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The road to Barcelona

13/04/2012

We look back at the highlights from Chelsea's Champions League campaign so far...

The Group Stages
The Champions League draw put Chelsea in Group E along with Bayer Leverkusen, Valencia and Genk. While there were no 'mega clubs' to worry about, it was still a tricky draw against experienced teams.

Chelsea got off to the perfect start at home to Leverkusen by winning 2-0 thanks to goals from Luiz and Mata. Their next game was a tough looking fixture away to Valencia but the boys earned a solid point, which could even have been a win if Soldado hadn't got a late equaliser to Lamps' penalty.

Next up, Chelsea faced a double header against Genk. They trounced the Belgian side 5-0 at the Bridge with goals from Ivanovic, Meireles, Kalou and a Torres double! It wasn't so easy in Genk, where Ramires' first-half opener was pegged back by Vossen and then Luiz had a late penalty saved to see the game end level.

Gameweek four was always likely to be Chelsea's hardest match of the group, and it so it proved when Leverkusen edged out the Blues by two goals to one in the BayArena. Drogba had put Chelsea in front, but goals on 73 minutes and injury time say Leverkusen snatch all three points.

That result meant that Chelsea needed a win at home to Valencia in the last match and Blues delivered in style in front of a packed Stamford Bridge. Drogba scored early, and Ramires added a second in the first half, before Drogba got his second to see Chelsea win 3-0 and finish as group winners!

Last 16
The draw for the knockout stages saw Chelsea up against Italian side Napoli with the first leg away from home. The game started perfectly when Mata scored midway through the first half, but the Blues were rocked by a Lavezzi equaliser just before half time. Two more goals from Lavezzi and Hamsik meant that Chelsea had it all to do in the return leg at the Bridge!

The second leg was one of those great European nights in West London – Chelsea got the goals they needed through Drogba and JT only for Inler to put the Italians back in front on aggregate! Chelsea levelled things up overall thanks to a cool Lamps' penalty and the game went to extra time. Chelsea went all-out for the win to avoid a penalty shoot-out and in the end it was big Ivanovic who smashed home the winner to send Chelsea through to the quarter-finals!

Quarter-finals
Roberto Di Matteo would have been pleased to avoid the likes of Madrid and Barca in the quarter-finals, but his team still had a tough looking tie against Benfica to get past. The first leg was in Portugal and the team produced a brilliant away performance as they soaked up pressure and then hit Benfica on the break to score the only goal of the game through Kalou.

The second leg started well with Lampard slotting home a penalty to put the Blues 2-0 on aggregate and then the away side were reduced to 10 men when Pereira was sent off. Despite that, Benfica managed to pull a goal back through Garcia, but it wasn't enough and Meireles sealed the win with a thumping strike in the time added on!

Semi-finals
Next up, defending champs Barcelona – come on you Blues!


To see all the goals from our Champions League run so far, click HERE!

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