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Tuesday, 22 April 2014, 19:45

Champions League Semi-Final

FT: Chelsea 3 Schalke 0

TITLE_TEXT:FT: Chelsea 3 Schalke 0:TITLE_TEXT

Last Updated: 06/11/13 at 21:52

That's all from me for tonight - thanks for your company. Report, reaction and analysis to follow.A late Giovanni Sio equaliser has given Basel a 1-1 draw against Steaua Bucharest. That means the Blues are four points ahead of the Swiss club ahead of their Matchday Five trip to St Jakob Park on Tuesday, November 26.Full-time: Chelsea 3 (Eto'o 31, 54, Ba 83) Schalke 0.Four minutes of added-on time are being played.Still Basel 0 Steaua Bucharest 1 - looks like Chelsea will top Group E on nine points, with Schalke second on six, and Steaua and Basel both on four.Ramires and Jones are both receiving treatment after a clash of heads in midfield.Schalke sub Kolasinac is very lucky to avoid a caution. Their noisy fans are certainly not deflated, even if their team is.After Ba's chest control, Willian keeps the move alive and Lampard plays the ball over the top. Ba adjusts his body shape to get a shot away, and sees his effort roll over the line for his first Champions League goal. Chelsea 3 Schalke 0.GOAL! Chelsea 3 (Demba Ba 83) Schalke 0Excellent challenge from Cahill, whose had an exemplary evening.Final substitution of the night, for Chelsea - Frank Lampard ON, Oscar OFF.Demba Ba is onside and runs onto Ramires' pass into the left side of the area, but he takes too long over the shot and Hildebrand reads it comfortably.Second Chelsea change - Kevin De Bruyne ON, Andre Schurrle OFF.First change for Chelsea - Demba Ba ON, two-goal Samuel Eto'o OFF. No hat-trick for him tonight then.Third and final Schalke change - Sead Kolasinac ON, Kevin-Prince Boateng OFF.Another Schalke caution, this time for Uchida! The Japan defender takes out Schurrle.Jermaine Jones is booked! He's the second Schalke player cautioned after Draxler. No complaints after he brought down Willian on the right flank.Jose Mourinho is smiling happily on the touchline. Oscar actually lifts the ball over Hildebrand and sees it drop into the net but he was offside.Second Schalke substitution - Max Meyer ON, Christian Fuchs OFF. That's an attacking switch from Jens Keller.Still 1-0 to Steaua Bucharest in Basel in the other Group E game. Meanwhile, Aaron Ramsey has put Arsenal 1-0 up away to Borussia Dortmund.Draxler's gone straight down the tunnel to receive further treatment. His side have won a corner off Azpilicueta, but it comes to nothing.First Schalke substitution of the night - Christian Clemens ON, Julian Draxler OFF.Hildebrand saves from Schurrle! The Chelsea birthday boy whips in a shot from the top of the area and it's right at the Schalke goalkeeper, but he still has to be alert to turn it away.Clinical from the Cameroonian! Willian bursts through the midfield and passes right for Eto'o, whose first touch is sublime and allows him to quickly strike a firm shot across Hildebrand and inside the far post. Chelsea 2 Schalke 0.GOAL! Chelsea 2 (Eto'o 54) Schalke 0Cech is called into action! Draxler cuts inside Azpilicueta just inside the area and fires a shot which Cech has to get a hand to low down.Ivanovic is closed down by Boateng and gets caught out, but Chelsea recover - only for Ramires to be fouled by Jones.Draxler rejoins play after receiving treatment.Chelsea put the ball out as Draxler goes down clutching his leg. He's receiving treatment.We're underway again at the Bridge. Chelsea lead Schalke 1-0.Chris Green from Huddersfield has some half-time thoughts via email: "Chelsea have been very vulnerable at the back; they have allowed Schalke a lot of time on the ball, and this has resulted in the Germans having a lot of chances. I am glad the Blues are winning, but they will need to start keeping the ball more, as I see the Germans grabbing an equaliser if Chelsea keep on making errors in defence."Half-time: Chelsea 1 (Eto'o 31) Schalke 0. Another risky challenge by Draxler just before the interval, on Eto'o - whose closing down led to Hildebrand's howler and the only goal of this Group E clash thus far.We're into one minute of added-on time.Great idea from Willian to try and play the ball back into the run of Schurrle as he motored through down the left channel. Didn't quite come off, but Blues fans will want to see more innovation like that in the second half.Almost half-time, and Chelsea look keen to get to the break with this narrow lead intact. Consequently Schalke are seeing more of the ball.Ivanovic wins a Chelsea free-kick on the right. Draxler gave away the foul - he needs to watch his step, he's already been booked. Hildebrand claims the set piece.Hildebrand has to make a save from Eto'o. Good work from Mikel to knock a pass over the top into the box for Schurrle to run onto initially.That goal, as shambolic as it was from a Schalke point of view, is sure to give Eto'o a lot of confidence. It's his first in the Champions League for Chelsea and only his second for the club overall (he also netted in the 4-1 Premier League home win over Cardiff last month).Couple of half-chances for Schalke there - Fuchs saw his shot blocked.There's been a goal in the other game in the group too - it's Basel 0 Steaua Bucharest 1 (Piovaccari 17).Hildebrand is caught out horrendously by Eto'o! He took too long to take the kick and was closed down on the edge of his own box by the Cameroon striker, who got his foot in the way and sent the ball back over the Schalke goal-line. Chelsea 1 Schalke 0.GOAL! Chelsea 1 (Samuel Eto'o 31) Schalke 0The Terry-Cahill base is providing a solid platform for Chelsea. Although David Luiz certainly has his uses, you'd have to think Mourinho prefers the two Englishmen together as centre-backs.Ivanovic tries to find Ramires inside the box, but Jones intercepts again. The Serbian needs to keep plugging away down that right-hand side and try to improve the final ball.Terry comes off worse in an aerial duel with Szalai. Replays show the Chelsea skipper took an arm to the face, but he'll be OK.Midway through the first half, and Chelsea have recovered from that shaky start to a point where they have had 65% possession overall.Willian passes left for Schurrle who comes inside on his right foot and tries to bend the ball inside the post from 20 yards. Close but no cigar.Schurrle hits the free-kick with accuracy and zip, but it's not good enough to beat Timo Hildebrand. The ball's at a good height for the goalkeeper to save.Yellow card for Draxler for pulling down Azpilicueta - that's the first booking of the night.Chelsea appear to have settled down now - they're keeping possession much better anyway. Azpilicueta wins a free-kick...No goals at St Jakob Park so far in the other Group E game tonight - it's still Basel 0 Steaua Bucharest 0.We know all about Draxler's talent by now, but Dennis Aogo has been equally good early on for Schalke. Howedes clears a cross from Ivanovic after good work from Mikel.Willian drove through the midfield and passed left for Eto'o but Schalke closed down the space really well, and Matip hoofed clear.Schalke with four attempts to Chelsea's zero so far.Andre Schurrle, who is celebrating his 23rd birthday today, is struggling to get space down the left flank.Schalke definitely the better team in the first 10 minutes. Their fans are in great voice.Terry heads away Aogo's set piece. The ball comes back to Aogo, only for Azpilicueta to block his shot. Eventually Chelsea can move upfield again.Schalke have won a corner, the ball coming off Ramires.Mikel gives the ball away near the halfway line, and Draxler pounces before feeding the pass left for Fuchs - but his shot flies across goal and out for a goal kick.Oscar wins a foul off Jones just inside the Schalke half. Some impressive interplay early on from the Germans, particularly from Draxler.And now Szalai shoots, but it's another near miss! The ball goes past the same post. Two great opportunities for the Germans early on. Chelsea need to be more careful here.Draxler goes close! He pulls his low shot just wide from the edge of the area. The 20-year-old did brilliantly to spread play wide to Uchida before the Japanese returned the pass.Ivanovic got away down the right and reached the goalline but couldn't find a blue shirt with the pull back. Jones clears for the visitors.Mikel is fouled near the halfway line. It's a relatively scrappy start from both teams.The cameras focus in on Eden Hazard, sat just behind the Chelsea dugout.Svein Oddvar Moen from Norway is tonight's referee. Schalke kick us off.Chris Green's just in time with this email: "Chelsea outplayed Schalke a couple of weeks ago, and providing that the Blues perform to their full potential this evening, I see another comfortable Chelsea win on the agenda. I think the Blues will win 3-1, with Eto'o, Willian and Ramires making the scoresheet.""Maybe there's something that's gone on between the two of them" - Ray Wilkins in the Sky Sports studio also find something odd in Mourinho's explanation of Hazard's absence, so it wasn't just me. Anyway, the players are out and the Champions League anthem is now blaring around the Bridge. Kick-off imminent.Final stat before kick-off: No team in the Champions League has hit the woodwork more than Chelsea this season (four times)."He missed a training session, a crucial session for the preparation of the game" - Jose Mourinho's explanation of Eden Hazard's absence. The Chelsea boss was then asked if Hazard "just didn't turn up", but he simply replied saying "he couldn't train". Hmm. Anything in that?We're hearing the absent Eden Hazard is injured - he must have picked up a knock in the last few days. Hopefully Mourinho will fill us in.Another stat from our friends at Opta: The reverse fixture two weeks ago was the first time Schalke had failed to score in 12 Champions League matches. Can they find a way past Petr Cech tonight?Matthew Byrne aka @byrnsey26 on Twitter has got in touch to say:"Think Chelsea will win tonight, quite comfortable being at home. Eto'o's due a good game. Still think Mata should be starting - he's world class."Chelsea have managed to keep Steaua Bucharest and Schake in their last two Group E outings since the shock home defeat by Basel, but they haven't kept three successive clean sheets in the Champions League since October 2010.Unsurprisingly, Chelsea are strong favourites at 4/9 with Sky Bet to beat Schalke at the Bridge tonight. The Germans are long shots at 7/1 to take all three points, while the draw is priced up at 7/2. Check out all the Price Boosts and markets and let me know your selections.Schalke, who currently lie sixth in the Bundesliga, have won two of their previous nine Champions League meetings against English sides. Both those wins came against Arsenal - a 3-1 home victory in October 2001, and a 2-0 triumph at the Emirates last season.Dan Buller's emailed in to say: "I'm expecting a few goals from Eto'o tonight, Chelsea definitely need to win this game and bounce back from that 2-0 defeat at Newcastle."Here are tonight's seven Schalke substitutes - Fahrmann, Hoogland, Santana, Kolasinac, Meyer, Clemens, Ayhan. It had been suggested that Jefferson Farfan might be fit again, but he has failed to make the matchday 18.Schalke coach Jens Keller has made just the one change after seeing his team win 2-0 at Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga at the weekend. Former Blackburn loan signing Jermaine Jones is restored to the midfield, with Max Meyer dropping to the bench. It looks like they'll line up 4-2-3-1.Now for the Schalke team - Hildebrand; Uchida, Howedes, Fuchs, Matip; Neustadter, Aogo; Boateng, Jones, Draxler; Szalai.Just to confirm, here is the Chelsea bench - Schwarzer, Cole, David Luiz, Lampard, De Bruyne, Mata, Ba.Jose Mourinho makes six changes to the Chelsea team that began Saturday's 2-0 Premier League defeat at Newcastle. Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andre Schurrle - who all started the 3-0 win at Schalke on Matchday Three - are restored to the side, along with John Obi Mikel, Willian and Samuel Eto'o. Dropping to the bench are David Luiz, Ashley Cole, Juan Mata and Frank Lampard, but there is no sign of Eden Hazard, while Fernando Torres is out injured.TEAM NEWS! Here's the Chelsea starting line-up for tonight - Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Ramires, Mikel; Schurrle, Oscar, Willian; Eto'o.First bit of feedback of the night comes on the email from Simon Burridge from Hemel Hempstead: "Big night for the Blues, need to bounce back after Newcastle shocker, Eto'o needs to step up tonight."The omens are good for the Blues tonight. Chelsea have won five and drawn the other of their six Champions League home games against German sides (keeping five clean sheets in the process).We should get team news through in the next 20 minutes or so. Fernando Torres has already been ruled out for Chelsea, so we're expecting Samuel Eto'o to start. Schalke are again missing their star striker, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.Both clubs are locked together on six points each at the top of the table - who will come out on top at Stamford Bridge? I want to hear from you, so email or tweet me your thoughts ahead of kick-off - I'm on jon.holmes@bskyb.com and @jonboy79.Good evening everyone, and welcome along to our live interactive coverage of tonight's Champions League Group E clash between Chelsea and Schalke on Matchday Four.

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