UEFA Champions League: April 2, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
The second half of first leg action took place in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday. In an all-English battle Liverpool travelled to the Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal. This will be the first of three consecutive games between the two clubs, with a Premier League fixture sandwiched between their Champions League quarter-final legs. Turkish champions Fenerbahçe welcomed English club Chelsea to the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadyumu in Instanbul. This is the first meeting between the two clubs.
Emmanuel Adebayore struck first in the match in the 23rd minute. A low drive by Robin Van Persie was turned aside by Pepe Reina, and Adebayore headed the ensuing corner into the back of the visitors goal. Liverpool push forward looking to equalize and Dirk Kuyt provided only minutes later as Steven Gerrard stormed into the box and squared the ball to the Dutchman, who drove it into the gaping net. The marker may be judged an own goal after review, as it may have come off defender Gael Clichy as opposed to Kuyt, but only time will tell. Liverpool came alive after their goal with Torres and Hyypia both getting chances, but it was Arsenal who finished the half strongly with a flurry of corner kicks. Neither side could make another breakthrough however, and the teams went to the dressing rooms knotted at one a piece.
Robin van Persie left the game with a thigh strain and was replaced by Theo Walcott, and it was Walcott who had the first good chance as he fired a shot inches wide of the Liverpool goal. Arsenal kept the bulk of possession for the second half and it took a clearance off the line by Dirk Kuyt to keep the scores level. Alexander Hleb picked up the clearance and drove into the area where he was ran into Kuyt, but Arsenal's penalty appeals were waved off. Arsenal's next big chance was again blocked on the line, but this time by their own player. Cesc Fabregas' shot hit Nicholas Bendtner on the line, and the young Dane wasn't able to direct the ball into the open net before Yossi Benayoun cleared the ball away. The Liverpool defence held strong and the Reds earned themselves the all important away draw.
Fenerbahçe 0 - 1 Chelsea
Chelsea would draw first blood in this quarter final off a bizarre own goal by Deivid. Florent Malouda's cross was hit in off Deivid past his own keeper to give the visitors the lead. Michael Essien had the next best chance of the game as his powerful drive skipped off the top of the crossbar and out of play. The English side remained in control for much of the first half, and Drogba came close to doubling their advantage near half-time, but was snuffed out by the Fenerbahçe keeper.
Substitute Colin Kazim-Richards tied the game up for Fenerbahçe in the 64th minute when he connected with a cross by Marco Aurelio. Chelsea tried to hit back instantly but Michael Ballack's snap shot is scooped up by Volkan Demirel. The home side then took the lead on a fine long ranged shot. Deivid made up for his earlier mistake by curling his long range drive past Carlo Cudicini's grasping arms and into the Chelsea goal. The win is a huge boost for Fenerbahçe before they travel to Stamford Bridge next week, however the away goal is important for Chelsea, and the outcome of this quarter-final is still fully up in the air.
Second legs will take place on Tuesday, April 8
- James Pearson. "Fener comeback stuns Blues" — , April 2, 2008
- Steve Pass. "Reds claim Emirates draw" — , April 2, 2008