Eto’o scores twice as Chelsea secure victory

Eto’o scores twice as Chelsea secure victory

Chelsea 3 Schalke 0

Samuel Eto’o scored twice as Chelsea took another step towards a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League with a 3-0 victory over Schalke in Group E.

In the absence of leg injury victim Fernando Torres, who scored twice in the 3-0 win in Gelsenkirchen two weeks ago, Eto’o stepped up as the 2012 European Champions moved on to nine points, three clear of nearest rivals Schalke in the standings with two games to play.

Responding to Saturday’s loss at Newcastle which ended a six-match winning run, Jose Mourinho made six changes as Chelsea returned to Stamford Bridge in the Champions League for the first time since September’s loss to Basle, when they relinquished their near-10-year, 29-match unbeaten home run in the group stages of Europe’s elite competition.

Since that defeat, the Blues had won at Steaua Bucharest and Schalke as part of a run which Mourinho felt might have led to complacency at St James’ Park.

The Portuguese demanded a proactive approach, but it was Schalke who started the better before Chelsea got a lucky break after 31 minutes.

Eto’o, who dispossessed Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall as he bounced the ball last month to set up Eden Hazard, ran at Timo Hildebrand as the Schalke stopper prepared to fire downfield. Instead Hildebrand kicked it against the striker and saw the ball go into his own net.

There was nothing lucky about the second as Eto’o, previously a Champions League winner with Barcelona and Mourinho’s Inter Milan, converted clinically.

Eto’o likes playing against Schalke – he scored his first Champions League goal against the Germans, for Real Mallorca – but there was to be no hat-trick as Demba Ba replaced him 13 minutes from time before striking his first goal of the season to seal victory.

The Blues, who play West Brom on Saturday, suffered the ignominy of becoming the first holders to exit the Champions League at the group stage last term, but now face Basle away and Steaua at home with one foot in the next round.

More in this Section

Davis misses penalty as Northern Ireland’s automatic qualification hopes endDavis misses penalty as Northern Ireland’s automatic qualification hopes end

Leinster boss Cullen salutes impact made by returning Ireland starsLeinster boss Cullen salutes impact made by returning Ireland stars

Johann Van Graan hails ‘vital’ late try as Munster conquer OspreysJohann Van Graan hails ‘vital’ late try as Munster conquer Ospreys

It’s the right time for Gomez to ‘clear his head’ – England boss SouthgateIt’s the right time for Gomez to ‘clear his head’ – England boss Southgate


Lifestyle

Kate Tempest’s Vicar Street show began with the mother of all selfie moments. The 33 year-old poet and rapper disapproves of mid-concert photography and instructed the audience to get their snap-happy impulses out of the way at the outset. What was to follow would, she promised, be intense. We should give ourselves to the here and now and leave our phones in our pockets.Kate Tempest dives deep and dark in Dublin gig

Des O'Sullivan examines the lots up for auction in Bray.A Week in Antiques: Dirty tricks and past political campaigns

Following South Africa’s deserved Rugby World Cup victory I felt it was about time that I featured some of their wines.Wine with Leslie Williams

All your food news.The Menu: Food news with Joe McNamee

More From The Irish Examiner