LONDON: An extra-time goal from Brane Ivanovic kept reviving Chelsea alive in the Champions League and ended the spectre of the quarter-finals going ahead without an English club for the first time in 16 years.
Chelsea beat Napoli 4-1 at Stamford Bridge after having lost 3-1 in Italy three weeks ago. Extra-time was needed because the Blues had reversed that precise scoreline at the end of the 90 minutes.
They took a first-half lead through Didier Drogba and doubled it two minutes into the second period thanks to a header from fit-again skipper John Terry. That would have been enough to put Chelsea through on the away goals rule but Napoli hit back eight minutes later through Gokhan Inler.
Frank Lampard regained the matchnight advantage for Chelsea with the penalty which earned extra-time in which Ivanovic hit the 105th-minute winner.
Terry had spoken before the game of his expectation of one of the club’s great nights and afterwards he said: “This could top them all for sure. The lads put in a great display, really solid, really resilient, with the firepower going forward. We proved we’re a team tonight. That desire, that togetherness. We showed what Chelsea are made of tonight.”
Chelsea sacked manager Andre Villas-Boas between the two matches against Napoli with Italian Roberto Di Matteo taking over on an interim basis for the rest of the season. He now has a 100pc record after three matches in three different competitions – the FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League.
Di Matteo said: “It was a fantastic game, to watch as well. We knew it would take a lot to go through, the performance of the whole team tonight was outstanding.”
Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was celebrating progress as well after his Real Madrid dismissed CSKA Moscow 4-1 in the Estadio Bernabeu and 5-2 on aggregate.
Russian league top scorer Seydou Doumbia missed an open goal in the ninth minute but Madrid took control and Gonzalo Higuain converted an assist from Kaka. A mishandling by keeper Sergei Chepchugov handed Cristiano Ronaldo a second Madrid goal 10 minutes into the second half and Karim Benzema scored the third at second attempt with 20 minutes remaining.
The closing minutes saw Zoran Tosic score a consolation for CSKA and Ronaldo responding with his second goal of the game after being set up by Benzema.
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