Chelsea wasted a hatful of chances but rarely looked troubled by FC Copenhagen in a 0-0 draw that takes them into the Champions League quarter-finals 2-0 on aggregate
Evening all: Let's kick off with the teams:
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Lampard, Zhirkov, Anelka, Drogba.
Subs: Turnbull, Essien, Torres, Malouda, Ferreira, Kalou, McEachran.
FC Copenhagen: Wiland, Wendt, Jorgensen, Antonsson, Bengtsson, Bolanos, Claudemir, Kvist, Vingaard, Gronkjaer, Ndoye.
Subs: Christensen, Bergvold, Santin, Kristensen, Zohore, Hooiveld, Delaney.
Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (Norway)
Preamble: There's a strong sense of tumbleweed blowing across Stamford Bridge tonight as everyone seems to think Chelsea's hold on this tie is unassailable. FC Copenhagen have played two matches since their home leg three weeks ago, their first league games since early December, and the rust showed in a victory over AAB which succeeded a defeat by FC Midtjylland. Jesper Gronkjaer returns to Chelsea tonight, scene of some exasperating displays for Claudio Ranieri's Blues and the odd stellar one. Chelsea rest Fernando Torres, Florent Malouda and Michael Essien, giving John Obi Mikel another opportunity to dispel the impression that he's been a huge disappointment this season (and the rest, some would say). For Copenhagen Mikale Antonsson has overcome a buttock strain to take his place at the back. Craig Smaaskjaer points out: "Norwegian ref? Nothing can go wrong now." Ah, Ovrebo! Surely not again tonight?
That picture of Carlo Ancelotti: More proctologist than Wacko, I'd say. Eric Patterson has a different take: "So looking at the photo is Carlo telling us he's going with the old 4-4-2 again? Even without Andriy Shevtorres?" I think Zhirkov may play wide in a three or a trident as a few self-important analysts described it a few years ago. Torres needs a pre-season I'd argue before we go down the Sheva route.
Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen: Salty old queen of the sea. Gave Danny Kaye his only UK top 10 hit. Other trivia: Frank Lampard is celebrating his 10th year at Chelsea on ITV as the Liquidator plays in the background. He says he wants Chelsea to be disliked again. Not sure about the "again" for most of tonight's correspondents.
Out they come: Copenhagen in vibrant pink shirts. Shocking pink I think you'd accurately call it in every sense. Evening Jason Graff: "Re Carlo's pic: I fear what he's indicating is the best we can finish at any level should we get knocked out of this competition. It also represents the number of near heart attacks Chelsea have given me over the course of the season. Let's not make it five tonight!" Can't see it, Jason.
1 min: Copenhagen kick off after a few hobbledehoys shouted during the minute's silence for Japan. Lampard tries to play a quick, cute ball to Bosingwa behind the Danes' defence but the right-back jumped the gun and was offside.
3 mins:Cole makes a good break up the left, combines with Zhirkov and plays a nice pass to the front post where Lampard can't adjust his feet quick enough and turns the ball wide. Julian Menz says: "Copenhagen's strip makes Palermo look manly. I'm interested to see how many crosses Gronkjaer sends into the upper reaches of the Harding. When he played for us we learned to duck."
5 mins: Hell's teeth. It's be careful of what you write time as everything drips with symbolism (see Paul Doyle on the No26 on the other MBM). William Marzouk writes: "Ha, you locked it for Copenhagen when you said "trident". Chelsea can't play a trident because the trident is the weapon of Poseidon who of course is the protector of Copenhagen's port. So Chelsea will lose." Sorry, Blues fans. Copenhagen, meanwhile, pass the ball from left to right and back again across midfield but Gronkjaer's ball is hit too early and Chelsea catch them offside.
7 mins: Copenhagen get a free kick on the edge of the box after Bosingwa takes Vingaard's legs after a fine, direct run from the FCC midfielder. Claudemir smacks it straight into the wall from 20 yards out.
9 mins: Cole smashes the ball into the side-netting after a glorious one-two with Drogba who hit a beautiful return pass, casual as you like. As Cole powered into the box, Anelka peeled off to the back post but Cole thwacked it instead. FCC break and win a corner but Chelsea clear easily.
12 mins: Paulo Padilha is taking my brain places it doesn't want to go: "Carlo Ancelotti, proctology student: A friend once explained to me that medical students first practice basic procedures on the person who is teaching them, and this includes the standard proctology exams. I'm guessing Ancelotti learned most of his coaching in his final years as a player at Milan under Arrigo Sacchi, so why don't you go ahead and try to erase from your mind the image of that blue glove examining Arrigo for the first time..." Drogba shoots from 30 yards having worked himself an opening in the centre of the field with good footwork. But he doesn't connect properly and can't get the power.
