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|Champions League Special: The Blue-Bricked Road - How Chelsea got to the Champions League Final|
In preparation to Chelsea’s second Champions League Final against FC Bayern Munich Daniel Quinn explains how the Blues got there.
Chelsea 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen- 13 September 2011
Chelsea got to a great start in Andre Villas-Boas UEFA Champions League (UCL) debut, with a 2-0 victory over Bundesliga runners-up Bayer Leverkusen, with goals from David Luiz and Juan Mata.
Valencia 1-1 Chelsea- 28 September 2011
After putting the front foot down the Blues couldn’t hold onto an early second-half lead, to draw 1-1 with Valencia at the Mestalla. Frank Lampard gave the Blues the lead, but Roberto Soldado equalises from the spot with four minutes to go, after Saloman Kalou handled.
Chelsea 5-0 Genk- 19 October 2011
Chelsesa next hosted Belgian Champions Genk and the Blues destroyed the Belgians 5-0.
Raul Meireles and Fernando Torres, who looked to be back at his old self, scored early on, before the Spaniard scored his brace. Branislav Ivanovic and Kalou finished off the scoring in the route over the Belgians.
Genk 1-1 Chelsea- 1 November 2011
Chelsea next travelled to Belgium to face Genk in the return fixture, but left disappointed.
Ramires gave the visitors the lead on 26 minutes, but Luiz from the spot couldn’t convert which bit the Blues on the behind, as Jelle Vossen volleyed home the equaliser with a fantastic to send the Blues home with just one point.
Leverkusen 2-1 Chelsea- 23 November 2011
Chelsea than travelled to Leverkusen for probably their toughest away trip in the group stage and tough is what the Germans were, as Leverkusen stole all three points in stoppage-time.
Drogba gave the visitors the lead at the start of the second-half.
However Eren Derdiyok headed home after Sidney Sam placed an inch-perfect ball.
Leverkusen’s late pressure was too much for the Blues as Manuel Friedrich leapt highest at a stoppage-time corner to head superbly past Petr Cech into the top corner, to leave the Blues frustrated.
Chelsea 3-0 Valencia- 6 December 2011
The Blues cemented their spot at the top of Group with a 3-0 win over Valencia in the last group stage game.
The hosts took the lead through Drogba on 3 minutes, before Ramires doubled the lead thanks to a great Drogba through-ball.
Drogba sealed the points when the Ivorian slide a strike past Diego Alves in goals, to give the Blues top stop in Group E ahead of Bayer Leverkusen.
Napoli 3-1 Chelsea- 21 Februrary 2012
The first-leg of the Round of 16 with Napoli didn’t go Chelsea’s way.
The first-half was very entertaining as both sides pushed and created chances but Cech in goals stood firm, before Mata gave the visitors the lead.
In a six minute period before half-time Napoli took the lead through Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani.
The first-leg was all over when Lavezzi grabbed his double, after Luiz hesitated and Cavani found the Argentine to finish.
Chelsea 4-1 (5-4 a.e.t on agg) Napoli- 14 March 2012
If Chelsea wanted to progress they needed to play their best on their home pitch under Interim boss Roberto Di Matteo.
Headers from Drogba and Terry either side of the break gave the hosts the lead on away goals, before Gokhan Inler on 55 minutes scored a wonderful volley to give the Italians the aggregate lead.
But Andrea Dossena handled Ivanovic’s header in the box, before Lampard stepped up to beat Morgan De Sanctis. The tie finished at 4-4 so the clash needed extra-time to find a winner.
A minute before half-time in extra-time Ivanovic sent the Blues through to the Quarter-finals with an impressive finish for a defender.
Benfica 0-1 Chelsea- 27 March 2012
Chelsea drew Portuguese side Benfica in the Quarter-finals and defended well to earn a well deserved 1-0 lead after the first-leg.
Terry, Luiz and Cech were in good form in defence to deny the Benfica forwards.
Chelsea started to penetrate the Benfica defence more after withstanding immense pressure, before Mata rounded Eagles’ ‘keeper Artur, but struck the upright.
Torres did fantastically to pick out Kalou inside the box with an inch-perfect cross for the Ivorian who poked home the opening goal of the tie.
Chelsea 2-1 (3-1 agg) Benfica- 4 April 2012
The tie wasn’t over as Chelsea lead 1-0 into the home tie at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea doubled the aggregate lead when Lampard converted a penalty, after Javi Garcia took down Ashley Cole.
Benfica’s job was toughened when they were reduced down to ten men as Maxi Pereira was given a second yellow card.
With six minutes to go Garcia rose highest, unmarked to head to keep the game alive.
Benfica only needed one goal to go through on away goals, but Meireles ran half the pitch, before finished emphatically into the top corner.
Chelsea 1-0 Barcelona- 18 April 2012
The Blues defended fantastically to keep a clean sheet against World Champions Barcelona in the Semi-final first-leg, and also scored to take a 1-0 lead into the return leg.
The Blues put every man behind the ball and time wasted as much as they could, after Drogba gave the Londoners the lead during first-half stoppage-time.
Chelsea can thank Terry, Ivanovic and Gary Cahill for withstanding the emphatic pressure from Pep Guardiola’s men.
But the Catalans were unlucky as Alexis Sanchez and Pedro Rodriguez struck the woodwork and Sergio Busquets wasted a chance to equalise late on.
Barcelona 2-2 (2-3 agg) Chelsea- 24 April 2012
Ten-man Chelsea sealed their spot in the Final with a 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou to go through to the final 3-2 on aggregate.
Busquets opened the scoring with ten minutes to go inside the first-half, after the Blaugrana continued to waste opportunities.
Barcelona was odds on to go through after Terry was sent off, after kicking out on Sanchez, but that wasn’t the only punishment.
Andreas Iniesta gave the hosts the lead just before the break to place them in the driving seat.
However Ramires scored a brilliant and exquisite chip to level the tie up on aggregate.
The Blues parked the bus for the entire second stanza, which included Drogba playing in a left wing back role, which gave the Blaugrana the golden chance to take the lead.
The Ivorian fouled Cesc Fabregas, however Lionel Messi thumped the penalty into the crossbar.
That was to be punished as Torres, in stoppage-time, sent Chelsea through after rounding Victor Valdes.
Now that we know how Chelsea booked their place in the final, let’s see how they will do against Bayern Munich. But Ramires, Ivanovic, Terry and Meireles will all be massive losses as they sit out because of suspension.
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