Frank Lampard declared Chelsea’s only hope of Champions League glory lay with their old guard after their historic comeback against Napoli.
Old is gold: Chelsea skipper John Terry (left), forward Didier Drogba (right) and defender Branislav Ivanovic
celebrate Wednesday’s Champions League win over Napoli at Stamford Bridge in London. Pic/AFP
Roman Abramovich’s desire to build a new, hungry young team at Stamford Bridge was called into question on Wednesday night as golden oldies Lampard, John Terry and Didier Drogba proved just how difficult they would be to replace.8-year-old girl killed and 5 others injured in bomb blast in Imphal
All three scored in a thrilling 4-1 extra-time win that propelled Chelsea into the quarter-finals after they had looked doomed to crash out under Andre Villas-Boas.
Lampard said: “You can’t win these sorts of competitions without that (experience). You’re not talking about old boys whose careers are flitting out. They’re players that want to play, players that want to win. You can see that.
“When you’ve got that, if you can add to that with the youth and the quality we’ve got around the team as well then that’s a recipe and we have to carry on with that.”
The 33-year-old added: “The amount of nights that Didi’s (Drogba) stood up, the amount of nights that John’s stood up, is what Chelsea are all about. If that can get us a result like that, then we go with it.”
Branislav Ivanovic swept home emphatically in the 105th minute to give Chelsea -- beaten 3-1 by the Italians in last month’s first leg in Naples — a 5-4 aggregate victory at Stamford Bridge.
The match had gone to extra time after a pulsating period of 90 minutes that saw Chelsea battle to a 3-1 lead that left the tie locked at 4-4 overall.
Gokhan Inler was on target for Napoli.