VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Chelsea Vs Napoli (4-1), Stamford Bridge Leg 2 Champions League 2012
Thursday 15 Mar 2012 8:10 a.m.
By Greg Robertson
Hello and welcome to Stamford bridge where we will have Chelsea streaming forward to try and turn around a 3-1 deficit against Napoli in their second leg match against Napoli. Will we see Fernando Torres get on and score his first goal in about five months? Maybe, unlikely, you just never know… but if Chelsea is to get through to the next round they’ll need strikers up front and not just the sole Didier Drogba.
We bring you live video updates of the game, adding highlights and goals as it happens, and make sure you refresh your browser occasionally so you stay up to play with all the action. We will warn you with ‘video coming soon’ and ‘video up’ message so you don’t miss anything.
LIVE COMMENTARY… Chelsea 4– 1 Napoli (agg 5-4)
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Mata, Sturridge, Drogba. Subs: Turnbull, Torres, Mikel, Malouda, Bosingwa, Kalou, Cahill.
Napoli: De Sanctis, Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Aronica, Maggio, Inler, Gargano, Zuniga, Hamsik, Cavani, Lavezzi. Subs: Rosati, Dossena, Vargas, Dzemaili, Fernandez, Pandev, Britos.
Kick off is not far away so in the meantime watch Didier Drogba net his 100th goal for Chelsea in the win over Stoke.
Chelsea: 1-Petr Cech; 2-Branislav Ivanovic, 24-Gary Cahill, 26-John Terry, 3-Ashley Cole; 8-Frank Lampard, 7-Ramires; 23-Daniel Sturridge, 10-Juan Mata, 5-Michael Essien; 11-Didier Drogba
Napoli: 1-Morgan De Sanctis; 14-Hugo Campagnaro, 28-Paolo Cannavaro, 6-Salvatore Aronica; 11-Christian Maggio, 23-Walter Gargano, 88-Gokhan Inler, 18-Juan Zuniga; 17-Marek Hamsik, 7-Edinson Cavani, 22-Ezequiel Lavezzi Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)
If Chelsea fails to overturn a two-goal deficit against buoyant Napoli on Wednesday, England will be without a representative in the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time since 1996.
Chelsea was left to fly the flag for the English Premier League after
Arsenal was eliminated by AC Milan last week, continuing England's poor run in the competition this season after the two Manchester clubs were knocked out at the group stage.
Yet the chances of Chelsea going further than its London rival look remote considering Napoli - enjoying a stunning first season in the Champions League - is 3-1 up from the first leg and has won its last five Italian league games, the most recent a 6-3 hammering of Cagliari.
"We're focused and ready because we want to continue living this Champions League dream," Napoli captain Paolo Cannavaro.
Napoli, the only one of this season's five debutants still standing, twice took part in the old European Cup during Diego Maradona's days at the club but never progressed beyond the second round.
Spearheaded by a three-pronged strike force of Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik, which ripped Chelsea's creaking defense apart in the last leg, the team could go deep this year, however.
"Maradona's days remain the best in Napoli's history, but we feel we are nearly on a par with that era and that makes us proud," said Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri, who will be serving the second of a two-match touchline ban.
With the hosts needing to pour forward to get back in the match, Napoli will look to pick them off on the counterattack.
"We will have to be balanced, obviously, because their threat on counterattacking is very good and they have some players that can hurt you," interim Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo said. "When they come here on
Wednesday at Stamford Bridge, they will play against a good team, a great team, and we will make their life difficult ... we have to believe that we can turn this around."
Ravaged by internal politik that contributed to the firing of Andre Villas-Boas at the start of the month, Chelsea has lost the swagger and class that helped the team reach the Champions League quarterfinals in six of the last eight seasons.
Yet Di Matteo has managed to restore some belief since taking over from Villas-Boas, earning wins in the FA Cup and Premier League in the space of four days without conceding a goal, and the team has danger men in Spain winger Juan Mata and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba.
"We can do it because we have the players, the attitude and the character," said Drogba, who scored his 100th league goal for Chelsea in the 1-0 win over Stoke.
"This is the kind of match where you need the crowd to be strong, to be good even if we make mistakes. This is a difficult moment for Chelsea so we need the fans to be behind us."
Mata and England forward Daniel Sturridge started on the bench against
Stoke so can expect a recall, while Drogba should again start ahead of out-of-form Fernando Torres up front.
Napoli rested Cavani, its top striker, for much of the match against Cagliari so the Uruguay international will be fresh when he teams up again with Argentina forward Lavezzi, who has six goals in the team's last four matches.
"We've still got a lot of work to do," Mazzarri said. "We're going to have to play to the limit for the entire 90 minutes. This squad has a defect in that it's not able to maintain its level for all 90 minutes."