Hasselbaink and Bridge give Chelsea easy win over Turkish champions


  • Other Sport
  • Thursday, 11 Dec 2003

GELSENKIRCHEN (Germany): English Premier League leaders Chelsea dumped Besiktas out of the Champions League on Tuesday, beating the Turkish champions 2-0 with second half goals from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Wayne Bridge. 

The London side, needing only a draw for top spot in Group G, ignored a hostile 55,000 crowd at the AufSchalke stadium to put on an authoritative display of possession football. 

Besiktas, who needed to win to be sure of progressing, had their hopes dashed when Sparta Prague qualified after scoring a last-minute goal to beat Lazio 1-0 in the other Group G match. Beskitas's only consolation is a place in the UEFA Cup. 

Although the game had been moved to a neutral venue because of security concerns after a series of bomb attacks in Turkey last month, Gelsenkirchen's big Turkish population ensured Beskitas enjoyed a home atmosphere. 

But as Chelsea, who brought fewer than 400 fans, took control of the game the crowd started pelting the pitch with missiles and the match was held up for more than six minutes after halftime while stewards cleared dozens of toilet rolls that had rained down from the stands. 

Besiktas fans were angry the match had been moved out of Turkey and responded with banners criticising European soccer's governing body UEFA and by lighting flares. 

The disturbances failed to unsettle Chelsea, who played a tight defensive system marshalled by France captain Marcel Desailly to neutralise any counter-attacks from the Turkish side who had scored a shock 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge in October. 

Chelsea threatened to score throughout the second half but made the breakthrough in the 77th minute when substitute Damien Duff fed Hasselbaink who poked the ball past Colombian keeper Oscar Cordoba. 

Eight minutes later left back Wayne Bridge, who joined Chelsea alongside a host of top players after the club was bought by billionaire Roman Abramovich last July, scored his first goal for the club from a Hasselbaink pass. 

Thoroughly outplayed by the new-look, confident Chelsea, Besiktas's only real chance came just before halftime when Daniel Pancu was sent clear of the back three but shot high with only goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini to beat. 

Gelsenkirchen will host the Champions League final next May and, after winning the group with 13 points to Sparta's eight, Chelsea must be among the favourites for a return visit.  

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