Champions League group stages - anyone watching?

Last night’s Champions League action wasn’t as exciting as Tuesday’s (save for the goalkeeper calamity show that was Real Madrid v AC Milan), but at least Chelsea and Manchester United saved Britain’s blushes with handy victories that solidified their places at the top of their groups, eh? NO? Ok then.

Chelsea hammered Atletico Madrid 4-0 at Stamford Bridge, with goals from Solamon Kalou and Frank Lampard helping them cruise past the Spaniards, while a late Antonio Valencia goal gave Manchester United a 1-0 win at CSKA Moscow, in the same ground they won the Champions League in 2008. Chelsea now welcome back Didier Drogba, who has served the three match ban that Uefa slapped on him after his rant following Chelsea’s controversial defeat to Barcelona in last year’s semi-final.

‘It's not been easy without Drogba, but all the players have done very well in this competition for us so far,’ said Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti. ‘We are in control now in this group, but our aim remains to finish in first place.

‘That's important to secure our future in the Champions League, and it's still not certain. We have to secure more points still in the group. We played very well this evening and did better from set plays at both ends of the pitch. We had to avoid losing concentration, and we did that.’

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