Soccer: Chelsea, Liverpool through to CL semis

Avraham Grant's Blues far from convincing in 2-0 win against Fenerbahce; Rafa Benitez's Reds win pulsating encounter against Arsenal at Anfield 4-2.

malouda 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
malouda 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Chelsea reached the semifinals of the Champions League for the fourth time in five seasons on Tuesday with a 2-0 with a win over Fenerbahce. Avraham Grant's Blues will play Liverpool in the semi for the third time in four years after Rafa Benitez's team won a pulsating encounter against Arsenal at Anfield 4-2. At Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium, Michael Ballack headed in a free kick from Frank Lampard to put the home team ahead in the fourth minute and Lampard added one of his own in the 87th. The victory advanced Chelsea on a 3-2 agregate score. At Anfield, Steven Gerrard scored a late penalty and Ryan Babel added an injury-time goal Tuesday to send Liverpool through. The five-time champions beat Arsenal 5-3 on aggregate. Abou Diaby had given Arsenal the lead in the 13th minute, but Sami Hyypia equalized in the 30th and Fernando Torres put Liverpool ahead in the 69th. Emmanuel Adebayor then scored in the 84th minute to give Arsenal the advantage in the two-leg series, but Gerrard responded from the penalty spot a minute later. Chelsea reached the semifinals of the Champions League in 2004, '05 and '07. It was defeated first by AS Monaco, then twice by Liverpool. The result extended Chelsea's home unbeaten streak in Europe to 11, a run dating back 26 months. Fenerbache, which reached the quarterfinals for the first time and is coached by Brazilian great Zico, hasn't won away from home this season in the Champions League. Liverpool is on course for a third final in four years. Both times it advanced, in 2005 and 2007, it beat Chelsea in the semifinals. In London, after Ballack's goal, the Blues continued to attack in the first half, with Joe Cole hitting the post and Ballack forcing a save from Fenerbahce goalkeeper Volkan Demirel. Didier Drogba curled a shot just over the bar in the 22nd minute, and four minutes later, Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini limped off with what appeared to be an injury to his right hamstring. He was replaced by Chelsea's third-choice goalkeeper Hilario, who hadn't played since January 8 - in the English League Cup. It was his only his sixth appearance of the season and his first in the Champions League. First-choice goalkeeper Petr Cech is also out for Chelsea out after having surgery for ripping his lip during a training accident collision with Israeli Tal Ben-Haim on Sunday. He's expected to be sidelined for at least two weeks. Drogba had a shot saved a minute into the second half and had a scuffed shot saved in the 56th. Chelsea sent on defender Juliano Belletti for Kalou in the 57th minute and Fenerbahce responded by sending on former Blues forward Mateja Kezman three minutes later. Despite the extra defensive edge, Chelsea kept pushing for another goal. Ricardo Carvalho sent a shot over the bar in the 72nd and three minutes later, Lugano had Fenerbahce's second attempt on goal but it went wide. Drogba sent a 78th minute free kick to Demirel, who then saved from John Terry. Hilario made two strong saves in the final 10 minutes, pushing away a volley from Gokhan Gonul and Kazim Kazim. A week ago, Deivid de Souza and English-born player Kazim Kazim scored second-half goals to give Fenerbahce a 2-1 win.