CHELSEA 4 vs NAPOLI 1
CHELSEA’S totemic captain John Terry hailed the barnstorming comeback that saw his side book their place in the last eight of the Champions League as his greatest night in Europe.
Napoli arrived at Stamford Bridge favourites to progress following their 3-1 first leg victory and looked like doing so when Gokhan Inler’s 20-yard thunderbolt wiped out the advantage Chelsea had built through headers from Terry and Didier Drogba either side of half time.
Frank Lampard’s emphatic 75th minute penalty sent an absorbing contest into a period of extra-time that yielded just the one goal – Branislav Ivanovic’s tie-clinching effort – but no end of drama.
Afterwards, Terry, who appeared to assume the role of assistant manager and bellowed instructions from the touchline after he was substituted in the eighth minute of extra-time, could not hide his satisfaction at a performance that, in his view, went a long way to dismissing the notion that this Chelsea side are a spent force.
“This [European night] could top them all for sure,” said the former England captain. “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.”
The match was also a triumph for caretaker manager Roberto di Matteo whose faith in the old guard of Terry, Lampard and Drogba was more than justified.
The Italian added: “It was a fantastic game, to watch as well. We knew it would take a lot to go through, the performance of the whole team tonight was outstanding. I don’t think about myself, I just want to win games for Chelsea. That’s all I’m focused on.”