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UEFA Champions League

  • February 21, 2012
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • Stadio San Paolo, Napoli
  • Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo
  • • Attendance: 52495
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FT
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Live Commentary

  • 90' + 5'
    Full tim here in Naples, and it's another bitterly disappointing night in Europe for a London club in Italy. After taking the lead through Mata in the first half, Chelsea have been beaten by three goals to one courtesy of two strikes from Lavezzi either side of Cavani's finish. Thanks for joining us tonight on Goal.com for a thrilling Champions League clash!
  • 90' + 4'
    Last chance for Chelsea as Drogba lays the ball off to Lampard with his chest, but the veteran's effort is comfortably saved in the centre of the goal by De Sanctis.
  • 90' + 1'
    Drogba almost plays in Sturridge with a terrific cross-field pass from the right but the ball is intercepted. Cole then finds himself with time and space to the left of the box after Mata's cross is blocked, but the England man's cut-back bounces off Drogba for a goal kick.
  • 88'
    Time is running out here for Chelsea, and perhaps for Andre Villas-Boas too as his side stare at another disappointing result which could spell the end of their Champions League hopes for another season.
  • 85'
    Drogba wins a free kick thirty yards from the Napoli goal. Mata swings the ball in and the hosts half clear it to Sturridge, who plays the ball back in from the right but the flag is up for offside against Drogba.
  • 82'
    SubstitutionMarek Hamsik Goran Pandev
  • 82'
    Napoli are inches from a fourth as Cavani and Hamsik link up brilliantly down the left. Hamsik turns inside the box and cuts the ball across the six yard line for Cavani, but Ashely Cole is on the line to clear the ball away and keep the visitors in the tie.
  • 79'
    Another defensive mix-up as Mata cross from the left bounces around at the far post, with the hosts eventually managing to hack the ball clear. Chelsea will feel that a chance will come soon.
  • 76'
    Chelsea are enjoying plenty of the ball in the final third but cannot find the telling final ball that could give them a chance of grabbing a foothold in the tie.
  • 74'
    SubstitutionEzequiel Lavezzi Blerim Dzemaili
  • 73'
    The rain is falling heavily here in Naples now as the match begins to slip away from Chelsea. There's a huge reception from the crowd as Lavezzi is withdrawn for Dzemaili in a tactical change for the hosts.
  • 70'
    SubstitutionFlorent Malouda Frank Lampard
  • 70'
    SubstitutionRaúl Meireles Michael Essien
  • 70'
    Chelsea ring the changes as Lampard and Essien come on in place of Meireles and Malouda.
  • 67'
    Napoli almost break through again as Maggio played in behind Cole, but he can't quite stretch far enough to turn the ball across goal and it goes behind for a goal-kick.
  • 65'
    AssistEdinson Cavani
  • 65'
    GoalEzequiel Lavezzi
    GOAL!! 3-1 NAPOLI!! David Luiz fails to deal with a routine long-ball from Campagnaro. Cavani blocks the attempted clearance and plays the ball across to Lavezzi, who fires past two Chelsea defenders on the goal line with Cech unable to get back and cover the target.
  • 63'
    The home crowd are growing restless again as Chelsea continue to dictate the play. Lavezzi's shot is blocked behind for a corner, and Gargano tries his luck from distance but Cech saves comfortably in the middle of the goal.
  • 60'
    Chelsea are bossing possession at the moment. Drogba is played in behind by Malouda but the ball is forced out for a corner. Cahill then rises unchallenged from the delivery but can only steer his header wide.
  • 57'
    Gary Cahill becomes the latest Chelsea player to enter the referee's notebook as he is punished for a late lunge on Lavezzi. Not a good night for defenders so far.
  • 56'
    Yellow CardGary Cahill
  • 54'
    Huge let-off for Chelsea! Cavani finds space in behind Ivanovic and slides the ball through to Lavezzi. The Argentine has a clear run at goal but drags his left-foot shot wide of Cech's left-hand post. Great chance for Napoli to double their lead.
  • 51'
    End to end stuff here in Naples as Hamsik releases Cavani down the left. The striker cuts inside the box but fires a tame left-footed shot straight at Cech. Chelsea then break downfield themselves, and Mata tees up Malouda on the edge of the box but his left-footed volley is well held by De Sanctis.
  • 48'
    A tricky moment for Petr Cech there as he comes flying off his line to deal with a long pass, but he clears his lines succesfully and Chelsea can launch a counter attack which leads to a corner.
  • 46'
    We're underway in the second half here in Naples! Cavani was always likely to shoulder the responsibility of guiding his side to victory, and indeed it is the Uruguayan's shoulder which gave the hosts the lead before the break...
  • 45' + 3'
    The referee brings a thrilling first half to a close here in Naples! Chelsea took the lead through Juan Mata but a goal apiece for Lavezzi and Cavani just before the break has given AVB's Blues a mountain to climb in the second half. A terrific 45 minutes of Champions League action beckons!
  • 45' + 2'
    AssistGökhan Inler
  • 45' + 2'
    GoalEdinson Cavani
    GOAL!!! 2-1 NAPOLI! Campagnaro gets forward down the right flank and lays the ball back to Inler. The midfielder swings in a dangerous cross which beats the whole of the Chelsea defence, and Cavani ghosts in in front of Ivanovic to turn the ball home high in to Cech's net at the far post.
  • 45'
    The Napoli back three continue to look shaky whenever Chelsea come forward. Sturridge plays in a good ball from the right and the hosts just about manage to clear their before Chelsea concede a free-kick just inside their own half.
  • 42'
    Ramires then has a great chance to put Chelsea back in front as he walzes through the Napoli rearguard, but fires a left-footed shot well over the bar from the centre of the box. Meanwhile, Meireles is booked for a foul near the centre circle which rules him out of the second leg at the Bridge.
  • 41'
    Yellow CardRaúl Meireles
  • 39'
    Yellow CardEdinson Cavani
  • 39'
    AssistEdinson Cavani
  • 39'
    GoalEzequiel Lavezzi
    GOAL!! 1-1!! Cavani lays the ball off to Lavezzi twenty yards from goal. The Argentine shifts the ball on to his right and fires a shot beyond Cech in to the bottom left-hand corner of Cech's goal. Fantastic strike from the Napoli man, and we're level at the Stadio San Paolo!
  • 36'
    A chance for Chelsea on the counter attack as Drobga plays in Sturridge down the right flank. The England youngster cuts in to the box and runs at Campagnaro, but has his effort blocked behind for a corner. Luiz then has a great chance from the resulting delivery but sends his header over the bar.
  • 33'
    That goal has settled Chelsea after a nervy start. They are moving the ball around with much more confidence than before, and the home crowd are beginning to grow restless as their side struggle to find a breakthrough.
  • 30'
    Goalscorer Mata seems to be hurt, as he receives attention on the sidelines. On the pitch, Raul Meireles gives the ball away to Hamsik, but his pass to Cavani is too heavy and it runs out for a goal kick.
  • 27'
    GoalJuan Mata
    GOAL!! 1-0 CHELSEA!! Out of nothing, Chelsea seize possession in the hosts' half. Sturridge's ball in to the box is sliced by Campagnaro, leaving Mata with a simple finish ten yeards out from the centre of the box. Huge moment for Chelsea!
  • 25'
    The hosts seem content to allow Chelsea possession as they look to strike on the counter-attack, but neither side are able to break through at the moment.
  • 22'
    Another chance for Napoli! Maggio is played in down the right hand side and gets away from Ashley Cole. His shot across goal is well parried by Cech, and the resulting corner results in a goal-kick for the visitors. Ivanovic then concedes another corner from a cross from the right but Cech clears the resulting set piece.
  • 19'
    Lavezzi swings in a free-kick from the left but Chelsea clear their lines easily. Cech launches a counter-attack and the ball bounces awkwardly in the Napoli box, with De Sanctis just about managing to clear the ball away from Sturridge. A hairy moment there for the hosts.
  • 16'
    Cech's save from Cavani remains the only real chance of the match so far, but both sides look far from water-tight at the back so expect plenty more chances to come...
  • 13'
    Ramires surrenders possession in the middle of the park, allowing Lavezzi to play in Cavani behind the back four but the Uruguayan is offside.
  • 12'
    SubstitutionJosé Bosingwa Ashley Cole
  • 12'
    Meanwhile, Jose Bosingwa's night has come to an abrupt end after seemingly pulling his hamstring. Ashley Cole is set to replace him at left-back.
  • 10'
    Cavani with a glorious chance for the hosts! He beat the offside trap from Inler's crossfield pass, and had time and space inside the area to pick his spot but he could only fire straight at Petr Cech. Great save from the Chelsea man!
  • 7'
    Campagnaro hits a fantastic long ball to Lavezzi, but Cech was off his line smartly to punch the ball clear. There's a brief stoppage in play shortly after as the Napoli defender clashes heads with Drogba.
  • 4'
    It's been a lively start from the home side in front of a boisterous crowd at the Stadio San Paulo, with Lavezzi in particulary looking lively early on.
  • 1'
    The hosts get us underway here in rainy Naples!
  • There's been a lot of attention on Napoli's 'Big Three' ahead of this match - Hamsik, Lavezzi and Cavani. Uruguayan Cavani - who's been linked with a switch to the Premier League - scored the goals that consigned Man City to an early exit from the competition, and many believe he could pose the biggest threat to Chelsea's makeshift defence tonight.
  • Big news for Chelsea is that Torres starts on the bench, with Drogba coming in as the central striker alongside Mata and Sturridge. Ashley Cole is fit enough to be named among the substitutes, but John Terry's injury keeps him out.
  • And for Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Bosingwa; Ramires, Meireles, Malouda; Sturridge, Mata, Drogba, Subs: Turnbull, Cole, Essien, Lampard, Mikel, Torres, Kalou
  • Starting XI for Napoli is as follows: De Sanctis; Aronica, Campagnaro, Cannavaro; Maggio, Zuniga, Inler, Gargano; Hamsik, Lavezz, Cavani Subs: Rosati, Grava, Dossena, Fernandez, Britos, Dzemaili, Pandev
  • Good evening and welcome to Goal.com's live coverage of tonight's Champions League last 16 clash between Napoli and Chelsea! With pressure continuing to mount on AVB, the Blues will be desperate for a positive result tonight to take back to the Bridge, but will need to be wary of the potency of their opponents on the counter-attack.