13 mins: Sorry for inflicting that image on you. Wendt tries to get Bolanos free on the right behind Cole who's been bombing forward whenever Chelsea have the ball but he overhits it sloppily and it goes out for a Chelsea throw.
15 mins: Copenhagen fans in fine voice. N'Doye and Bolanos team up well but Chelsea's back four keep their shape and Terry steps out to rob N'Doye of possession. "I want Chelsea to lose (I hadn't been aware that they were ever liked either) so they'll sack Ancelotti (idiotically, but predictably)," writes Lou Roper, "and he can take over at Roma." Lampard plays a pass from the edge of the D to Anelka after Anelka's initial shot was blocked but he's called offside. he wasn't and would have had a clear shot at goal.
17 mins: Zhirkov has wandered in from the touchline and is linking up with Lampard, Drogba breaking left as they try to work the Copenhagen defence out of position. Clever movement from Chelsea so far going forward and Cole looks like their most potent, ahem, weapon.
19 mins: Glorious move from Chelsea, again up the left, Zhirkov to Cole, who cut inside, played a one-two with Drogba, got the ball back and dinked it back to Zhirkov who had to stretch to shoot and fell over while hitting the ball and dragged it wide of Wiland's left post. Anthony O'Connell puts his cards on the table re Torres: "Firstly I'm a Liverpool fan. Right, Torres, in May it will have been two seasons of being fairly mediocre. This season he's been as bad as he was last season. In fairness the lad needs to not kick a ball or run from seasons end to the start of next season. Since joining Liverpool he had one excellent season then the Euros, then another good season then the concaf, then a poor season and World Cup then this season." Holiday, then?
21 mins: Another excellent move through Zhirkov who pinged a fine pass after a 20-yard run in off the touchline, unopposed, with the outside of his left foot that split Wendt and Jorgensen to play in Anelka on the right of the six-yard box. Anelka tried to dink it over the keeper but the keeper kept his torso upright as he dived forward and blocked it well.
24 mins: I haven't seen Zhirkov play as well as this. Wendt is a left-back by trade but Zhirkov is skinning him on the inside which shouldn't be Wendt's weaker side.
26 mins: Copenhagen free kick 25 yards out after N'Doye was brought down. He took it himself from a central position and curls it powerfully on to Cech's right post with the keeper moving the other way then stopping, knowing he was beaten. Bosingwa clears for a corner. Nothing comes of it.
26 mins: Norm! "Copenhagen's Wendt isn't the same actor famous for playing Norm on Cheers is he? If so, impressive versatility," chuckles Trent Smither. It is he, married to the fierce Vera.
28 mins: Mikel wins a free kick inside Copenhagen's half when Kvist fouls him twice with a kick and a shirt tug but they take it too quickly, trying to work Anelka free on the left and Wendt closes him down.
31 mins: Another Chelsea attack down the left, begun by Lampard's 30-yard pass to Anelka who has swapped positions with Zhirkov. Anelka runs straight at Wendt, looks to have beaten him, then slams a left-foot shot straight at Jorgensen. Then Zhirkov has a chance on the right when Drogba plays him in inside the box. Again his shot is misdirected. "A 'glorious move by Chelsea' (19min) comes to nothing, whilst an 'excellent move' (22mins) also comes to nothing," writes Brian Rafferty. "You will run out of hyperbolic adjectives by the time you get to commentating on an Arsenal fixture." Point taken. But I am enjoying Chelsea's attacking movement tonight. Not that they're up against Inter or anything but still it has confounded my expectations of a frill-free "get the job done as painlessly as possible" victory.
35 mins: Now Copenhagen are enjoying some possession, trying to find N'Doye who has been their best player, until Claudemir tries to beat two defenders with a pass and it's cut out. Back come Chelsea with Bosingwa who crosses to Drogba. He tries to lay it off with his head to Lampard but Copenhagen get a free-kick. Hand ball, I think.
38 mins: Anelka, free by the right corner flag after a 20-yard burst, curls his cross straight into Wiland's hands.
