Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has expressed contentment with Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Galatasaray in Istanbul.
Fernando Torres scored an early tap-in, after former Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue lost the ball to allow the visitors counter quickly down the left flank; Cesar Azpiliqueta squaring for the Spanish striker to slam into a deserted net.
The Turkish champions leveled scores through an unmarked Aurelien Chedjou, who converted from inside the six-yard box from a Wesley Sneijder’s left-wing corner.
“It’s better to be 1-1 than 0-0, this result is better than the 0-0 we had in the first minute, it’s not a bad result but they are an experienced team with good strikers and we will have work to do,” Mourinho told Sky Sport.
The defending Europa Cup winners look set for a rare three point at the Turk Telekom Arena and their Portuguese boss was convincingly making weight for any chance of becoming the first manager to win the European Cup with three different clubs after the opener.
Chelsea could have earned a second goal but failed to capitalise on the hosts poor defending as Willian shot straight at goalkeeper Fernando Musilera, before Torres had another shot blocked by a last ditch challenge.
“This is Turkish football, it’s very emotional, Galatasaray are a big club with big players and it was not easy,” added Mourinho.
“The first half we had chances to kill game, I am not criticising our strikers but they had chances to do the second goal, and that would have changed the game.”
Roberto Mancini- the man Mourinho succeeded at Inter Milan, where he won his second Champions League trophy- sacrificed winger Izet Hajrovic for Yekta Kurtulus and switched to a 4-5-1 formation to provide his team with more stability following an early counter-attacking display by the ‘Blues’.
It change the look of the game as Chelsea’s attacking prowess blunted immediately with their only second-half clear-cut opportunity coming when Torres’s low shot from 15 yards was acrobatically palmed out by Musilera after, and Eden Hazard’s neat pass.
Mourinho continued: “In the second half they put pressure on us, they had attacking full-backs and powerful strikers, and they put pressure on us.
“Fernando Torres and Andre Schurrle were in trouble in the second half, they were a bit exhausted. But we were comfortable, until we conceded at the corner.”
Gala skipper Selcuk Inan poked against the post following a Didier Drogba’s downward header, before Chedjou converted from close range to help Mancini’s men maintain a 17-game home unbeaten run and help keep an array of hope ahead of the return leg in three week’s time.
“I can’t complain, we had problems with Mikel and Oscar, and the players we could not pick for the Champions League, but the performance of the players in a difficult place to play was amazing,” he said.
“I just ask for 10% of what this stadium gave Galatasaray when we play in three weeks.”