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Chelsea 1-0 Juventus

Didier Drogba celebrates putting Chelsea ahead against Juventus
Didier Drogba celebrates putting Chelsea ahead against Juventus

By Phil McNulty

Didier Drogba's early goal gave Chelsea a slender advantage over Juventus after a tight encounter in the last 16 of the Champions League at Stamford Bridge.

Drogba slid home Salomon Kalou's pass after 13 minutes, but former Chelsea coach Claudio Ranieri will have real hope for the second leg in Turin.

Juve gave Chelsea anxious moments, with keeper Petr Cech saving brilliantly from Alessandro del Piero.

Pavel Nedved was also just off target late on, but Chelsea held on to win.

PHIL McNULTY BLOG
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty
It gave Chelsea's temporary coach Guus Hiddink his second successive single goal win after starting his reign with a victory at Aston Villa on Saturday.

And while Chelsea were unconvincing after the break, Hiddink will be delighted with the triumph - and the fact that his side prevented the Serie A side from scoring an away goal.

Ranieri was afforded a great reception by the Stamford Bridge crowd as they showed their appreciation of his stint at the club.

But Chelsea extended no such sympathy to their one-time boss as they made a lively start, with Kalou's low 20-yard effort testing Gianluigi Buffon and Drogba heading over from Jose Bosingwa's cross.

Drogba made no mistake after 13 minutes when he took a slide-rule pass from Kalou in his side and drilled a powerful finish past Buffon.

Juventus veteran Del Piero then showed a flash of the old magic with a shot on the turn that brought an equally fine save from the diving Cech.

Giorgio Chiellini then just failed to get on the end of Tiago's flick from a dangerous Del Piero corner.

The game was delicately balanced and switching from end-to-end, with Juve taking a bold approach in a bid to get a crucial away goal.

But Drogba was left frustrated when his penalty claims were ignored by Portuguese referee Olegario Benquerenca as he tumbled under challenge from Chiellini.

Juve, however, were posing a real threat and twice substitute Claudio Marchisio was just off target as Chelsea's first-half supremacy was seriously challenged.

Nicolas Anelka had been quiet, but almost scored a spectacular second for Chelsea with four minutes left with an angled drive that beat Buffon and flew only inches wide.

Ranieri had sent on David Trezeguet in a positive move, and he was almost rewarded when the experienced striker found space in the area, only to shoot hopelessly wide.

Juventus had been the better side after the break, and they almost snatched an equaliser in the closing seconds when Nedved's shot beat Cech but slipped agonisingly wide of the post.


Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Terry, Alex, Ashley Cole, Kalou (Malouda 72), Ballack (Mancienne 81), Lampard, Mikel, Drogba, Anelka.
Subs Not Used: Hilario, Ivanovic, Ferreira, Di Santo, Stoch.

Booked: Ballack.

Goals: Drogba 13.

Juventus: Buffon, Chiellini, Mellberg, Legrottaglie, Molinaro, Nedved, Camoranesi (Marchionni 51), Sissoko (Trezeguet 86), Tiago (Marchisio 62), Del Piero, Amauri.
Subs Not Used: Manninger, Grygera, Poulsen, Iaquinta.

Booked: Molinaro, Sissoko, Marchisio.

Att: 38,079

Ref: Olegario Benquerenca (Portugal).


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Chelsea's Frank Lampard 7.85 (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.

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see also
Champions League photos
25 Feb 09 |  Football


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