41 mins: Drogba strays offside again when Zhirkov's cross came in. Copenhagen then try to see if Bosingwa can defend, waeving moves around him with Vingaard, Kvist and Bengtsson. The final ball, though, is weak and picked off by Ivanovic. "Are Chelsea going to become the third English side to proceed to the QF's solely because their opponents made such a pig's ear of their home leg?" suggests Kevin Porter. "Talking of porcine matters are FCK's shirts actually Peppa Pig pink?" Precisely Peppa, Kevin. Just as her cheeks are as she's about to jump into a muddy puddle
43 mins: Mikel chips a decent pass over Antonsson and Bengtsson and Anelka races on to it but Wiland sprints out and Bengtsson recovers to support him and they block his effort.
44 mins: Copenhagen free kick after Mikel's foul. Too far at 40 yards for a shot and Vingaard makes a mess of it and doesn't clear Chelsea's first line. The home side then break with Ivanovic up to Drogba who turns and shoots with his left from just outside the box but again it's a weak effort.
Half time: Good match so far. I'll be back in 10 minutes. Linda Howard writes on the subject of mojos, lost and found: "What is it with strikers suffering from the ever-dramatic ailment of 'lack of confidence' that they incessantly pop the ball straight at the 'keeper? Is it the sight of open arms? They feel subconsciously beckoned to the comfort of a hug?" These symbols are everywhere tonight, Linda. Do you think Didier needs an arm around him from Carlo? If he does, it may be a blue one, thinks Paul Taylor: "Actually, as we can't see Ancelotti's other hand in the picture, it is equally plausible that that person's skin really IS blue, and that he is wearing a mask to cover his face. In which case, we can't be sure that person really is Ancelotti. I think he is a Danish ringer brought in to sabotage Chelsea, in case they can't do it themselves." Let's get this right, Paul. Are you suggesting they've dressed a Smurf in BBC pundit regulation all black and stuck him on the touchline at the Bridge? Peter Frawley is not impressed by the Copenhagen chorus: "My perception of the Copenhagen fans is dipping all the time. First the heckling during the minutes silence for the tsunami victims of Japan and now they are chanting the 'Great Escape' theme with an "FC' replacing "England" at the end. I mean where is the originality in that, never mind the missing dignity."
46 mins: Chelsea kick off and then Copenhagen try to open them up on the left with Bengtsson clipping a 30-yard pass that Ramires nods out. They try a Scud throw but there's no menace in it and it floats into Cech's hands.
48 mins: Very good cross from Bosingwa, ten yards out of the box, curled towards the left side of the six-yard box, straight to Drogba who shanks it wide.
49 mins: Chelsea throw on halfway. Bosingwa to Ramires, then Bosingwa storms through the middle to Ramires who taps it to Zhirkov and then gest it back first time to shoot from 30 yards but he scuffs it along the ground and Wiland dives to his left and picks it up with ease.
51 mins: Then Chelsea waste two excellent chances, the first when Anelka nips behind the Copenhagen defence and though Bengtsson gets back, he still has a chance to shoot but cuts back, turns then shoots with his left and it's blocked and goes out for a corner. Lampard puts it on Terry's head, he spins his header towards Anelka who backheads it to Mikel who heads it on to the bar from two yards.
53 mins: I've never written a sentence with the word "head" in it so often before, apart from when writing about Shack. Apologies for that. Drogba is penalised and yellow carded for a sliding challenge in the centre circle.
55 mins:I've just retrieved David Tiemroth from the spam filter: "My perception of the Chelsea fans is dipping all the time. First the heckling during the minutes silence for the tsunami victims of Japan and then they spent most of the first half ripping off John Cage's 4'33". Where's the originality in that?" Time for Harry Hill, I think.
57 mins: Claudemir crosses from the left into the area towards Gronkjaer who has nipped in front of Terry but it strikes him on the upper arm as he tries to control it on his chest and Chelsea get a free kick.
57 mins: Anelka cuts back from the byline on the left, aiming for Lampard but Copenghagen manage to clear, then N'Doye breaks up Chelsea's left and overhits his cross and it races out.
59 mins: Ramires shoots from 20 yards and balloons the ball over the bar. Mossy Egan writes: "Shack eh? Not heard them mentioned in years. HMS Fable was wonderful but nowt much since." Been back with the Pale Fountains, I think, Mossy.
61 mins: Copenhagen throw and the ref stops proceedings to have a word with N'Doye for trying to rough up Cech.
62 mins: Zohore comes on for Copenhagen, Bengtsson off.
64 mins:Chelsea have built four or five wonderful opportunities with some fine passing moves, the latest when Drogba dropped deep, spun a pass out to Zhirkov on the left and his cross just couldn't find Anelka. The build up play, though, has been a delight at times. Counts for nowt, of course.
