Chelsea vs. Galatasaray: 4 Things We Learned
Goals from Samuel Eto'o and Gary Cahill ensured the game cast as "The Didier Drogba Show" failed to live up to its billing. However, the Stamford Bridge faithful sung the returning hero's name loud and clear.
Just what did we learn from Chelsea vs. Galatasaray?
Stamford Bridge Adores Didier Drogba
It isn't really news, but there were some who wondered what kind of response the Ivorian would get.
Prior to the match, Chelsea's support sang his name incessantly. The banners were everywhere: "Always in our Hearts," "Welcome Home," and simply "Drogba Legend."
However, for 90 minutes, Didier Drogba was just another Galatasaray player.
There were cheers when his wayward free-kick hit one of his own banners, with Chelsea fans getting behind their own team when it mattered.
Once it was all over, the love-in recommenced.
Stamford Bridge has seen many legends down the years, but only one has ever scored the goal that brought the European Cup home.
Tonight, Chelsea fans showed Drogba that whatever his colours, he will always be one of Stamford Bridge's own.
Chelsea Should Have Done This 3 Weeks Ago
On top in the first half at the Turk Telekom Arena, Chelsea could have been 4-0 up with a quarter of the tie played.
However, they faltered in the second half, and the 1-1 first-leg result felt more like a glass half empty than half full.
In the second leg, Chelsea finished the job they had bodged in Istanbul.
They ran rampant over a Galatasaray defence that looked at times eerily reminiscent of the one recently encountered by the Blues at Craven Cottage.
Galatasaray were remarkably fortunate to make it this far. After a full 90 minutes without a single shot on goal, they did not deserve to make it any further.
Eden Hazard Was a Man Against Boys
He dribbled it this way, chipped it that way, nutmegged, dummied and Rabona-ed.
It was like a YouTube highlight package compressed into 90 minutes, and all Galatasaray could do was look on in wonder.
Chelsea's most influential player of the season has skipped a few beats in recent weeks. However, it mostly wasn't his fault. Rather, it was more a case of being forced to pick up the slack left by others.
Should there be any doubt at all about Hazard's incredible talent, he put all of that soundly to sleep with a virtuoso display here at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea Are Once Again Flying the Flag for England in Europe
Chelsea cruised into the last eight of the Champions League again, and every top Premier League side should be grateful for that.
The dismal recent record of English sides in Europe is bolstered by one side alone: Chelsea, back-to-back Champions League and Europa League winners.
The number of sides European leagues put forward to European competitions is decided by a concept so complex and accountant-speak that only Michel Platini's men could have concocted it.
In essence, if English teams do well over time, they get more European places. If they do badly—in theory, at least—those places get taken away.
Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and perhaps Tottenham and Liverpool: Give thanks to Chelsea.