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Thursday, February 22, 2007

UEFA Champions League, Porto 1-1 Chelsea

Terry Off As Sheva Gives Chelsea Vital Goal Draw

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho faced his old club and came away with a tactically sound 1-1 draw, this after the defending Premiership champions fell behind early and also lost their talismanic defensive captain John Terry through injury. Porto needed just 12 minutes to jump in front, the goal coming while Chelsea played with ten men. Influential Blues defender John Terry had come up lame after an innocuous bit of off the ball contact with Lisandro Lopez. Nevertheless, with Terry on the sidelines seeking consultation the home side took advantage.

Mourinho responded by introducing Arjen Robben, who might have felt aggrieved not to have been selected in the first place after a reasonable performance against Norwich in the 4-0 FA Cup win on Saturday. Arjen Robben's impact was immediate. His first touch came in collecting another weakly headed clearance, this time Pepe's; straight away he drove at Porto. Bosingwa and Pepe were tight to him but failed to intervene, allowing Robben to feed Shevchenko in the area. The Ukrainian was unmarked and remained unchallenged as he took two further steps into the area before sweeping a left-foot shot past Helton for the equaliser.

With Essien settling in impressively at the back, Porto winger Ricardo Quaresma therefore went for the audacious and nearly scored near the end of the first half. The 23-year-old hit a pass first time from outside the area in a wicked, swerving lob of Cech. The ball hammered off the crossbar, however, despite the Chelsea goalkeeper looking like one of the paying spectators on the play.

Half-time brought another Chelsea change, the injured Robben replaced by Mikel John Obi. Porto brought on Marek Cech for Meireles, allowing Quaresma to shift inside. The move was testament to the fetters Diarra had applied to the forward, justifying Mourinho's decision to favour the Frenchman at right-back over Paulo Ferreira and Geremi.

Porto manager Manuel Jesualdo Ferreira, meantime, made three second-half substitutions but none of the players distinguished himself. Adriano—a late replacement for Postiga, in fact, was saved blushes after a dreadful close-range miss with five minutes left when he was ruled—correctly—offside.

Porto (1):
Helton; Fucile (Bruno Moraes), Bruno Alves, Pepe, Bosingwa; Raule Meireles, Assuncao, Gonzalez; Quaresma, Postiga (Adriano), Lopez
Manager: Manuel Jesualdo Ferreira

Chelsea (1): Cech; Bridge, Carvalho, Terry (Robben, Obi Mikel), Diarra; Lampard, Makelele, Ballack, Essien; Drogba, Shevchenko (Kalou)
Manager: Jose Mourinho

Match's Full highlights: