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Five of Chelsea’s greatest Champions League nights at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea take on Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals this week, with the west Londoners in need of a huge performance to overturn their first leg defeat.

Frank Lampard has refused to rule out a Chelsea comeback in the return and talked up that ‘special things can happen at Stamford Bridge’ on European nights.

Chelsea are out of form after a run of three consecutive defeats however, and eliminating the European champions after trailing 2-0 on aggregate would rank among their greatest nights in the Champions League.

Ahead of their meeting in west London, we remember five of Chelsea’s greatest Champions League nights at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea 4-2 Barcelona (2005)

Chelsea reached the Champions League quarter-finals after a classic clash with Barcelona in 2005, as the Blues stunned the Spanish side with a first-half blitz at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea had been beaten 2-1 in Barcelona during the first meeting, but raced out of the traps to take a three-goal lead inside 19 minutes in the return. Ediur Gudjohnsen opened the scoring against his future employers before Frank Lampard and Damian Duff put the Blues in cruise control.

Back came Barcelona however, with the Catalans regaining advantage in the tie before the break. Ronaldinho pulled one back from the penalty spot after Paolo Ferreira’s handball, before the brilliant Brazilian scored a stunning second.

Despite being surrounded by blue shirts, Ronaldinho toe-poked an audacious finish past Petr Cech to put the Spanish visitors ahead on away goals. Barcelona missed chances to strengthen their position after half-time and were punished 15 minutes from time when John Terry rose to power home Duff’s corner. Chelsea marched through to the last eight in Jose Mourinho’s first season in charge.

Chelsea 4-2 Bayern Munich (2005)

Chelsea took the scalp of another European giant in the very next round, as the Blues overcame the absence of suspended manager Jose Mourinho to beat Bayern Munich at Stamford Bridge.

Joe Cole’s deflected effort wrong footed Oliver Kahn handed Chelsea the lead inside four minutes, but Bayern levelled six minutes into the second half through Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Chelsea responded almost instantly through Frank Lampard’s left-footed strike, as the midfielder fired home from Didier Drogba’s knockdown. Lampard scored a sublime second, as he cushioned Claude Makelele’s pass on his chest before swivelling to lash past Kahn. Drogba scrambled in a fourth to send Stamford Bridge into dreamland, but Michael Ballack’s late penalty gave Bayern hope ahead of the return.

Chelsea progressed to the semi-finals, despite defeat in Munich in the second leg.

Chelsea 3-2 Liverpool (2008)

Chelsea reached their first Champions League final after a night of thrilling drama against old rivals Liverpool in 2008, as the two teams went head-to-head in a European semi-final for the third time in four seasons.

Despite dominating domestically, Chelsea had found Liverpool difficult opponents in Europe with Rafael Benitez’s side having twice bested their west London counterparts to reach Champions League finals.

The third semi-final tie between the teams proved a classic, with an enthralling second leg full of drama. A draw at Anfield had left the tie perfectly poised and it was Chelsea who took the lead in the return, as Didier Drogba opened the scoring. Fernando Torres’ equaliser forced extra-time at Stamford Bridge, before Frank Lampard – on a night of heightened emotions following the passing of his mother just days earlier – struck a second for Chelsea from the spot.

Drogba’s second looked to have sealed Chelsea’s passage to the final, but Ryan Babel’s stunner from distance set up a tense finish. Chelsea held their nerve to progress and set up an all-English final with Manchester United in Moscow.

Chelsea 4-1 Napoli (2012)

Napoli’s convincing first leg win gave Chelsea a huge challenge to reach the last eight in 2012, a defeat which all but spelled the end for Andre Villas-Boas as manager.

Roberto Di Matteo arrived as interim manager with the task to stir up a struggling side and the club’s comeback win against Napoli kickstarted a run to European success.

Trailing 3-1 from the first meeting, goals from Didier Drogba and John Terry put the Blues ahead in the tie on away goals, but Gokhan Inler’s stunning strike swung the momentum back in the Italian’s favour at Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard’s penalty forced extra-time, a goal which set the stage for Branislav Ivanovic to become Chelsea’s unlikely hero. The Serbian smashed home a dramatic winner to send Chelsea through, a win which began the club’s run to a maiden Champions League success.

Chelsea 1-0 Barcelona (2012)

Chelsea were again in pursuit of revenge when Barcelona arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2012, with the feelings from a dramatic and controversial semi-final defeat to the Spaniards three years earlier still fresh in the memory.

Barcelona were chasing a third Champions League title in four seasons under Pep Guardiola, but suffered a first leg defeat at Stamford Bridge courtesy of Didier Drogba’s goal.

The Ivorian converted from Ramires’ cross in one of few chances for Chelsea, who produced a backs-to-the-wall performance as Barcelona dominated the ball. The west Londoners had just 28% of the possession on a night in which the Blues’ backline starred, as John Terry, Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole stood strong under considerable Catalan pressure.

Drogba’s goal provided Chelsea with a precious lead to take to Camp Nou, where another resilient performance saw the Blues reach the final 3-2 on aggregate.

Read – Iconic Duos: Hasselbaink and Gudjohnsen – Fire and Ice

Read Also – Gianfranco Zola: The little genius who dropped jaws and opened minds

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