Analysing Didier Drogba's Performance vs. Chelsea

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2014

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 26:  John Terry of Chelsea looks on as Didier Drogba of Galatasaray clears the ball during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Galatasaray AS and Chelsea at Ali Sami Yen Arena on February 26, 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Didier Drogba had a solid performance against his former club when Galatasaray earned a 1-1 draw against Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League round of 16.

The 35-year-old veteran was one of the best scorers in Chelsea history throughout his eight-year career with the English Premier League club. Obviously, there was plenty of emotion in his reunion:

However, he did not seem to have a lot of faith in his own club heading into the first leg of the knockout stage, telling Ben Smith of BBC Sport:

Are Chelsea better than Galatasaray? Yes, they are 10 times better.

If I play it is to win. It will be tough but Juve were better than us, so anything can happen. If there's a 1% chance of us winning. I'll believe it.

Despite this respect given to his opponent, his side performed extremely well in the home matchup. Galatasaray held possession for 58 percent of the match and made sure that most of the contest was spent in Chelsea's zone.

As a result, the home squad were able to limit opportunities after Fernando Torres' early goal, and the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Drogba specifically had a decent showing and almost scored against his former club, but hit the post, as noted by Fox Soccer Trax:

Unfortunately, that was the extent of his involvement in the match as he was relatively quiet from that point forward. Squawka Football notes that he could not get headers like he was used to thanks to the Chelsea defense:

By the time he was subbed out, Chelsea's official Twitter account was proud of the effort:

Still, Drogba had a big role in the match despite not being involved in scoring plays. He was consistent with his passes and he often took the defensive attention off other players. This allowed his teammates better opportunities around the net.

This effort helped him earn a rating of 6.95 in the match, according to WhoScored.com

Of course, the bigger issue is how the veteran and his club will fare against Chelsea in the return match on March 18. In order to advance to the quarterfinals, Galatasaray will have to score at least once and probably twice at Stamford Bridge.

Drogba is his side's best hope in this match, but he will need to be more involved and find a way to actually put the ball in the back of the net. If he is limited once again, the chances of advancing in Champions League become extremely slim.

 

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