ISTANBUL - Chelsea have the upper hand in their Champions League last-16 tie with Galatasaray after coming away from a testing environment in Istanbul with a 1-1 first-leg draw yesterday.
The visitors led at half-time thanks to an early goal from Fernando Torres, but Galatasaray improved in the second half and restored parity after the hour mark when Cameroon defender Aurelien Chedjou found the net.
A draw was a fair reflection of the way the game went, but Chelsea will now hope to finish the job in the return at Stamford Bridge on March 18.
"This is Turkish football, it's very emotional. Galatasaray are a big club with big players and it was not easy," Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho told UK Sky television.
"The first half we had chances to kill the game, (but) it's better to be 1-1 than 0-0."
Meanwhile, his opposite number Roberto Mancini admitted his team's second half display also gives them a chance.
"We played very well and I'm confident after the second half," he said.
"After this game we have a 40 per cent chance to go through."
Mourinho opted to select Torres in attack ahead of Samuel Eto'o in one of three changes to the team that beat Everton at the weekend, with Ramires and Andre Schuerrle also coming in.
Former Arsenal man Emmanuel Eboue lost possession high up the field, and Chelsea pounced down the left flank, Schuerrle releasing Cesar Azpilicueta, who advanced into the box and drew goalkeeper Fernando Muslera before squaring for his fellow Spaniard to apply an easy finish.
It was a sixth goal in his last five Champions League starts for Torres, and it briefly silenced the boisterous Turkish fans inside the impressive Turk Telecom Arena.
Didier Drogba unable to wriggle free from the marking of John Terry and Wesley Sneijder incapable of influencing proceedings from the left flank.
Gala's Alex Telles cross-cum-shot had Petr Cech panicked before Burak Yilmaz put the ball in the net after a quickly-taken throw, but with an extra ball on the pitch at the time, the Spanish referee disallowed the goal, and booked Chelsea skipper John Terry for throwing one ball away.
Drogba almost created an equaliser against his old club in the 62nd minute, heading down a left-wing cross for Selcuk Inan, but the home captain somehow contrived to stab the ball against the post from a yard out.
The Turkish champions were not to be denied a leveller three minutes later, though, Chedjou wriggling free of his marker to convert a Sneijder corner from point-blank range.