Cox 'Parks The Bus' As Lazio Eliminate Chelsea
Lazio players celebrate following their 3-2 aggregate win over Chelsea.
CHELSEA 0-0 LAZIO (Lazio win 3-2 on aggregate.)
Lazio forced a 0-0 draw in London against Chelsea to eliminate Jose Mourinho's side from the competition.
Chelsea Starting XI (4-2-3-1):
Courtois, Azpilicueta, Terry (C), Nkoulou, Smalling, Bender, Ramires, Hazard, Oscar, Fabregas, Costa.
Lazio Starting XI (5-2-3):
Marchetti, Cole (C), Alvarez Balanta, Astori, Bellusci, Abate, Parolo, Motta, Ince, Candreva, Klose.
came out on top against the 2012 Champions League winners as he used Jose Mourinho's
own tactics against him. Cox
set out Lazio
to 'park the bus' in an attempt to stop Chelsea
from scoring and cutting the one goal deficit in the Champions League Last 16 2nd leg.
set his side up in a very defensive minded formation with usual attacking wingbacks Ashley Cole
and Ignazio Abate
being primed as defensive full backs in a Biancocelesti rearguard of five defenders. Head playmaker Marco Verratti
, who is on loan from PSG
was dropped to the bench in place of defensive minded midfield engine Marco Parolo
in an attempt to stifle any creative spark from the Chelsea
Being a goal down, Chelsea
set up to attack with Spaniard Cesc Fabregas
in an advanced midfield position alongside wingers Eden Hazard
began the game at blistering pace and were instantly on the attack as the Rome side sat back and attempted to soak up the pressure and look to use Antonio Candreva
and Tom Ince
on a quick breakaway, however Chelsea
looked extremely determined and within five minutes had already rattled the Lazio
poked a ball outside to Eden Hazard
. The Belgian ace didn't need to take a touch before swerving a pass back to the onrushing Spaniard who slapped a shot from 12 yards out straight at Lazio
keeper Federico Marchetti
. The Italian stopped was equal to the effort and managed to push the ball through a crowd of bodies away from goal.
Following the warning, Lazio's
defence tightened up and their opponents were reduced to long range shots as they struggled to find a way through. Oscar
came closest, duking Colombian centre back Eder Alvarez Balanta
and bending a shot towards the far corner which Marchetti
did well to beat away.
With 2 minutes left in the half Chelsea
had a clear chance as Fabregas
played a clever reverse pass into Diego Costa
. With his first touch Costa
slid the ball inside Davide Astori
to set himself to apply a finish 6 yards out. However Marchetti
had other ideas as the second choice Italy international tipped Costa's
dinked shot an inch over the crossbar with the top of his shin... a huge let off for the Serie A champions.
Chelsea captain John Terry applauds the Stamford Bridge fans as his side bow out of Europe.
After half time the two managers emerged from the tunnel looking cool and composed as they sent their teams out to battle for the final 45 minutes. Chelsea
once again started at 100mph as John Terry
rose to head a corner inches over the crossbar as a stranded Lazio
defence looked on.
then began to gain a foothold in the match and started to enjoy some possession. The Rome side were yet to register a shot on goal and that was to remain as Tom Ince
hesitated when given a good opportunity to test Thibaut Courtois
from 25 yards out. The Englishman instead tried to take one touch to many and lost the ball to Terry
who launched an attack by sending a long ball to the ever-dangerous Eden Hazard
. The Chelsea
number 10 lobbed a pass over the back of the Lazio
back-line towards the onrushing Costa
who instead of taking a touch and giving the ball to the unmarked Fabregas
at the far post, attempted an audacious volley that ballooned way over the goal into the stands.
Following a host of other misses, Mourinho
was on his feet pacing back and forth, barking instructions and was eventually forced into making three changes, throwing on Christian Benteke, Willian
and Clement Grenier
. The attacking trio failed to threaten Marchetti
with time running out as an antsy Mourinho
was visibly uncomfortable on the touchline.
With five minutes remaining the Blues were reduced to 10 men. Cameroon defender Nicolas Nkoulou
attempted to hoof the ball long downfield, only for the pass to be charged down by Miroslav Klose
. The German left the big number five on the turf and attempted to charge unchallenged towards Courtois'
goal; but unfortunately the retiring striker did not have the legs to keep distance between him and the recovering Nkoulou
. Just before Klose
entered the box Nkoulou
made a desperate attempt to bring down the German, hacking him down from behind. The referee did not hesitate to give the Cameroonian his marching orders as he produced a straight red card.
With 5 minutes remaining the Blues looked short of ideas, finally the final whistle blew as 6000 travelling Lazio
fans erupted into cheers as the Serie A champions booked a place in next month's Champions League Quarter Finals.
Round of 16 Results
4-1 Shakhtar Donetsk