Chelsea eased into the Champions League quarter finals after beating Galatasaray 2-0 in the second leg of their last sixteen tie at Stamford Bridge yesterday evening.
With the sides having drawn 1-1 in Istanbul three weeks ago, it was the Premier League leaders who made the breakthrough through Samuel Eto’o after just four minutes.
Gary Cahill doubled the hosts’ advantage three minutes before the break, thumping in after John Terry’s initial effort was saved by Fernando Musilera.
Didier Drogba, who was given a rousing reception by the home supporters on his first return to Stamford Bridge since leaving the club at the end of the 2011/12 campaign, had a chance to pull one back for Roberto Mancini’s side late on which he failed to convert.
The Blues will discover who they will face in the last eight of the competition on Friday, twenty-four hours before they return to domestic action with their top of the table clash with Arsenal.
Manager Jose Mourinho has told Sky Sports that “it doesn’t matter who” the club are drawn against in the quarter finals.
Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint Germain and holders Bayern Munich are already in the hat for the draw along with the Blues, and they will be joined by either Manchester United or Olympiakos and Zenit St Petersburg or Borussia Dortmund, with the final round of last sixteen ties taking place this evening.
Tags: Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Didier Drogba, Galatasaray, Gary Cahill, Manchester City, Manchester United, Olympiakos, Paris Saint Germain, Real Madrid, Samuel Eto'o, Zenit St Petersburg
Roma are considering moving for former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba when his contract expires at the end of the season, the Mirror understands.
The Ivory Coast international has been with Galatasaray since last January, scoring twenty goals in fifty appearances in all competitions, but is set to move on in the summer.
Drogba has previously spoke of his desire to one day return to Stamford Bridge, though the Serie A side, who are set to return to the Champions League after a three year absence next season, are reportedly set to offer the 36 year old a lucrative one-year deal.
Meanwhile, Zenit St Petersburg have given Brazilian striker Hulk the green light to move to the Premier League next season, according to the Express.
Jose Mourinho, who is almost certain to be in the market for a new striker in the summer, is a long-time admirer of the 27 year old, who has scored nine goals in fifteen league outings for the Russian champions so far this season.
Tottenham Hotspur have also been lined with a move for the former Porto man, with a price of £40m set to be enough to secure his services in the summer.
Jose Mourinho has announced that Ashley Cole will be left out of the Chelsea side that will face Arsenal on Monday evening, days after he was pictured at the Gunners’ Christmas party, the Mirror understands.
The Blues boss has not publicly criticised the England defender, who attended the evening with his old club on his free day, and has stressed that he may not have been selected anyway due to the form of Cesar Azpilicueta, who has played at left-back regularly in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, Zenit St Petersburg forward Hulk has insisted that he is committed to the Russian club despite continuous links with a move to Stamford Bridge, according to Sky Sports.
The Brazil international, who is keen to cement his place in former Blues boss Luis Felipe Scolari’s squad for next summer’s World Cup finals, has been a reported target of Mourinho’s in both of his spells as Chelsea manager.
However the 27 year old, who has ten goals in sixteen appearances so far this season, has said that he is keen to remain with Zenit as they attempt to conquer both domestically and in the Champions League, in which the face last season’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund in the last sixteen.
2012 winners Chelsea secured their place in the knockout stages of this seasons Champions League with a narrow victory over Steaua Bucharest at Stamford Bridge yesterday evening.
Demba Ba’s goal on ten minutes was enough to secure victory for Jose Mourinho’s men, who will find out their opponents in the last sixteen – one from Bayer Leverkusen, Galatasaray, Olympiakos, Zenit St Petersburg and AC Milan – when the draw is made in Nyon on Monday.
Of the available options, the Blues’ boss has expressed his desire to be paired with the Turkish champions, in order to set up a reunion with Didier Drogba.
However, the club will first turn their attention to Saturday’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace where they will hope to keep the pressure on league leaders Arsenal, who face a tough trip to Manchester City earlier in the day.
Chelsea then face Arsenal in a mouth-watering clash at the Emirates Stadium a week on Monday.
Elsewhere, Everton are set to offer a new contract to England international Ross Barkley, according to the Express.
The 20 year old, who has established himself as a first team regular under Roberto Martinez this season, has been linked with moves to both Chelsea and Manchester United.
Tags: AC Milan, Arsenal, Bayer Leverkusen, Demba Ba, Didier Drogba, Everton, Galatasaray, Manchester United, Olympiakos, Ross Barkley, Steaua Bucharest, Zenit St Petersburg