BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 23:31 GMT, Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Hiddink praises Chelsea battlers

Chelsea's players celebrate Didier Drogba's decisive late goal
Chelsea's players celebrate Didier Drogba's decisive late goal

Coach Guus Hiddink was delighted with Chelsea's reaction to going a goal behind at Juventus as the Blues reached the Champions League quarter-finals.

Chelsea, leading 1-0 from the first leg, conceded an early goal in Turin but eventually drew the match 2-2.

Hiddink said: "Playing at Juventus' home is not easy but we started sloppily, we lost too many duels.

"But their reaction from then on was very good indeed and that's what I like a lot about this team."

He added: "This team reacts and shows its quality - out of 10 games, you can force your win seven or eight times and that is the spirit needed in a team.

"We knew we must not panic because we can score at any moment and that's what we did, scoring on the stroke of half-time with Michael Essien."

Despite Alessandro del Piero putting Juve ahead again from the spot in the second half, Didier Drogba's late goal sealed Chelsea's qualification.

He has scored four goals in his last five games and Hiddink praised the Ivorian, along with his strike partner Nicolas Anelka.

"Drogba is very important," stated Hiddink. "He showed his commitment and he does not give you an easy night as a defender.

Lampard hails team spirit

"When he scores it is even better - he got just ahead of his marker for his goal and that is a sign that he is sharp.

"I would like to also add that Anelka, after not training much, did his job tactically very well.

"He was always occupying two defenders and did very well defensively, I am impressed."

Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri, who used to be in charge at Chelsea, believes his side lost the tie when they failed to score an away goal at Stamford Bridge on 25 February.

The Unused Substitute

"I think we lost at Chelsea because we scored no away goals and in this competition it is very important to score away goals," said Ranieri.

"It is no news that Chelsea are a great team, after all they reached the final last year and lost on the last penalty."

Print Sponsor

see also
Juventus 2-2 Chelsea (agg 2-3)
10 Mar 09 |  Europe
Champions League as it happened
10 Mar 09 |  Football
Champions League photos
10 Mar 09 |  Football
Chelsea 1-0 Juventus
25 Feb 09 |  Europe

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites