Full time: Chelsea 2-0 Galatasaray (agg: 3-1)
Almost effortless for Chelsea, who scored twice in the first half and never had to face even the whiff of a threat from the visitors. Thanks for tuning in, especially to those of you who contributed emails.
Chelsea substitution: Willian on, Kala on. “The Polish TV commentator is clearly an inhabitant of Planet Doyle,” reveals Tim Hazell. ”He’s referred to them as Gala over both legs.” Educate that cursed commentator!
90 min: Cech makes his first save of the match! After a long-range freekick bounces off one of his own players and into his arms.
87 min: Hazard puts Torres through with a gorgeous dragback .. but the striker’s low shot is straight at the keeper, who shunts it behind for a corner.
Chelsea substitution: Eto’o off, Torres on.
84 min: Good diving save by Muslera to turn away a blaster from Hazard.
83 min: Eto’o sprints from deep to the brink of the Galata box, then slips the ball into Schürrle, who knocks it back to Azpilicueta. The Spaniard attempts a dinky curler into the far corner but misjudges it slightly and it floats over the bar.
Chelsea substitution: Oscar off, Schürrle on.
80 min: Chelsea freekick near the corner flag on the left. Oscar curls it in, Muslera punches it out, Lampard volleys into the stands.
78 min: As Galata slither out of the Champions League with whimper, let me just update your on Harry Redknapp’s attempt to get QPR, and their squad full of Champions League salaries, back into the Premier League. They’re currently 3-0 down to Sheffield Wednesday.
Galata substitution: Eboué off, Hajrovic on. “That most authoritative of courses, wikipedia, clearly states that ‘Gala’ is a nickname of Galatasaray,” observes Chris Nemeh. “It says that Gala is ’mostly used outside of Turkey’. So unless wiki is referring to Mars or another galaxy as “outside of Turkey”, there are people on this planet besides you who say Gala.”
74 min: Chelsea coasting, Galata boring. “i think your erroneous referencing galatasaray as ’gala’ is a show of laziness and subsequent bickering about it a tad rude and uncalled for,” froths Marko Teodorcevic, who couldn’t be bothered using capital letters. And if you want rude, how about I refer you to one of England’s leading pundits, who has just tweeted this:
70 min: Lampard slices a terrible freekick high and wide. “Maybe we just call them Gala-disarray from here on out,” trumpets Justin Brown, settling the argument in emphatic fashion.
68 min: Clearly the German ref is no romantic: he books Drogba on his big night. For tripping Azpilicueta, who has put in another immaculate performance.
Galatasary substiutution: Yekta off, Balta on
65 min: Oscar hares past Eboué and crosses for Lampard, who is thwarted by Muslera.
63 min: The match is going through a bit of a lull, as Chelsea decide whether they can be bothered to score more against the substandard visitors. “I agree that Gala sounds odd,” announces Val. “Mainly because it means ‘milk’ in Greek. ‘Galata’ sounds better. It means ‘milks’. And more is better.” OK, hands up who else thought I was suggesting were competing against a dairy product for a place in the last eight of the Champions League?
61 min: The fans of aw ell-known Turkish club continue singing and dancing as their team continues to be swatted about by Chelsea. “The Constantinople suburb of Galata has been around for about one and a half millennia,” lectures Dan Catton. “Galata-saray means “Galata Palace”. Referring to Galatasaray as Gala is rather like talking about Cryst.” Hey, shouldn’t you call yourself Daniel?
59 min: Ivanovic booked for standing still as Drogba ran into him.
58 min: Oscar twists his way past Chedjou but then hammers a low shot into the sidenetting.
57 min: Felipe Melo does well to cut out a Ramires cross towards Eto’o.
55 min: Sneijder botches an attempted cross. To be honest, I only mentioned it to point out how insignificant the lavishly-paid Dutchman has been tonight.
53 min: Galata substitution: Burak Yilmaz off, Umut Bulut on.
51 min: Lampard latches on to a loose kick by Muslera and feeds Willian, whose instant shot from 25 yards is held by the keeper.
50 min: Azpilicueta intercepts a GALATA counter-attack and gets Chelsea going forward. He offloads to Hazard, who scuttles from one side of the pitch to the other, feigning to shoot several times before tipping the ball to Eto’o, who lays it back to Oscar, whose shot is blocked. That was a showboating a bit by Chelsea, precisely what they were guilty of in the first leg. Hazard should have just scored. “Cim Bom Bom (pronounced Jim Bom Bom) is indeed the nickname for GS here in Turkey – it’s not rude!” announces Philip West, whose reference to GS is baffling. “But I agree that Gala is a poor choice compared to Galata. Two more letters times, say, 50 mentions means an extra 100 letters you’ll have to type in the second half.”
48 min: Whatever Mancini said at half-time, it isn’t working. Chelsea have been in full control so far in the second half. “Re. Steve Dowse’s query, Stefano Eranio and Jim Smith had something lovely going on at Derby. Eranio retired, then reversed his decision as a personal favour to Smith when he became (rightly) concerned about the depth of his squad the next season. Upon Smith being fired, Eranio promptly re-retired in protest. What a man.
46 min: Chelsea set the second half in motion. “I know this is hardly ‘working in’ a reference, but Gianfranco Zola looks like Guy Smiley,” reports Simon McMahon.
“We all welcome creativity, but no one in Turkey or on the rest of the planet for that matter (apart from you) calls Galatasaray ‘Gala’,” steams Ogul Birol Oguz. “It’s like calling Chelsea ‘Chel’. Galata might make more sense, but if you really want to start impressing call them ‘Cim Bom Bom’. I personally call them ‘Putas’ because I support Fenerbahçe!” Firstly, what does Cim Bom Bom mean? You haven’t just got me to publish some grievous Turkish insult, have you? Secondly, everyone on that planet knows precisely who I’m referring to when I write ‘Gala’ so the purpose is served perfectly. But thanks for your concern.
Half-time: Chelsea 2-0 Gala (agg: 3-1)
The Count says: “One goal for Chelsea. Two goals for Chelsea. Ah, ah, ah . . . .”quips Scott Martin.
45 min: There seems no earthly way that Gala can come back from this. They look out of their depth. Still, Mourinho will probably wait until Chelsea score another before taking of Hazard and two other to preserve them for the weekend clash with Arsenal. Speaking of which. “Not sure if it outdoes the Mou and Drogba bromance, but Le Boss has never begrudged Cesc publically for leaving and Cesc has often said that Arsenal has made him the player he is today,” cooes Peter Mumola.
GOAL! Chelsea 2-0 Gala (Cahill 43)
That should seal it for Chelsea! Oscar battled well to win a corner, which Gala defended awfully again, allowing Terry to meet it with a powerful header. The keeper did well to block it but Cahill rammed in the rebound from close-range.
40 min: Oscar turns grouchy after being given a Big Bird-coloured card for following to on a ball-winning tackle on Inan. Yes, I may try to work other Sesame Street references into this mbm. Snuffleupagus could be tricky.
38 min: Hazard scurries own the left, leaving Eboué in his wake yet again. Then he centres for Eto’o, who spins and nips it in to Willian, who attempts to prod it past the keeper. But Muslera was wise to his game and save comfortably.
35 min: Freekick to Gala, 32 yards out, a tad to the left. Drogba fancies it. And he duly blasts it into the crowd, where it hits a huge banner saying “Drogba legend”. That’s some poetry right there. “Just thinking about the friendly cuddle between Drogba and Mourinho a moment before the kick-off. Say what you like about The Special One, but he obviously engenders a rare level of personal loyalty among his former players,” notes Steve Dowse, who may have read today’s Fiver, which explores the diabolical phenomenon to which he alludes. ”Have there been any similar manager/player bromances featuring other Premier League managers and their ex-playing staff? Any examples featuring Alex Ferguson win extra points.”
33 min: Terry, for the second time in a few minutes, goes unnoticed in the Gala box and is free to meet a freekick from the left. But he can’t keep his volley down so Gala are reprieved. Drogba gives his dozing defenders a tongue-lashing.
29 min: Eto’o is upstaging Drogba so far and no mistake. Not just because of his goal, but he’s playing with an all-round dynamism that contrasts markedly with the Ivorian’s lack of impact and is proving quite a pain to the visiting defence. ”Felipe Melo is quite brilliant,” blusters Daniel Schulwolf. “I’m not sure I’ve seen a player with such a dazzling array of mistimed tackles, hacks at opponents ankles, times caught out of position, and misplaced passes. I’m expecting big things from him this summer.”
27 min: Gala pick their way through Chelsea until they reached the edge of the area, whereupon Felipe Melo decides to have a pop. The ball trickles harmlessly wide. “Re: your aside on 17 mins: are you from the Tim Sherwood school of MBM-ing?” parps David Hindle. ”You’re not here to babysit, are you?” Wait until you see what I can do with a gilet.
24 min: Gala’s defence looks so disheveled they should be playing didgeridoos and trailing a scrawny dog on a string. Eto’o was almost in for another just now but, in his excitement, strayed offside.
23 min: Chelsea are starting to look like they want to do what they neglected to do in the first leg and kill the tie in the opening 45 minutes...
22 min: Another bout of excellent passing and moving twixt Hazard and Oscar before the Belgian dummies the ball into the path of Lampard, who, on the stretch, attempts to poke it in from 10 yards but fails to find the target.
20 min: Dinky interplay by Chelsea around the box comes to an end when Ramires miscontrols a through-ball from Oscar. With a better touch he would have been in for a near-certain goal.
A picture paints 1000 words so save my fingers and treat your eyes by checking out this lovely gallery.
17 min: Felipe Mello booked for bringing down Willian as Chelsea tried to launch a counter-attack. Aside: Thanks for all your emails so far. I appreciate the effort but, sadly, they’ve all been too rubbish to publish. Please try harder.
16 min: Chelsea have adopted their familiar passive stance, luring the opponents on to them. So far Gala have not looked like penetrating, especially not a moment ago when Drogba attempted an overhead kick from 20 yards and boomed the ball onto a passing tube.
14 min: Gala build well down the left, pressing Chelsea back. Then Alex Telles hoists in a cross from the left and Drogba heads it powerfully back across goal, but Cahill clears.
12 min: William releases Eto’o down the right and once again the striker gallops away from Chedjou with ease. When he gets to the byline he delays and waits for support, then tries to pick out a team-mate in the middle. Gala scramble it away this time but they’re looking very ragged back there.
10 min: After a douse of the magic sponge, Ramires returns to the action. That action is consisting so far of a lot of bouncing balls and niggly skirmishes. Just the way Jose likes it.
8 min: Ramires is down in need of treatment after getting a bash in his masked face from Selcuk Inan as the pair challenged for a bouncing ball. Should have been a booked for the Turk because although it was an especially vicious blow, you really can’t try to get leverage off another player’s face.
6 min: Sneijder scampers down the left and pings a reverse ball to Drogba, who goes for a foxy curler from the edge of the area. It’s saved easily by Cech. And turns out it was offside anyway.
GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Gala (Eto'o 4) (agg: 2-1)
Well that was easy! While all the focus was on the other great African striker, Eto’o dashed in behind the defence to collect a pass from Oscar and bang it beneath the keeper from eight yards! Supreme predatory skills from the Cameroonian.
2 min: An early indication that Mourinho might have identified Eboué as a weak link: Cech fires a long ball behind the full-back for Hazard to chase. The lesser-lauded Ivorian deals with it well.
1 min: It’s on! Gala get the game going but quickly lose possession to Ivanovic. At this point it might be worth remembering that Gala have been dismal on the road under Mancini, winning just four of 19 matches in all competitions.
ITV pundit Roy Keane says all the pre-match love for Drogba is “a bit over the top”. Surely he meant to say “over the top, top”?
The teams waddle out on to the pitch, Chelsea in police blue, Gala in burgundy and orange halves, which sounds like something you might order in a beach-front bar.
The warm-up is turning into procession: Didier Drogba is being loudly serenaded by Chelsea fans as he embarks on a pre-match lap of honour. All that’s missing is the pope mobile.
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Ramires, Lampard; William, Hazard, Oscar; Eto’o
Subs: Schwarzer, David Luiz, Torres, Mikel, Schürrle, Ba, Kalas
Galatasaray: Muslera; Eboué, Chedjou, Smeih Kaya, Alez Telles; Yekta Kurtulus, Felipe Melo; Burak Yilmaz, Selcuk Inan, Sniejder; Drogba
Subs: Ceylan, Burdisso, Ceyhun Gulselam, Hajrovic, Bulut, Balta, Sabri Sanoglu
NOT Sir Chris Hoy: Felix Brych
Tonight Chelsea fans, who famously abused Rafael Benítez when he came to lead them to triumph, will acclaim a striker who is intent on knocking their team out of the Champions League. You can understand their affection for Didier Drogba, who, though prone to embarrassing theatrics, was wonderfully effective for them and, indeed, may still be better than any of the striker currently at their disposal but you can’t help thinking that part of the reason for which they will pay him homage tonight is that they are confident he now plays for a team incapable of beating Chelsea. After Jose Mourinho came back to Stamford Bridge with Inter a couple of year ago and won, Chelsea fans are probably not so keen on worshipping returning heroes. So any praise for Drogba from the stands tonight is in fact patronising abuse of Galatasaray. At least that’s how we must hope the Turkish side take it because a team fuelled by furious resentment could help make this a proper ding-dong battle rather than another Chelsea grind. Chelsea could have already guaranteed their passage to the next round in the first leg but, like a James Bond villain who spends so long bragging about his convoluted genius that he allows his victim time to recover and escape, Chelsea allowed Galatasaray back into the tie and therefore remain precariously close to joining Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United* on the Champions League slagheap. Chelsea were guilty of betraying a very unMourinho-esque lack of killer efficiency in the first leg … has that laid the foundation for Drogba and Gala to pull off a very unRoberto Mancini-esque victory in Europe?
* If you can see a way for United to avoid elimination by Olympiakos, send your suggestion by magic carpet to Mr David Moyes, c/o Old Trafford for now.