Kaiser's plan undone by soldier Blues

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The Independent Online

The incorrigible Bild Zeitung - The Sun with a furniture-shop full of knobs on - had declaimed as its main front-page headline yesterday "Bay-Bay, Chelsea". Instead, it was auf Wiedersehen and goodnight. On the football page was a cut-out paper aeroplane to be aimed at the Chelsea dug-out with messages on in English pertaining to be from Jose Mourinho: "Substitute Drogba and Lampard!" Good advice, as it turned out, but the myriad assistants on the bench proved as impervious to paper darts as their master is to verbal ones.

The incorrigible Bild Zeitung - The Sun with a furniture-shop full of knobs on - had declaimed as its main front-page headline yesterday "Bay-Bay, Chelsea". Instead, it was auf Wiedersehen and goodnight. On the football page was a cut-out paper aeroplane to be aimed at the Chelsea dug-out with messages on in English pertaining to be from Jose Mourinho: "Substitute Drogba and Lampard!" Good advice, as it turned out, but the myriad assistants on the bench proved as impervious to paper darts as their master is to verbal ones.

Elsewhere in the paper, and less whimsically, the star columnist and Bayern president, Franz Beckenbauer, listed four essentials for achieving the result his club needed on the night, while admitting that the chances were no better than 30-70. The first two requirements, according to the Kaiser, were to reach half-time without conceding a goal, and for Martin Demichelis, back in the holding midfield role after injury, to stop Frank Lampard breaking forward to reprise his first-leg goals. But the failure to manage the latter meant that after half-an-hour's play the former was no longer possible, and that Bayern's task was once more as mathematically formidable as it had been before Michael Ballack fell to earth to win his outrageous penalty in the last minute at Stamford Bridge.

True, Lampard's critical contribution was only the second occasion on which he had sighted the white lines of the home side's penalty area. Until that point he had been as deep as Eidur Gudjohnsen, the converted midfielder taking his defensive duties ultra seriously. But with poor Lucio, the rugged central defender, unwittingly providing a horrible deflection, just as he had done with the opening goal in London, the Kaiser's cunning plan was on the way to unravelling.

It might have been retrieved had part three - Ballack to fulfil his role as a leader - come off. The gifted midfielder had been unlucky with an early attempt fortuitously blocked by John Terry, but his wretched failure even to work the goalkeeper as Terry headed straight to him 12 yards out denied Bayern the psychological boost just before half-time that his admirably calm penalty had done.

After all that, the fact that Herr Beckenbauer's fourth commandment, to control Didier Drogba better than in the first game, worked well enough until the last ten minutes, counted for little. Instead of knocking the ball long and supporting the big striker in numbers, Chelsea's understandable inclination this time was to keep possession while Joe Cole and Damien Duff played less offensively on the flanks. So there was little chance for renewed criticism about route one football from Owen Hargreaves, who had been hoping to impress Sven Goran Eriksson and potential Premiership suitors but could not even find a place as a substitute. Nor, wherever he was - sharing room service with Mourinho, perhaps? - could the Anglo-Welsh-Canadian draw much hope for the opening part of the second half from his team's efforts at scoring more goals in 45 minutes to win the tie than any team has managed in twice as long against Chelsea this season.

But the London side's defence is not the fortress it was even a couple of months ago, when it looked as though Petr Cech would never conceded an other goal. Claudio Pizarro's tap-in after he had initially stood in an offside position - why should he be allowed to gain an advantage by doing so? - meant only one clean sheet in the past 11 games.

It enabled Hargreaves and the home fans in this passionless and outmoded stadium (the new arena is nearly finished) a flicker of hope, killed off by Drogba. As an odds-maker, suggesting 30-70, Beckenbauer had got it just about right.

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