Chelsea F.C.'s easy win built on solid defence

Mar 19 2014, 08:33 IST
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SummaryChelsea F.C.'s miniature midfield marvels may scoop the plaudits but success is built on solid foundations

Chelsea F.C.'s miniature midfield marvels may scoop the plaudits but success is built on solid foundations and Jose Mourinho praised his central defensive rocks after his side's Champions League win over Galatasaray.

Eden Hazard, Oscar, Ramires and Willian were all on duty in Tuesday's 2-0 home victory that sent Chelsea into the quarter-finals 3-1 on aggregate but it was John Terry and Gary Cahill who Mourinho picked out for particular praise.

The duo ensured that striker Didier Drogba's return to his old club was a forgettable one and Cahill even weighed in with the second goal - following a parried Terry header - after Samuel Eto'o's fourth-minute opener.

"Gary and John had a fantastic performance against two very good strikers and the fact was that we controlled the game so well that you couldn't see Drogba in a dangerous position," Mourinho told a news conference.

"The team was very, very solid, very confident and in control for 90 minutes, which is difficult.

"It was a very good performance. There were no fears, we had a very good approach to the game as 1-1 is difficult, even when your winning 2-0 it's difficult because one goal for them leaves them needing just a goal to go through.

"But we got a positive result in the first leg and tonight we finished the job."

SOUND DEFENCE

Terry and Cahill looked like men absolutely on top of their game and with the ever-reliable Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta outside them, Mourinho can spend his time working on attacking ideas knowing his defence is sound.

In normal circumstances the England manager would be delighted at being able to slot a regular club pairing straight into the national team but though Cahill's consistent displays this season have made him a likely starter in the World Cup, Terry will be watching from home.

Roy Hodgson has made it abundantly clear he has no intention of trying to prize Terry out of international retirement, despite the alarming drop in form of most of his centre-back rivals.

Chelsea's England midfielder Frank Lampard still looks a man with one more tournament in him, however, after he too delivered a display full of experience and authority to continually snuff out Galatasaray's attacks before they reached anything like the danger zone.

That left Drogba a forlorn figure up front and Mourinho, who enjoyed some of his finest moments in tandem with the powerful Ivorian, had some sympathy.

The Portuguese coach laughed off suggestions that

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