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Page last updated at 22:05 GMT, Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Chelsea   2 - 2   Apoel Nicosia

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at Stamford Bridge

Didier Drogba
Chelsea were guilty of missing several chances to make the game safe

Chelsea's Champions League group stage qualifying campaign ended in low-key fashion as they were held to a draw by Apoel Nicosia at Stamford Bridge.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti, with top place in Group D and qualification for the last 16 assured, took the opportunity to give his line-up an experimental look and rest key personnel.

And Apoel took early advantage as Marcin Zewlakow stole in to strike after only six minutes as Chelsea appealed in vain for offside.

Michael Essien quickly equalised with a powerful shot from 25 yards - but he provided the biggest worry of the night for Chelsea and Ancelotti when he limped out of the action shortly afterwards with a hamstring injury.

Didier Drogba's excellent finish from Yuri Zhirkov's cross put Chelsea ahead and they seemed on course to end the first phase of their assault on the Champions League with a victory until Apoel substitute Nenad Mirosavljevic raced clear to equalise with three minutes left.

It was just reward for Apoel's fans, who provided magnificent and noisy backing for their side throughout on a rain-soaked night at Stamford Bridge.

For Ancelotti, the priority was to give some of Chelsea's shadow squad an opportunity on the Champions League stage and save established stars for sterner battles ahead.

Frank Lampard and Nicolas Anelka started on the bench, while keeper Petr Cech was given the night off.

It meant an opportunity for 18-year-old Gael Kakuta, at the centre of the transfer ban briefly imposed on Chelsea earlier this season after his move from Lens, while Joe Cole also started.

Cech's understudy Ross Turnbull suffered a traumatic start when he was forced to retrieve the ball from his net after only six minutes as Zewlakow slid home from Constantino Charalambides's pass.

The Blues were unperturbed by this early setback and Essien restored equality after 19 minutes when he took a pass from Florent Malouda and fired a swerving shot past Apoel keeper Dionisios Chiotis, who had no chance.

606: DEBATE
mikeessien4ever

Essien's elation was cut short as he picked up an injury shortly afterwards and was forced off - but the hosts were still able to take the lead and restore a measure of normality to the tie as substitute Lampard waited to come on.

Kakuta fed Zhirkov and his cross was met firmly by Drogba, who flashed in another emphatic finish as the Londoners threatened to snuff out Apoel's early optimism.

The youngster then demonstrated his rich promise once more with a perfectly weighted through ball to Cole, but Chiotis was quickly out at his feet to halt the danger.

Chelsea were on cruise control for much of the second half, and their main aim as the rain fell heavily on Stamford Bridge was to ensure they did not add to the casualty list after the early injury sustained by Essien.

Michael Essien goes off injured
Essien was forced off with a hamstring injury in the first half

Helio Pinto gave Turnbull one anxious moment with a long-range shot that the keeper parried, but otherwise it was a distinctly low-key affair - although the action was played out against the backdrop of constant noise from the Apoel supporters.

Captain John Terry thought he had sealed victory with a powerful finish - only to see his celebrations cut short as the strike was ruled out for offside.

And Chelsea's frustration increased as Apoel swept forward to equalise, substitute Mirosavljevic racing clear to tuck a neat finish past Turnbull after Jon Mikel Obi had conceded possession, sending the visiting fans wild with delight.

There was still time for Cole to test Chiotis one final time, but the Apoel keeper blocked his shot with his legs, but Apoel shared the spoils.


Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti:
"Michael (Essien) has a problem with his leg. We will look at him over the next few days and check on him.

"We hope it's not a big problem. I think he will not be able to play on Saturday."


Live text and stats

 

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Champions League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Chelsea 2-2 Apoel Nicosia FT
(HT 2-1)
  • Essien 19
  • Drogba 26
  • Zewlakow 6
  • Mirosavljevic 87

Chelsea

Substitutes

Apoel Nicosia

  • 22 Chiotis
  • 03 Paulo Jorge
  • 14 Broerse
  • 26 Morais
  • 32 Haxhi (Elia 34)
  • 07 Poursaitides yellow card
  • 10 Charalambidis
  • 11 Kosowski (Mirosavljevic 70)
  • 23 Pinto
  • 33 Michael
  • 21 Zewlakow (Breska 82)

Substitutes

  • 88 Kissas,
  • 19 Elia,
  • 17 Satsias,
  • 37 Breska,
  • 09 Papathanasiou,
  • 20 Jean Paulista,
  • 30 Mirosavljevic
Ref: TrefoloniAtt: 40,917
CHELSEA
APOEL NICOSIA

