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Eto’o return vital to a Napoli-style comeback for Chelsea v PSG

| 03.04.2014

Trailing 3-1 from the first leg of their Champions League quarter final against Paris St-Germain, Chelsea are in need of a minor miracle if they are to make it through to a seventh semi final in 11 campaigns.

That miracle could come in the guise of veteran centre-forward Samuel Eto’o.

After the game Jose Mourinho was clearly fuming with his side’s “ridiculous” lack of concentration to let Javier Pastore weave his way through to score at the death, but it was up front where Chelsea sorely lacked for the vast majority.

Mourinho could hardly hide his disdain over the impact, or serious lack of one, when Fernando Torres replaced the equally ineffective and positionally-confused Andre Schurrle.

As it stands now, Chelsea are unsurprisingly labelled as the 11/4 outsiders to grab at least the two goals they need without reply to progress, but overturning the deficit may yet rest on the availability of Eto’o for the second leg.

If the Cameroonian striker can recover in time from a minor hamstring strain picked up during the first-half of Chelsea’s 6-0 demolition of Arsenal in the Premier League, things will certainly be looking up.

Before Eto’o limped off in that game, he had not only opened the scoring with an exquisite finish, but the former Barcelona ace made it three in as many matches, taking him into double figures in a blue shirt this season.

Furthermore, Eto’o’s supposedly ageing legs have already helped him to grab three goals in just four Champions League appearances for Chelsea, where he bagged a brace against Schalke in the group stages.

It may be a sorry state of affairs for many that Chelsea must rely on their statesman striker rather than their £50m record signing, but until the summer those are the breaks for Mourinho.

Of course many of the current Chelsea crop can also draw on the experience of turning exactly the same scorleline around against Napoli at this stage en-route to Champions League glory two seasons ago.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.