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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Drogba shines in victory over Barcelona

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba's amazing goal made the difference in a high-tempo European Champions League derby where Chelsea beat Barcelona 1-0 on Wednesday.

The outstanding moment came with just two minutes after the interval when the in-form Drogba conjured with the ball between his legs before jinking two defenders to shoot from the edge of the area, awarding Jose Mourinho's squad a deserved 1-0 triumph as the group rivals resumed hostilities at Stamford Bridge.

“The first half had been tough trying to control Barcelona’s counter-attacks, but once we scored it opened the game up and they lost their way,” Mourinho admitted.

Indeed, the first period had been tight and tense. However, scoring little more than a minute after the start of the second half, Chelsea gave themselves the confidence to dominate. Frank Rijkaard, the Barcelona coach, threw on substitutes with no results.

Maybe Rijkaard was under orders to promote Barcelona’s official suit supplier, but the supposedly cool Dutchman looked as if he had been moonlighting as a car-park valet. He changed jackets for the second half after Uefa officials complained about the advertising. Perhaps they were as horrified as the rest by an outfit that was hardly in keeping with Rijkaard’s stylish image or that of his club, who have made much of charitably bearing the Unicef logo.

It's important to mention that the only disappointment for Chelsea FC was that such a pleasing win over such dangerous opponents should come this early in the season. Providing Barcelona qualify from the group, Ronaldinho Gaucho has plenty of time to consider his revenge.

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