Chelsea eased into the Champions League quarter-finals after a goalless draw against FC Copenhagen having done much of the hard work three weeks ago.
After having won 2-0 in Denmark in the first leg, Chelsea were heavily favoured to progress to the quarter-finals and although they dominated possession and created the better chances at Stamford Bridge, a lack of composure in front of goal mean the game ended goalless.
Carlo Ancelotti reverted back to his tried and trued pairing up front which meant that Didier Drogba partnered Nicolas Anelka while 50 million pound man Fernando Torres was on the bench.
It was midfielder Yuri Zhirkov who had the best Chelsea chances in the first half to score. First he put Drogba through on the left, and Drogba’s clever back-heel found Ashley Cole and the full-back played in Zhirkov, only for the midfielder to steer his shot wide. Then on a couter-attack, Anelka squared the ball to Zhirkov, but this time the Russian international could only skew his shot wide of the near post.
In between Zhirkov’s misses, Copenhagen came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock in the 24th minute when Dame N’Doye swung a 25-metre free-kick against Petr Čech’s post with the Blues keeper rooted to the spot.
In the second half it was more of the same as Drogba picked up José Bosingwa’s curling cross but swept the ball wide, Anelka had a shot charged down on the break and John Obi Mikel headed on to the bar and over.
With a little over 20 minutes left in the game, Ancelotti brought on Torres, who showed plenty of desire and drew a good save from Wiland with an angled shot after a surging run into the area. But Chelsea fans are still waiting for that elusive first goal in a blue shirt for Torres, and the longer the wait lasts, the more the pressure builds on Torres.
So Chelsea progress to the quarter-finals, but they will need to step their performance up a couple of notches from tonight’s effort if they are to compete with Europe’s elite.
What did you think of the Chelsea performance tonight?