Petr Cech and Frank Lampard reflected on a dominant performance that sealed our place in this season’s Champions League quarter-finals.
A goal at either end of the first half was sufficient to see off a Galatasaray side that struggled to impose themselves throughout, and in the end we ran out comfortable 2-0 winners. Both Frank Lampard, who returned to the side having not featured in our weekend loss at Aston Villa, and Petr Cech – on the occasion of his 100th Champions League appearance – were thrilled with the way we dictated proceedings throughout.
‘The performance was everything we wanted it to be,’ explained Lampard. ‘It was a tough game and we didn’t take for granted we would get a decent result out there or we were going to win comfortably. They hardly threatened us apart from right at the end through Didier. It was a very controlled and professional performance.’
‘We started very well from the first minute,’ Cech concurred. ‘We were aggressive and we scored an early goal which was the key. After we got the second goal we controlled the game.
‘We knew if we kept the tempo and kept our focus we would win. The team was absolutely brilliant and it was the perfect answer to Saturday’s performance.’
We were able to nullify the threat posed by the returning Didier Drogba, and the two players who had shared so many special Chelsea moments with him were left to reflect on the reunion.
‘Everyone knows what Didier is about. He’s top class so we had to be on our game. It’s not just Didier though, they had threats in different positions,’ pointed out Lampard.
Cech, meanwhile, was pleased to come out on top at the end of the two-legged tie.
‘It’s been strange to play against Didier on the same pitch because for eight years we were wearing the same shirt,’ said Cech. ‘In these two games he was my opponent and I know how dangerous he could be. It was nice to see him, and when we won it was even nicer to see him!’
Last night’s victory secures our place in the quarter-finals of the competition we won in 2012 and the longstanding Blues pair, who have reached this stage so often, assessed the draw which will be made on Friday morning.
‘I don’t have any preferences for the next round,’ stressed Cech. ‘You can’t really choose opponents when you get to the quarter-finals so let’s see what the draw will bring.’
‘There are a number of great teams left in it and we’ll wait and see who we get drawn against,’ agreed Lampard. ‘It’s very tough this competition and it gets tougher every year.
‘But we’re still in it and we’re confident at the minute.’