Stalemate In Istanbul

Chelsea and Galatasaray played to a 1-1 draw in their Uefa Champions League first leg of their Round of 16 clash at the Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi in Instanbul on Wednesday night.  Chelsea looking to break the trend of their fellow English sides in this round scored in the ninth minute when Cesar Apilicueta made a break down the left wing and put in a cross which was tapped in by Fernando Torres.

In the early minutes Galatasaray were all over the place in defence giving Chelsea a lot of space which they exploited through Willian and Torres taking shots from the edge of the penalty area.  Galatsaray’s first shot came when Aydin Yilmaz set up a chance for Izet Hajrovic, only for it to go over the crossbar.  Chelsea’s Frank Lampard had a chance to increase their lead in the 21st minute when the Premier League side were awarded a free kick within shooting range which cruised over the crossbar.

An early tactical change was made by Galatasaray manager Roberto Mancini in the 31st minute which proved a good one as they stopped Chelsea walking through their midfield and were able to keep the ball much better.  Their improved performance was rewarded in the 65th minute when a corner came into the penalty box and Cameronia Aurelien Chedjou tapped it in for the equalizer.

This was the proverbial game of two halves with Chelsea taking the first and the home side redeeming themselves in the second.  It will be all to play for a fortnight from now when the second leg takes place at Stamford Bridge.