UCL Preview: Drogba Returns To Stamford Bridge, Real Madrid All But Through To Quarters

IMAGE, UEFA.COM

BY MATTHEW LEVINE
Staff Writer

When Chelsea and Galatasaray met in the first leg, it was the first time Didier Drogba faced the club he spent eight seasons with. 

Now, he is set for an emotional homecoming — with all to play for.

Chelsea has a slight advantage over Galatasaray as the Blues scored an away goal in Istanbul. However, they should have headed back to England with a much bigger advantage. Instead, the Turkish side was able to get an equalizer through Aurelien Chedjou. The Blues were on top of Galatasaray for most of the opening match, scoring in the opener in nine minutes with a Fernando Torres goal. Chelsea will look to have another quick start at Stamford Bridge.

Drogba, who had a mixed game in the first leg, will look to aid his new club in advancing to the next round. With a goal, he would quickly transform from a Stamford Bridge hero to villain, especially if the goal knocks Chelsea out of the competition.

Manager Roberto Mancini got his tactics wrong from the start in the opening leg, although corrected his errors as Galatasaray found goal. However, the visitors can ill-afford a slow start in the second leg.

If Chelsea is able to grow in confidence in front of their home fans, it could spell a long day for the Turkish side.

Here are the highlights from their first encounter:

Other Champions League Fixtures

1. Real’s Rampage In Germany Eases Pressure Of Second Leg– Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale added two goals a piece away at Schalke in a 6-1 romp at the Veltins-Arena. With the second leg back at the Santiago Bernabeu, there is not much left for the German club to play for.

Real was dominant throughout the opening leg, and if they keep their regulars in the line-up for the second leg, should be again. However, it could be an opportunity for Madrid to rest a few players, especially given the closeness of the La Liga race.

Schalke’s best chance of getting any goals is Klaas-Jan Huntelaar who scored a lovely consolation goal in the first leg. However, any goals in the second leg will surely be consolation goals as well, as there is very little chance Real will concede anywhere near the six away goals needed for the visitors to move on to the next round.

Here were the first leg highlights: