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Page last updated at 21:36 GMT, Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Juventus 2-2 Chelsea (agg 2-3)

By Jonathan Stevenson

Chelsea goalscorer Didier Drogba
Drogba wheels away after scoring Chelsea's second goal in Turin

Chelsea booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League despite a severe test from Juventus.

The hosts dominated from the start and went ahead when David Trezeguet played in Vincenzo Iaquinta to clip home.

Chelsea thought Didier Drogba's free-kick had gone over the line, before Michael Essien bundled in from a yard.

Juve had Giorgio Chiellini sent off but Alessandro del Piero scored from the spot after Juliano Belletti handled,

before Drogba's late strike settled it.

It was perhaps more than Chelsea deserved after a disappointing display, especially in the first half, but they improved sufficiently after the break and Guus Hiddink will be delighted they made it through.

Juve gave them a late scare with Del Piero's goal, but Essien's first-half goal in stoppage time was the defining moment of the tie and the midfielder, given his first start since August after a long lay-off with knee ligament damage, could barely contain his jubilation.

The away goal meant Juventus had to score twice to progress and despite Del Piero's momentary intervention, they rarely looked capable of breaking the Blues down with 10 men towards the end.

Yet it had all looked so promising for the home fans at the Stadio Olimpico, as their side produced an opening full of vigour and sparkle.

606: DEBATE
Drogbas_sniper

Pavel Nedved was at the heart of all Juve's early endeavour, but even after he trudged off injured with 12 minutes on the clock, The Old Lady continued to ask questions of the Chelsea defence and took the lead not long after the Czech's departure.

Iaquinta flicked the ball into Trezeguet's path and the Frenchman brilliantly hooked the ball forward for Iaquinta to latch on to, the striker keeping his cool to lift it expertly over the advancing Cech.

Juve were flying and they nearly got another moments later when Del Piero's left-foot swerver was punched over his bar by a panicking Cech.

Chelsea could not get a foothold in the game, with passes going astray at an alarming rate and Drogba and Nicolas Anelka badly isolated up front.

Michael Essien scores
Essien reacts quickest to poke home Chelsea's first goal

But the hosts failed to turn their superiority into more goals and as half-time approached, Chelsea suddenly burst into life.

They perhaps should have gone ahead when Buffon fumbled Drogba's free-kick - given for a dubious handball on Tiago - over the line, only for the assistant referee to wave play on.

But in first-half stoppage time Lampard fired in a shot from 30 yards that took a wicked deflection and forced a fabulous save from Buffon, only for Essien to beat two Juve defenders to the ball and bundle in from close-range.

The goal changed the entire complex of the game and Chelsea came out after the break looking capable of easily hanging on to their lead.

Lampard hails team spirit

When Chiellini was sent off for a second yellow card it appeared all over, until Belletti inexplicably lifted his hands to a Del Piero free-kick to give away a penalty, which the veteran playmaker calmly rolled in.

But Juve's hopes deteriorated as quickly as they had reignited when Michael Ballack played in Belletti and he redeemed himself with a cross that Drogba stole in to convert at the near post.

That was the cue for Chelsea's celebrations to begin in earnest and they will await their quarter-final opponents when the draw is made in Nyon on Friday 20 March.


Juventus: Buffon, Grygera, Mellberg, Chiellini, Molinaro, Tiago, Marchisio, Nedved (Salihamidzic 13), Iaquinta (Giovinco 61), Del Piero, Trezeguet (Amauri 79).
Subs Not Used: Manninger, Zebina, Poulsen, Ariaudo.

Sent Off: Chiellini (71).

Booked: Salihamidzic, Chiellini, Del Piero.

Goals: Iaquinta 19, Del Piero 74 pen.

Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Terry, Alex (Carvalho 88), Ashley Cole, Mikel, Ballack, Essien (Belletti 66), Lampard, Drogba, Anelka.
Subs Not Used: Hilario, Malouda, Deco, Kalou, Mancienne.

Booked: Cech, Drogba, Ashley Cole, Anelka.

Goals: Essien 45, Drogba 83.

Att: 28,500.

Ref: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain).


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Chelsea's Michael Essien on 8.00 (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
Hiddink praises Chelsea battlers
10 Mar 09 |  Chelsea
Champions League as it happened
10 Mar 09 |  Football
Champions League photos
10 Mar 09 |  Football
Chelsea 1-0 Juventus
25 Feb 09 |  Europe


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