GALATASARAY 1-1 CHELSEA
‘Welcome To Hell’ reads the banners around the Turk Telecom Stadium, acting as a fear-inducing marquee whenever an away side arrives in Istanbul for a game at the home of Galatasaray. It’s an intimidating atmosphere and one that the Galatasaray players revelled in as they took a point off of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in the first leg of the sides’ Champions League knockout tie.
The Blues got off to a flier with it taking only seven minutes for the winners of the 2012 UEFA Champions League to find the back of the net. Galatasaray’s high line was punished when Cesar Azpilicueta made a run that carved through the Turkish side’s line-up, and when the Spanish full back received the ball and drew out keeper Fernando Muslera, he squared the ball to Fernando Torres who finished past the two covering defenders. Initial impressions suggested that it could turn into a long night for the Galatasaray faithful who were silenced – albeit temporarily – with an early goal, but they grew back into the game as Petr Cech denied Izet Hajrovic who’s effort from the edge of the box was saved by Chelsea’s commanding Czech stopper.
Only a few minutes before the half time whistle blew, the Turkish giants had the ball in the back of the Chelsea net, although it didn’t count much to the chagrin of everybody sporting the Galatasaray colours. Confusion arose when Galatasaray won a throw-in but John Terry threw the ball away, with another ball being handed to the Galatasaray throw-in taker. The throw-in was taken and there were two balls on the field of play, with different sets of players paying attention to either one, and when Burak Yilmaz put the ball in the net, the referee blew for the goal to be disallowed. Chelsea were still a goal ahead as the whistle went for half time, and when the second half came around, Galatasaray came out looking like a different side.
Despite coming out in the second half and looking much improved at the back after some dangerous defending at times, Galatasaray nearly found themselves pegged back again. Fernando Torres jostled with two defenders and raced towards the home side’s goal, but his effort was denied by Muslera to prevent Chelsea’s record signing from scoring a brace – and minutes later, he was nearly ruing his missed chance. A Galatasaray corner found the head of Chelsea legend Didier Drogba – coming up against his old side for the first time since leaving in 2012 – and the Ivorian striker headed it down towards the far post where Selcuk Inan came racing in to prod the ball towards the goal, only for his effort to rebound off the post from 2 yards. It was a warning for Chelsea however, who’s defending from set pieces soon came back to haunt them.
Another Galatasaray corner, and another chance. This time, the chance was converted however, as John Terry and Petr Cech – both usually reliable for the West London side in these situations – hesitated and unlikely goal scorer Aurélien Chedjou found the back of the net to draw his side level. From there, the reigning Super Lig champions had a few more chances to score, with Telles’ effort from distance forcing a save from Petr Cech, though Jose Mourinho’s tactical adjustments allowed his side to see it through and leave Istanbul with an away goal in their favour.
GALATASARAY: Muslera, Eboue, Chedjou, Hakan Balta (Kaya 46), Alex Telles, Selçuk, Melo, Burak, Sneijder, Hajrovic (Kurtulus 31), Drogba (Bulut 79).
SUBS NOT USED: Ceylan, Gulselam, Colak, Saioglu.
GOALS: Chedjou 64.
BOOKINGS: Selçuk 57.
CHELSEA: Cech, Ivanović, Luiz, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Lampard, Willian, Schürrle (Mikel 66), Hazard (Oscar 90), Torres (Eto’o 68).
SUBS NOT USED: Schwarzer, Cole, Ba, Kalas.
GOALS: Torres 9.
BOOKINGS: Terry 42, Schürrle 57, Ramires 58, Cech 61.
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