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Chelsea cruise past diabolical Galatasaray

Mike Hewitt

Well that was easy. Chelsea advanced to the quarterfinals of the Champions League with an easy 2-0 win against Didier Drogba and Galatasaray. After the Istanbul outfit gave us a fight three weeks ago, expectations were that this match would be something more than a formality, but an early goal from Samuel Eto'o took all of the sting out of the visitors, and we sort of snoozed our way past them.

Three years ago, Chelsea were drawn against FC Copenhagen for the round of sixteen, and that's the sort of feeling today took on. Galatasaray offered nothing up front -- their only serious chance came in the 90th minute and featured Drogba mishitting a shot so badly that it skimmed off Branislav Ivanovic and came reasonably close to ending up as an own goal.

Other than that, it was all us, which was refreshing after the debacle at Villa Park last weekend. Eto'o opened the scoring in the fourth minute, finishing off a lovely pass from Oscar after the Brazilian was played in by Eden Hazard. Fernando Muslera might have done better, which is a phrase that anyone who regularly writes about Fernando Muslera will be intimately familiar with.

The early goal was nice, but we got an early goal at the Turk Telecom Arena as well and it didn't do us a whole lot of good in a 1-1 draw. And for a while it looked like this first half was going to follow the same pattern as the match in Istanbul, with Chelsea completely dominating but wasting chance after chance to go further ahead. Frank Lampard might have done better after neat work from Oscar; Willian poked straight at Muslera following some nice interplay; John Terry volleyed over from a free kick -- it was that sort of half.

And then Gary Cahill scored. From a corner kick, of course. Lampard whipped in a nice delivery and Terry was on hand to out-jump Galatasaray's couldn't-be-bothered centre backs. His header was well saved by the goalkeeper, but the rebound fell straight to Cahill's feet, and the former Bolton man notched his first Champions League goal by blasting in from all of three yards.

Chelsea were home free, which meant the bizarre misadventures of the second half were of no real concern. It's not as though the visitors were doing much in our half, it's just that the forwards seemed to be spending their time working out fun new ways to turn promising attacks into dust. Waiting too long to shoot? Check. Taking bad shots? Check. Fernando Torres? Check. Obviously, it would be churlish to complain about an easy, relaxed win, but one hopes that the lack of killer edge is addressed by the time we face real opposition.

By end of play tomorrow, the Blues could be the last English team left in the Champions League. That's a pretty nice way to start one's week.

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