Gulf News

Essien puts Chelsea in semis

Valencia concede defeat for the first time in 40 years to an English club at home

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Ghanian midfielder Michael Essien scored a stunning late winner to give Chelsea a 2-1 victory over Valencia in their Champions League quarterfin­al second leg on Tuesday.

The triumph was the first time in 40 years that Valencia had lost at home to an English club and gave Chelsea a 3-2 win on aggregate to send them into the semifinals for the third time in four years.

With Liverpool their likely opponents after winning 3-0 at PSV Eindhoven last week, Chelsea face a replay of the last time they were in the semifinals of Europe's top club competitio­n two years ago.

In a game that typified the old cliche of football being a game of two halves, Valencia had the better first 45 minutes and held a 1-0 lead at half time thanks to a Fernando Morientes goal after 32 minutes.

Shevchenko goal

Chelsea came out after the break with all guns blazing and Andrey Shevchenko equalised after 51 minutes, but the game looked set to go into extra time before Essien made history right on the whistle.

Captain John Terry put the English side's transforma­tion down to the some tough talking from manager Jose Mourinho in the dressing room at half-time.

"The first half wasn't good enough, they dominated. But we got kicked up the backside at half-time and came out in the second half and dominated," Terry told ITV Sport. "But we never give in and we said last night if we go a goal down, nothing changes. He (Mourinho) wasn't happy at half-time but he's happy now."

 ?? AFP ?? Valencia's David Silva (left) looks on as Chelsea's John Obi Mikel takes control during their Champions league quarterfin­al at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia.
AFP Valencia's David Silva (left) looks on as Chelsea's John Obi Mikel takes control during their Champions league quarterfin­al at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia.

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