Chelsea through to Champions League quarterfinals
Chelsea 4-1 second leg winners over Napoli after extra time
Branislav Ivanovic's goal gives them 5-4 aggregate victory over Italians
Real Madrid ease past CSKA Moscow with 4-1 home win
Branislav Ivanovic scored a superb extra-time goal to put Chelsea through to the quarterfinals of the European Champions League, while Real Madrid also progressed Wednesday.
The Serbian defender’s 105th-minute strike gave the English Premier League side a 4-1 second leg win over Napoli and passage to the last eight 5-4 on aggregate.
Trailing 3-1 after the first leg in Italy, one of the results which cost Andre Villas-Boas his job as Chelsea manager, the home side responded with an all-action display at Stamford Bridge.
Goals from veteran players Didier Drogba, John Terry and Frank Lampard – whose futures had seemed under threat during the short reign of the Portuguese coach – helped send the tie to extra time.
Napoli had looked menacing in the opening exchanges and Marek Hamsik and Ezequiel Lavezzi both forced fine reaction saves from Petr Cech.
But striker Drogba’s diving header after 39 minutes tipped the balance in the home side’s favor.
Two minutes into the second half and they were two up and level on aggregate as captain Terry found space to head home Lampard’s corner.
Napoli, who continued to be a threat, responded almost immediately with a goal to go ahead again on aggregate as Gokhan Inler swept home from the edge of the area.
But Andrea Dossena handled to give Chelsea the chance to take the match past regulation time, and England international Lampard stepped up to smash home the 75th-minute penalty kick.
Substitute Fernando Torres had two half-chances to end his goal drought before Ivanovic cropped up in the penalty area to smash his shot high into the Napoli net.
Chelsea held out comfortably in the second half of extra time to seal a famous comeback and give interim manager Roberto Di Matteo his third straight win since taking over from Villas-Boas.
Defender Terry said it had been one of their greatest every performances.
“This could top them all sure,” he told the UK match broadcaster. “The lads put in a great display, really solid, really resilient, with the firepower going forward.
“We proved we’re a team tonight. That desire, that togetherness. We showed what Chelsea are made of tonight.”
Nine-time champions Real Madrid booked their passage after a 4-1 win over CSKA Moscow at the Santiago Bernabeu, clinching a 5-2 aggregate success.
The scoreline was a little flattering for Real, who had some nervous defensive moments before Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain converted Kaka’s cross to put them ahead on the night and on aggregate.
In-form Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first of the night early in the second half with a speculative long-range effort which embarrassed CSKA goalkeeper Sergei Chepchugov.
France forward Karim Benzema made it 3-0 to Real with his first touch after coming on as a substitute, then Zopan Tosic scored a deserved goal for the visitors with a crisp strike which whistled past Iker Casillas.
But Ronaldo scored in injury time with his sixth goal in the competition to restore the Spanish league leaders’ three-goal advantage.