Chelsea win with away goal
An important away goal, scored by Salomon Kalou, handed Chelsea a 1-0 win over Benfica in their first leg Champions League quarterfinal clash at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon on Tuesday night.
It was a first half with very few chances on goal as neither side wanted to concede early on.
Chelsea were playing a composed style of football, looking to make as little mistakes as possible, which resulted in them not venturing too far forward.
Still, the English side did have their chances in attack while managing to produce a solid defensive performance and thus limiting Benfica’s opportunities in front of goal.
The only real chance of the opening 45 minutes came five minutes before the half time break.
Raul Meireles picked up the ball 35-yards out from goal and let loose with a powerful grass-cutter that saw Guilherme Artur at full stretch diving low to his left to tip the effort around the post.
The second half was a much livelier affair and Benfica almost took the lead two minutes after the restart.
A long throw-in from the right saw the ball drop to Oscar Cardozo 16-yards out from goal, but he saw his thunderbolt cleared off the goalline by David Luiz.
In the 60th minute Chelsea nearly stole the lead when a long ball from Petr Cech caught the Benfica defence sleeping and allowed Juan Mata to sneak behind them.
The Chelsea attacker managed to round the keeper to his left, but smacked his shot against the post as the angle narrowed.
Seven minutes later and Cech was called into action, denying Jardel from close range after he latched onto a cross from Nicolas Gaitan. Jardel should have scored but headed straight at the keeper.
In the 75th minute some great work down the right flank by Fernando Torres resulted in the game’s only goal.
Torres exposed the lack of pace in the Benfica defence when he ran away from Jardel down the right and into the box. The striker then got his head up and supplied a low pass across the face of goal which Kalou side-footed home from four-yards out, 1-0.
After going in front Chelsea shut-up shop at the back and defended in their numbers to hold a 1-0 lead going into the second leg at Stamford Bridge.