Possession

  • Chelsea 58%
  • Apoel Nicosia 42%

Attempts on target

  • Chelsea 12
  • Apoel Nicosia 3

Attempts off target

  • Chelsea 13
  • Apoel Nicosia 1

Corners

  • Chelsea 8
  • Apoel Nicosia 3

Fouls

  • Chelsea 14
  • Apoel Nicosia 7
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+3:08 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
  • 90:00+2:50 Nenad Mirosavljevic crosses the ball, Yuri Zhirkov manages to make a clearance.
  • 90:00+2:39 Free kick awarded for a foul by Mikel on Mario Breska. Nuno Morais restarts play with the free kick.
  • 90:00+1:52 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Florent Malouda from the left by-line, Juliano Belletti takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.
  • 90:00+1:40 Didier Drogba takes a shot. Save by Dionissis Chiotis.
  • 90:00+0:18 Joe Cole has a drilled shot. Save by Dionissis Chiotis.
  • 88:25 Mikel challenges Mario Breska unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Konstantinos Charalambidis, Florent Malouda manages to make a clearance.
  • 86:34 GOAL - Nenad MirosavljevicChelsea 2 - 2 Apoel Nicosia Nenad Mirosavljevic scores a goal from the edge of the penalty box low into the middle of the goal. Chelsea 2-2 Apoel Nicosia.
  • 84:59 Free kick crossed right-footed by Frank Lampard from left wing. The referee blows for offside against John Terry. Free kick taken by Dionissis Chiotis.
  • 84:59 Booking Savvas Poursaitides booked.
  • 84:34 Florent Malouda fouled by Savvas Poursaitides, the ref awards a free kick.
  • 83:09 Mario Breska gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on John Terry. Ross Turnbull restarts play with the free kick.
  • 81:54 Substitution (Apoel Nicosia) makes a substitution, with Mario Breska coming on for Marcin Zewlakow.
  • 81:32 Helio Pinto takes a shot from inside the box clearing the bar.
  • 79:11 Centre by Fabio Borini.
  • 78:26 The ball is delivered by Didier Drogba.
  • 76:55 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Florent Malouda played to the near post, save by Dionissis Chiotis.
  • 76:08 Juliano Belletti has an effort at goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
  • 75:38 Inswinging corner taken by Frank Lampard from the left by-line.
  • 75:27 Florent Malouda takes a shot. Blocked by Savvas Poursaitides.
  • 74:40 Konstantinos Charalambidis produces a cross.
  • 73:48 The ball is swung over by Konstantinos Charalambidis, John Terry manages to make a clearance.
  • 73:16 Unfair challenge on Marcin Zewlakow by Mikel results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Chryssis Michael.
  • 72:03 Substitution (Chelsea) makes a substitution, with Fabio Borini coming on for Gael Kakuta.
  • 71:55 Effort from outside the penalty box by Florent Malouda goes wide left of the target.
  • 70:45 Florent Malouda sends in a cross.
  • 69:40 Substitution Nenad Mirosavljevic is brought on as a substitute for Kamil Kosowski.
  • 69:34 A cross is delivered by Joe Cole.
  • 66:40 Florent Malouda concedes a free kick for a foul on Savvas Poursaitides. Savvas Poursaitides takes the free kick.
  • 66:19 Juliano Belletti fouled by Marios Elia, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Gael Kakuta.
  • 64:18 Gael Kakuta fouled by Marios Elia, the ref awards a free kick. Juliano Belletti takes the direct free kick.
  • 63:00 Joe Cole produces a cross, save by Dionissis Chiotis.
  • 62:07 Juliano Belletti has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide left of the goal.
  • 61:11 Shot from 20 yards by Joe Cole. Blocked by Joost Broerse. Corner taken by Florent Malouda from the right by-line, clearance by Kamil Kosowski.
  • Correction - 58:36 Corner taken right-footed by Konstantinos Charalambidis from the left by-line, Mikel makes a clearance.
  • 58:36 Inswinging corner taken by Konstantinos Charalambidis from the left by-line, Didier Drogba makes a clearance.
  • 55:04 Unfair challenge on Didier Drogba by Chryssis Michael results in a free kick. Didier Drogba has an effort direct from the free kick.
  • 53:31 Kamil Kosowski fouled by Mikel, the ref awards a free kick. Chryssis Michael restarts play with the free kick.
  • 51:56 Corner taken by Konstantinos Charalambidis from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Ricardo Carvalho.
  • 51:45 Helio Pinto takes a shot. Save made by Ross Turnbull.
  • 50:29 Effort on goal by Joe Cole from long range goes over the bar.
  • 49:56 Unfair challenge on Helio Pinto by Florent Malouda results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Soares Paulo Jorge.
  • 47:25 The ball is delivered by Gael Kakuta.
  • 45:40 Foul by John Terry on Konstantinos Charalambidis, free kick awarded. Helio Pinto takes the free kick.
  • 45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+2:05 The ref blows to signal half-time.
  • 45:00+1:16 Helio Pinto gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Frank Lampard. Direct free kick taken by Frank Lampard.
  • 44:14 Inswinging corner taken by Didier Drogba from the left by-line, Effort on goal by Frank Lampard from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.
  • 42:52 Frank Lampard produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.
  • 42:15 Frank Lampard takes a shot. Soares Paulo Jorge gets a block in.
  • 41:25 Unfair challenge on Marios Elia by Didier Drogba results in a free kick. Dionissis Chiotis takes the direct free kick.
  • 40:05 Corner taken by Konstantinos Charalambidis played to the near post, Ricardo Carvalho manages to make a clearance.
  • 39:26 Shot by Mikel from 12 yards. Save by Dionissis Chiotis.
  • 38:47 Effort from long range by Florent Malouda goes wide right of the target.
  • 36:57 The offside flag is raised against Marcin Zewlakow. Direct free kick taken by Juliano Belletti.
  • 35:16 The ball is sent over by Helio Pinto.
  • 34:21 Joe Cole crosses the ball, save by Dionissis Chiotis.
  • 33:32 Direct free kick taken by Savvas Poursaitides.
  • 33:32 Substitution Marios Elia joins the action as a substitute, replacing Altin Haxhi.
  • 33:32 Florent Malouda is ruled offside.
  • 33:21 Gael Kakuta takes a shot. Joost Broerse gets a block in.
  • 32:45 Juliano Belletti takes a shot. Save by Dionissis Chiotis.
  • 30:28 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nuno Morais by Ricardo Carvalho. Nuno Morais takes the direct free kick.
  • 28:15 Centre by Juliano Belletti, clearance made by Soares Paulo Jorge.
  • 25:14 Substitution Frank Lampard joins the action as a substitute, replacing Michael Essien.
  • 25:14 The assist for the goal came from Yuri Zhirkov.
  • 25:14 GOAL - Didier DrogbaChelsea 2 - 1 Apoel Nicosia A goal is scored by Didier Drogba from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Chelsea 2-1 Apoel Nicosia.
  • 24:12 Helio Pinto challenges Gael Kakuta unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Mikel.
  • 21:41 Yuri Zhirkov sends in a cross.
  • 21:23 The offside flag is raised against Konstantinos Charalambidis. Ricardo Carvalho takes the direct free kick.
  • 20:47 Juliano Belletti gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Konstantinos Charalambidis. Altin Haxhi takes the direct free kick.
  • 20:28 Shot from 30 yards by Didier Drogba. Dionissis Chiotis makes a save.
  • 18:35 GOAL - Michael EssienChelsea 1 - 1 Apoel Nicosia Michael Essien finds the net with a goal from outside the area low into the middle of the goal. Chelsea 1-1 Apoel Nicosia.
  • 18:15 Shot by Joe Cole. Blocked by Savvas Poursaitides.
  • 18:01 Nuno Morais produces a cross. The official flags Marcin Zewlakow offside. Ross Turnbull restarts play with the free kick.
  • 17:38 Free kick taken by Savvas Poursaitides.
  • 17:38 Booking Yuri Zhirkov is shown a yellow card.
  • 17:29 Yuri Zhirkov gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kamil Kosowski.
  • 17:15 Yuri Zhirkov sends in a cross, Altin Haxhi manages to make a clearance.
  • 16:42 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Joe Cole, save by Dionissis Chiotis.
  • 15:03 Helio Pinto fouled by Michael Essien, the ref awards a free kick. Chryssis Michael takes the free kick.
  • 14:28 Header by Didier Drogba from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
  • 13:33 The ball is sent over by Joe Cole, save made by Dionissis Chiotis.
  • 12:55 Yuri Zhirkov has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
  • 11:09 Joe Cole is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Dionissis Chiotis restarts play with the free kick.
  • 9:38 Corner taken right-footed by Joe Cole, Michael Essien produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.
  • 9:27 The ball is delivered by Yuri Zhirkov, clearance made by Chryssis Michael.
  • 8:31 Mikel challenges Nuno Morais unfairly and gives away a free kick. Konstantinos Charalambidis restarts play with the free kick.
  • 7:40 The assistant referee flags for offside against Didier Drogba. Free kick taken by Dionissis Chiotis.
  • 5:50 The assist for the goal came from Konstantinos Charalambidis.
  • 5:50 GOAL - Marcin ZewlakowChelsea 0 - 1 Apoel Nicosia Marcin Zewlakow fires in a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Chelsea 0-1 Apoel Nicosia.
  • 2:41 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nuno Morais by Florent Malouda. Free kick taken by Nuno Morais.
  • 1:34 Corner taken right-footed by Joe Cole from the left by-line, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by John Terry goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
  • 0:00 The referee starts the match.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Champions League results

8 Dec 2009 23:59 UK


see also
Essien out for up to four weeks
09 Dec 09 |  Chelsea
Tuesday football as it happened
08 Dec 09 |  Football
Tuesday's Champions League review
08 Dec 09 |  Europe
Ancelotti not worried by defeat
05 Dec 09 |  Premier League
Injured Kalou out for two weeks
03 Dec 09 |  Chelsea
Porto 0-1 Chelsea
25 Nov 09 |  Europe


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