Chelsea held a clinic at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. Unfortunately, youngsters weren't allowed to take part. Instead, Olympiacos were the padawans, learning firsthand how lethal a force the Blues can truly be. Chelsea swept past their Greek counterparts with unparalleled ease, 3-0 to advance to the Champions League quarterfinals.
The only realy question was why Chelesa managed just three goals? Such was the magnitude of this display, one that left the Greeks looking about as effective as Circe's spell on one Odysseus.
Super Frank and Michael Ballack put worries to rest, playing superbly together in a Chelsea midfield that decisively dominated the match. Ballack opened the scoring -- off a quickly taken throw -- with a incisive header from a Lampard crossing pass. Lampard added his name to the score sheet next, easing in a Ballack shot that the Olympiacos keeper could only parry back into play. Lampard turned in one of those landmark performances that make even the staunchest criticizers (Me) stand and applaud. He was box to box, exhibiting the vision and precision passing that has become a stapble of his game. Ballack was equally impressive, bursting into attack frequently and to massive effect. Not to be outdone, Makelele had the type of exceptional, but lowkey, performance that his become known for.
Salomon Kalou put an end to the scoring just three minutes into the second half, scuffing the ball over the line from inside the six-yard box. Olympiacos offered little to the match -- so too did Drogba, however. His ineffectiveness of late is worrisome, but its likely he's still not match fit. I would think it's only a matter of time before we see his class shine through once again.
Notably, Petr Cech was absent after sustaining an ankle injury in practice. Though he was never needed, it will be a major setback if he is, as many media outlets are reporting, out for a month.