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2. EUROPE: Somber Chelsea edges Barcelona
October 18th, 2006 9:58PM



Chelsea beat defending champion Barcelona, 1-0, in their much-anticipated Champions League showdown Wednesday on an outstanding individual effort by Ivory Coast star Didier Drogba.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was in no mood to be boastful, despite the win against the club that the Blues have faced in two emotionally charges series the last two years.

Third-string goalkeeper Hilario was forced into action because of head injuries to Chelsea's top two keepers in last weekend's EPL match at Reading -- including a skull fracture to Czech Republic keeper Petr Cech, who is likely to be sidelined for several months. An employee of Chelsea Pitch Owners, an affiliated Chelsea association, was killed on Tuesday when she was struck by a truck while riding her bike to work.

"The week was difficult, the game was difficult but every individual played well and as a team we played well," Mourinho said.

The loss was Barcelona's first in 16 matches in the competition since losing to Chelsea in March 2005.

Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Valencia all won their third straight games as the Champions League group phase reached the halfway stage. Bastian Schweinsteiger scored from long range for Bayern in the 19th minute but was sent off early in the second half for a second yellow card. Valencia beat Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine, 2-0, thanks to two first-half goals by David Villa.

Group A
Chelsea 1 (Drogba 47) Barcelona 0.
Werder Bremen 2 (Naldo 45, Diego 73) Levski Sofia 0.

Group B
Sporting Lisbon 0 Bayern Munich 1 (Schweinsteiger 19).
Inter Milan 2 (Cruz 2, 9) Spartak Moscow 1 (Pavlyuchenko 54).

Group C
Bordeaux 0 Liverpool 1 (Crouch 58).
Galatasaray 1 (Ilic 19) PSV 2 (Kromkamp 59, Kone 72).

Group D
Valencia 2 (Villa 31, 45) Shakhtar Donetsk 0.
Olympiakos 0 Roma 1 (Perrotta 76).

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