LISBON, PORTUGAL - MARCH 27: Salomon Kalou of Chelsea is closed down by Bruno Cesar of Benfica during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between Benfica and Chelsea at Estadio da Luz on March 27, 2012 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Two poor league results on the trot didn't mean anything for Chelsea in Europe, as they followed up their impressive home win against Napoli two weeks ago with a strong away win against Benfica in the Champions League quarterfinals. Pre-match, the talk was about how the Portuguese, who have been superb at the Estadio da Luz, were ready to take Chelsea's scalp, but the Blues - with a slightly strange-looking lineup - kept the hosts quiet for most of the night, scored a second-half away goal via Salomon Kalou, and ultimately came away with a big win.
There were some nervous moments in the second half, of course, but the goal calmed everything down and Chelsea looked more likely to grab a second than Benfica did to equalise. The defence was good throughout (Benfica haven't failed to score at home for essentially forever), the attacking players were good, and Chelsea come away from what looked like a very tough away fixture with a 1-0 lead. The tie isn't over, but the Blues now have one foot in the semifinals, and it's difficult to be anything but happy after that performance.
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