NAWAIWAQT GROUP
 
 
 
Chelsea toil to save English honour, Real stroll
 
 
 
Chelsea toil to save English honour, Real stroll

PARIS - Chelsea became the only English team to secure a positive result from the Champions League last 16 first leg ties with a 1-1 draw away at Galatasaray on Wednesday.
In the other game Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho's former side Real Madrid strolled to a 6-1 win in Germany against Schalke 04. Chelsea, winners of the trophy in 2012, slightly redeemed English Premier League honour by their result in Istanbul and in the process were also the only one of the quartet to even score a goal.
Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United all lost 2-0, to holders Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Olympiakos respectively. Real's victory was never in doubt after they went 2-0 up early in the game -- their first goal giving them a Champions League record of scoring in 32 successive matches -- against a Schalke side that had never conceded more than one goal against Spanish opposition in Gelsenkirchen.
Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale both scored braces with Cristiano Ronaldo marking his return from a three game suspension with a double as well. Mourinho may have been caught unawares by a camera crew deriding his strikers but one of them Fernando Torres -- making his 300th appearance for an English club -- made no mistake for his ninth goal of the season in the ninth minute. Aurelien Chedjou gave the hosts a deserved equaliser in the 62nd minute as he shook off John Terry to volley home.
Mourinho bemoaned the chances that had gone begging in the first-half and which could have given them a sizeable advantage for the second leg.
"The result is not amazing but we will take it," said the Portuguese, who is bidding to become the first manager to coach three different sides to Champions League glory. "I am not being critical of my striker -- Fernando had a fantastic game -- but we missed control at crucial times and the final ball was lacking. "It is not a bad result and is better than 0-0 but they a very good team and have big strikers so the second leg will be tough."
His Galatasaray counterpart Roberto Mancini -- whom Mourinho replaced at Inter Milan and then guided them to the treble of the Champions League, Serie A title and the Italian Cup -- was pleased with the way his side had come back. "We paid them too much respect in the first-half and were perhaps a bit afraid of them," said the Italian. "However, in the end it is a good result and we will go there for the second leg with a lot more confidence based on how we played in the second half."  Real had the match wrapped up early on and while Schalke had their chances the visitors showed them what class finishing was all about.
Ronaldo's first was probably the pick of the bunch as he bedazzled Joel Matip with three stepovers before unleashing his shot which whistled into the net. The Ballon d'Or winner's double took him to the top of the scoring charts for the competition this season with 11. "The team has played a lot of good games and this is one more," said Ronaldo. "We played well and didn't allow Schalke to play at their best. We are happy and a step away from the next round.
"The Schalke goalkeeper did very well and made good saves, but I believe in my ability and my teammates helped me a lot. "I am very happy to score two goals." Schalke's goal was special too -- a stunning volley by former Real player Klaas-Jan Huntelaar but it came in the second minute of time added on and drew only resigned applause from the Schalke bench and a wistful look up to the sky. "You can see the disappointment is etched on our faces, but we will come back from this," said Schalke captain Benedikt Hoewedes.

 
 
on epaper page 16
 
 
more in Sports

SINGAPORE - Racquet-smashing Serena Williams fought back from a set down to beat Caroline Wo...

BASEL - Roger Federer defied a 33-ace onslaught from Ivo Karlovic to reach his ninth straigh...

 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
NAWAIWAQT GROUP