Champions League – Drogba has the last word

Eurosport

Didier Drogba could not hide his delight after his two goals earned Chelsea a 3-2 win over Liverpool and a place in the Champions League final.

FOOTBALL 2007-2008 Champions League Chelsea-Liverpool (Drogba) - 0

The Ivory Coast striker scored the first and third goals as the Blues sealed a showdown with Manchester United in Moscow in extra-time.

Fernando Torres and Ryan Babel netted for the Reds but it was Chelsea’s night, with Frank Lampard scoring the crucial second goal from the penalty spot.

Drogba told Sky Sports 2: “It is something amazing. Today we did very well. I am really pleased for the club because we’ve been looking for this final for too long.”

The former Marseille forward was accused before the game of diving by Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez and Drogba admitted he was “disappointed” by the Spaniard’s comments.

“It’s difficult as I said,” he said. “Benitez is a fantastic coach and I was a bit disappointed but I think he felt his team was not strong enough and Chelsea were going to beat them. I am just happy for my team and I don’t want to think about others.

“It’s not good for my image. I’m giving my best to put my team at the top and I think it’s not fair but it’s finished.”

Blues captain John Terry admitted he had not fully absorbed the scale of his team’s achievement.

“It’s fantastic, I think we’ve fully deserved it over the years, we’ve had our chance but I thought we made it hard for ourselves at the end.

“It has not sunk in properly. We’ll enjoy tonight but it will take 24 hours to sink in.”

Terry also paid tribute to Lampard whose mother died last week.

“What a character Lamps is,” he said.

“It has been a terrible week for him. I’m sure Frank will dedicate that goal to his mum.”

Chelsea boss Avram Grant admitted he was proud to have succeeded in beating Benitez’s Liverpool in the Champions League last four – something his venerated predecessor Jose Mourinho conspicuously failed to manage.

“There’s only one special one,” he joked. “But this was special against Liverpool. They are a fantastic team and Rafa played tactically. You need to be clever against him but we did it.

“We have created history and I am very proud we did it my way. But I don’t like to say ‘I’ because (owner) Roman (Abramovich), he created this club, my staff are excellent, my assistants, everybody.”

Grant, who has guided his team to a strong end-of-season charge on two fronts, also praised Lampard’s efforts in trying times.

“Frank played very well and in my opinion was one of our key players today. It is not an easy thing, he is under… you know what he is under.

“He gave everything to the team.”

Benitez believed his side were in control when they handed Chelsea the initiative in extra-time.

The Spaniard said: “I thought we were very close. We played well in the second half. But the third goal killed it.

“We had control of the game, we had two chances in extra-time and we were in control.

“And we were preventing them from creating.”

Benitez insisted he did not regret his criticism of Drogba, saying: “I don’t think so, when you play a semi-final in the Champions League I don’t think you think about anything other than that.”

TeamTalk / Eurosport

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