Everyone will have fond memories of the day Didier Drogba came home, as the big guy got to enjoy the Stamford Bridge crowd in a relatively comfortable Chelsea victory. There was little doubt before the game kicked off which club were the better side, and nothing that happened during the second leg of this one did anything to alter popular opinion.
While the tie was level on aggregate after the leg in Turkey, Chelsea put themselves ahead on a Samuel Eto'o goal just four minutes into the game. The first half then went on to resemble the away leg closely, with the Blues dominating the play but missing quite a few easy chances to put the tie to bed.
Luckily, Gary Cahill smashed Gala's hopes into the roof of the net just before the half. With two goals, extra time was now out of the question, and the visitors would need at least two second half goals in order to advance to the quarterfinals. Chelsea simply needed to hold on for a victory to end up in the next draw.
The second half started with no changes from Jose Mourinho's side, but they missed several more relatively easy chances to make the lead 3-0. Jose let them poke and prod without making changes for the next 35 minutes though, before finally starting to use his subs to take the air out of the ball with less than ten minutes left in the contest. Job done, on to the next round.
- Chris Foy and his crew would have probably ruled Eto'o offside for his opening goal. Competent linesmen are awesome.
- Speaking of officials and linesmen, I'm pretty sure the ball was already out of play before Oscar won us the corner that made it 2-0. After this past weekend though, I'll gladly take it.
- Finishing up with the officials, how much of a jerk do you have to be to give Drogba a soft yellow when the game is essentially over? Weak.
- If Ramires could pass at all, he'd be the best all-around midfielder on the planet by a wide margin. It's a shame that passing is so vital in this sport.
- Watching Emmanuel Eboue attempt to deal with Eden Hazard was just funny.
- Watching Fernando Muslera try to deal with a moving football was even funnier.
- It was nice to see Oscar putting in a relatively strong performance tonight. Hopefully it's the start of another run of form like he treated us to at the start of the season.
- I wish Roberto Mancini would have seen the writing on the wall when he made his final substitution and allowed Drogba to have a standing ovation when he came off the pitch. Alas, Mancini decided to use his final change to haul off Eboue, letting us all have a last laugh at the former Arsenal man instead.