Fernando Torres

The only draw in the eight matches of the first leg, Chelsea could have done a lot better than their 1-1 draw in Istanbul against Galatasaray if their manager would be a believer in attacking football, but instead decided to play depressing, cynical football in the second half, deserving to head into the second leg with a loss to recover from.

Fernando Torres seemed motivated early on from Jose Mourinho’s words about not having strikers he can rely on, as the Spaniard scored after only nine minutes, getting the assist from Cesar Azpilicueta. Chelsea opened with a lineup that was a bit more attacking than some expect, with Andre Schurrle in the lineup while Oscar started on the bench, and Mancini seemed surprised as well, until his trio of central midfielders began taking control of the pitch and moving the ball a bit more quickly to Didier Drogba.

The second half equalizer from Aurelien Chedjou after a cross from Wesley Sneijder, taking the corner kick, was deserved. Felipe Melo missed an excellent chance earlier on from close range, followed by a double miss from Didier Drogba and Selcuk Inan, hitting the post. Petr Cehc was the busiest Chelsea player in those minutes, finding himself under immense pressure from the Turkish side, as his team failed to move the ball forward, or maybe it didn’t really try.

Jose Mourinho doesn’t believe in attacking for 90 minutes. It’s either pressing early or late, and it’s hard for teams to make that switch after conceding. Chelsea made changes with John Obi Mikel coming on for Schurrle so their midfield could finally balance things, and replaced the tired Torres for Samuel Eto’o who barely touched the ball if at all. However, Galatasaray struggled to move the ball freely from that moment, and relied on long balls to Didier Drogba, who found it hard to create something dangerous for his teammates in the final 20 minutes.

Chelsea were the more pleased side leaving the pitch with the away goal, but once again didn’t really put on an impressive display of positive football. This is a team that will likely be the only English club in the quarterfinals, and maybe that kind of responsibility called for a less adventurous game from a manager who hates being audacious.

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