UCL Rewind: Chelsea rally past Napoli, Real Madrid routs CSKA

Lampard getty

By JOHN BOSCHINI

Chelsea are through to the quarterfinals of the Champions League following a thrilling comeback victory over Napoli at Stamford Bridge.

Branislov Ivanovic fired home a winner at the end of the first half of stoppage time as Chelsea won 4-1 on the night and 5-4 on aggregate

Napoli carried a 3-1 advantage into the second leg but the two-goal lead was erased by goals from Didier Drogba and John Terry. Gokhan Inler made the scoreline 2-1 midway through the second half with a fantastic strike from the top of the penalty area. Lampard brought the score equal again with a penalty kick brought on by a Napoli handball.

Real Madrid easily saw off a scrappy CSKA Moscow side with a 4-1 victory at the Bernabeu to win 5-2 on aggregate. Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice with Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema adding the additional goals for the Spanish Giants. Zoran Tosic scored for a CSKA Moscow team missing Keisuke Honda after the game was pretty much settled.

Real Madrid move on to the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the second consecutive year after a long string of Round of 16 exits.

Here is a look back at both games from the Champions League's Round of 16.

Chelsea looked toothless in the opening stages of their game against Napoli, almost conceding a couple of times. Didier Drogba's opener in the 28th minute was against the run of play but the Ivorian slipped in front of his defender and buried Ramires' cross. John Terry, back after only two weeks following a knee injury, doubled the advantage with a well-placed header 10 minutes after halftime. The goal tied the scored at 3-3 but Chelsea had the advantage with an away goal.

The advantage was not to last as Inler beautifully controlled a failed clearance from Chelsea and fired the ball past Petr Cech seven minutes later. Chelsea poured forward and were rewarded when Andrea Dossena handled Ivanovic's header and Lampard's cannon of a penalty kick rippled the back of the net.

Chelsea were the dominant team during extra time and Drogba's low cross found the foot of Ivanovic. The Serbian defender blasted his shot from 10-yards away into the roof of the net. Napoli didn't have any real chances in the final 15 and Chelsea held on for one of the most historic comebacks in the club's history.

Real Madrid were on the front foot in the early stages of their win against Moscow. The visitors successfully implemented the offside trap several times to catch Madrid off but Higuain eventually had the breakthrough with a cool finish in the 26th minute.

Madrid had to wait until the second half to make the result safe. A goalkeeping gaffe from Sergey Chepchugov allowed Ronaldo's shot from 35 yards out to squeeze under him and into the net. The advantage was three when Benzema, who had come on as a substitute less than a minute before, poked a rebound home in the 70th minute.

Tosic clawed a goal back with an impressive run and finish 13 minutes from time. Ronaldo completed his brace deep into stoppage time.

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What did you think of today's games? Impressed with Chelsea's comeback or disappointed in Napoli's display? Are Real Madrid the team to beat in the Champions League?

Share your thoughts below.

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5 Responses to UCL Rewind: Chelsea rally past Napoli, Real Madrid routs CSKA

  1. CroCajun says:

    I might be a Chelsea fan from here on out. Hell of a game. They might be the only hope to take down Barca.

  2. wilyboy says:

    If only Napoli had been able to hold on.

    Gotta love teams that go for it, who play 3-4-3 with abandon. Aw well. Chelsea is exciting, in an arm wrestling competition sort of way.

  3. jon says:

    cannot believe the old guys pulled it off. what a day for lampard, terry and drogba. while the whining about avb was annoying, they made a hell of a statement today

  4. That's what she says:

    Had Chelsea been playing with the same gusto and tenacity all year, they’d be right up there with Man U and City. The elders(Drogba, Terry, Cole, Lampard) really wanted this game and were going to do whatever it took to will the team to victory. Heck, even Torres had glimpses of brilliance, before, of course, wasting away his only chance on an open goal.

  5. Spectra says:

    I’d love to see Bayern and Barca