Chelsea 3 Valencia 0: Drogba sparkles as Blues sail through
Didier Drogba scored twice as Chelsea reached the last 16 of the Champions League as group winners with victory over Valencia
Didier Drogba struck either side of the break as Chelsea booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with an impressive victory over Valencia at Stamford Bridge.
The Ivorian striker was in superb form and gave the Blues the lead from close range after just three minutes before Ramires burst through on goal and slotted home to make it 2-0 midway through the first half.
Valencia looked threatening throughout and dominated for large spells. But the La Liga side were unable to contain a rampant Drogba, who ran on to Juan Mata’s through ball and stroked the ball home to secure the victory with 15 minutes to play.
Despite the precarious position that Chelsea found themselves in before Tuesday’s clash, the result, coupled with Bayer Leverkusen’s 1-1 draw at Genk, means André Villas-Boas’s men progress through to the next round as Group E winners.
Drogba gave Chelsea the dream start within three minutes. Mata collected Daniel Sturridge’s cross inside the box and poked a pass to the Ivorian, who took a touch and fired a low left-footed effort past Diego Alves in the Valencia goal.
Despite falling behind, the visitors signalled their intent moments later when Jordi Alba darted down the left wing and smashed an effort onto Petr Cech’s post.
And Valencia captain David Albelda then forced a brilliant save from Cech with a rasping effort from 30 yards which the Chelsea shot-stopper tipped just wide.
But just as Valencia began to settle into the game, Chelsea doubled their lead through Ramires. The Brazilian was found by Drogba and he cleverly darted past a hesitant VÃctor Ruiz before poking a low finish past Alves in the 22nd minute.
Valencia continued to press for a goal after the break and Cech had to be alert to prevent Sofiane Feghouli’s stinging effort from finding the net in the 63rd minute.
Drogba then spurned a glorious opportunity to put the tie to bed in the 73rd minute when he powered his way through on goal, however the striker dragged his shot just wide of the left post.
But Drogba soon made amends as he netted his second of the night two minutes later. Mata threaded a delightful pass through his former club’s rearguard and the Ivorian confidently slotted home to book Chelsea’s place in the last 16.
Chelsea: Petr Cech, Branislav Ivanovic, Ashley Cole, David Luiz, John Terry, Oriol Romeu, Ramires (John Obi Mikel, 65), Raul Meireles, Daniel Sturridge, Juan Mata (Florent Malouda, 84), Didier Drogba (Fernando Torres, 78).
Valencia: Diego Alves, Jeremy Mathieu, Antonio BarragÃ¡n, VÃctor Ruiz, Adil Rami, Jordi Alba (Aritz Aduriz, 55), David Albelda, Sofiane Feghouli (Pablo HernÃ¡ndez, 65), Tino Costa (Daniel Parejo, 76), Jonas, Roberto Soldado.