66 mins: More over elaboration, though a shot would not have been easy as Antonsson closed Lampard down quickly. Lampard checked and crossed to the far post from bang down the middle but Kvist got there. Ian Copestake is here: "Didier does not need an arm around him. He needs to take advice from this Aussie comic and "Harden the f%&k up" [warning: contains angry words and is funny]."
68 mins: Torres on for Anelka.
68 mins: And he almost scores with a deflected shot after winning the knockdown from Cech's clearance. He darted down the left, cut inside and shot from 20 yards or so and the deflection helped it nearer the goal, but not near enough. Chelsea corner. Nothing comes of it again.
70 mins: Long pass over the top of the defence from Lampard but Wiland beats Drogba to the ball.
72 mins: Delay while Vingaard gets treatment for a jarred knee. He's going off. Santin comes on.
74 mins: Torres again makes progress down the inside left channel, waltzes a couple of yards then sprints past Jorgensen and hits his shot with the outside of his right foot across goal. Malouda on for Zhirkov.
76 mins: Cech raced out of goal to nick the ball off Bolanos's foot when Gronkjaer split Cole and Terry. They get the ball back from Cech's kick and storm up the right, N'Doye running 20 yards then wasting his shot when he should have crossed to Zohore.
78 mins: Drogba goes clear up the left and starts sprinting into the box but Jorgensen forces him wide and when he finally decides to cross, a bit late, Copenhagen knock it out for a corner. Terry then heads over.
80 mins: Justin Kavanagh has some statue therapy for Torres: "Nani has a life-size of himself in his Manchester home, and Fulham are installing a statue of Michael Jackson at Craven Cottage. Maybe Mr Abramovich can ask his art-loving girlfriend to commission a diamond-encrusted replica of the statuesque Torres just to boost the Spaniard's confidence on his way in to work. Has he scored yet tonight?" Is the bear a catholic? Drogba free kick, easyily saved by Wiland.
81 mins: Bolanos is yellow carded for diving when challenged by Lampard. Simulation agogo. Chelsea corner taken by Drogba but it's as ineffective as Lampard's last two and Copenhagen break out.
83 mins: Slight chance for Zohore when Cole slips and Gronkjaer crosses to the substitute but his first touch is dire and he traps it farther than Xavi can kick it. Essien on for Mikel.
85 mins: "I also have a 'life-size' of myself at home. It's called a mirror," honks Herr Copestake. My fault. His email had 'statue' in the title field which I didn't print out of sheer spite.
86 mins: Ramires crosses from the right and can't beat the first man then when he gets the ball back he doesn't even look up and taps his pass to Bosingwa who's offside.
88 mins: "I'm sure there are others aside from me who are reading this and don't know what the aggregate score is," writes Ross. "Please inform us! It's not on your live feed anywhere…" Well … it's … Chelsea 2-0 FC Copenhagen. Santin shoots wide of Cech's right post.
89 mins: Comically bad shot from Drogba that flew 90 degrees wide of his target.
89 mins: Kristensen on for Copenhagen, who are still 2-0 down Ross, for Bolanos.
90mins: Ivan Griscti with news on Ian Copestake's video star: "The Aussie comic you provided a link to is actually a parody of convicted murderer and celebrity "chopper" Read. He became everyone's favorite criminal after being depicted by Eric Bana in the movie Chopper. He always maintained that he only ever murdered or hurt other criminals." I thought it was, Ivan.
90 mins + 1: It has been petering out for the past 10 minutes but just then Drogba and Torres almost worked an opening. They did win a corner though the ball looked to come off Drogba. Drogba took it and Lampard was held in the box and lost the challenge for the ball bit the referee didn't see it.
90 mins + 3: Torres flicks the ball back, again from his position in that inside left channel, to Essien who blasts his shot wide.
Full time: Chelsea 0-0 FC Copenhagen (Aggregate score Chelsea 2-0 FC Copenhagen) Chelsea go through and though they didn't score they did create plenty of opportunities for Anelka and Zhirkov in the first half and in the second Drogba and Torres carved out a couple of chances for themselves. Both Torres and Drogba like to play down the left so there was space on the right but Ramires didn't make the right passes when the ball came out to him there after half-time. Copenhagen were game, played some attractive football in short bursts but didn't seem to have the power to break Chelsea down or someone to make the runs in behind Bosingwa to open up the defence. More enjoyable than your run of the mill Champions League 0-0. The way they played won't have much bearing on the way they set up against a better side. Thanks for your emails. Good night.