Former Ivory Coast and Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has revealed what helped the team in the 2012 Champions League second leg 4-1 win over Napoli at the Bridge which was the amazing moment on the road to the Allianz Arena.
Chelsea then manager Andre Villas-Boas was sacked in the build-up to the second leg of the Champions League against Napoli at the Stamford Bridge, But all that hullabaloo obscures an unfairly forgotten game on the road to the Allianz Arena. Chelsea’s 4 – 1 victory over Napoli is the middle child of the big family of that season’s campaign.
The Score Nigeria recalls that 8 years ago Napoli were on a hot run of form, having won their last six in all competitions, including a 3-1 first leg home win against Chelsea. They had the fluid front three of Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik in great form scoring goals galore.
Chelsea came into the game with depression having sacked their coach then Andre Villas-Boas, Drogba narrated how he gave everything for the game as well as his teammates to got the needed results against SC Napoli.
“Eight years ago, the Manager had been sacked by the club and we, the players had a team meeting where we recognised being partly responsible for his departure.
The captain @johnterry spoke, @franklampard @petrcech and other leaders in the group too.”
“We decided to all give this competition everything, despite our defeat 4-1 against Napoli.
We had been chasing this trophy for eight years and couldn’t do better than runner up.
Everyone agreed to put egos aside and challenge each over for the same goal.”
“After that meeting I asked a young 23 years old @juanmatagarcia “please Maestro, help me win the champions league “
he looked at me like “man you’re crazy, you’re Didier Drogba you are gonna help me win it,
I then told him I’ve been here for 8 years and never won it.”
“so I believe you’re the one who’s gonna help us win.
I’ll even give you a present if we win it, that was end of February.
Three months later, we were in Munich, in the final, in their stadium, submerged with a red wave.”
“The hosts took the lead with 8 minutes to go and on my way to kick the ball for the last 8 minutes I was so discouraged, the young man said to me “believe Didi, you have to believe” , almost in tears I answered after looking at the time score “believe in what? It’s almost over, I’m gonna cry like a few months ago when I lost the final with Côte d’Ivoire.”
“Last minute, last corner, I mean first corner for us against eighteen for Bayern Munich.
Guess who took that corner kick… @juanmatagarcia and the rest is history.
The lesson is ALWAYS BELIEVE !!!!”
Branislav Ivanovic’s extra-time goal gave Chelsea a dramatic 5-4 aggregate victory over Napoli and sent them through to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
Roberto Di Matteo’s men began the night needing to claw back a 3-1 deficit from the first leg and quickly did so thanks to headers from Didier Drogba and John Terry.
Gokhan Inler’s spectacular half-volley wrenched the game back into Napoli’s hands once more before Frank Lampard’s penalty levelled the thrilling tie on aggregate.
That meant extra time and, right at the end of the first period, Ivanovic found himself free 10 yards out to blast home Drogba’s low cross to secure Chelsea’s place in the last eight.
If this is the result of player power then maybe caretaker manager Di Matteo – who was jumping for joy at the final whistle – should just let his veterans do it their way. Drogba, Terry and Lampard – the men the sacked Andre Villas-Boas seemed so determined to discard – proved just how difficult they would be to replace with a goal apiece in this victory.