up when Drogba forced Volkan to parry away his 25-yard free-kick, before the Turks went close twice in agonising fashion.

First, substitute Ugur saw his deflected volley scrambled off the line by Hilario, before first leg hero Colin Kazim-Richards stung the palms of Hilario with a 25-yard drive.

After Essien picked up a needless booking for throwing the ball away which will keep him out of the first leg against Liverpool, he got to the byeline and crossed for Lampard to tap in.

It was no more and no less than they deserved for a display which failed to sparkle but got the job done.


Chelsea: Cudicini (Hilario 25), Essien, Carvalho, Terry, Ashley Cole, Ballack, Makelele, Lampard, Joe Cole (Malouda 85), Drogba, Kalou (Belletti 58).
Subs Not Used: Shevchenko, Obi, Alex, Anelka.

Booked: Essien, Carvalho.

Goals: Ballack 4, Lampard 87.

Fenerbahce: Demirel, Gonul, Lugano, Edu Dracena, Wederson (Bilgin 89), Maldonado (Kezman 60), Aurelio, Kazim-Richards, Deivid, Alex, Senturk (Boral 75).
Subs Not Used: Kulbilge, Cakmak, Turaci, Sahin.

Att: 38,369.

Ref: Herbert Fandel (Germany).


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Michael Ballack 8.11 (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
Chelsea suffer Cudicini setback
09 Apr 08 |  Chelsea
Liverpool 4-2 Arsenal (agg 5-3)
08 Apr 08 |  Europe
Tuesday football as it happened
08 Apr 08 |  Football
Champions League pundits' view
08 Apr 08 |  Europe
Tuesday's football photos
08 Apr 08 |  Europe
Chelsea Player Rater
13 Dec 06 |  Live Text
Cech targets quick Blues return
08 Apr 08 |  Chelsea
Fenerbahce 2-1 Chelsea
02 Apr 08 |  Europe


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