LONDON (AFP) – Didier Drogba insisted he’d provided the perfect riposte to those who’d branded him “too old” by scoring Chelsea’s winner in their Champions League semi-final first leg win over Barcelona.
The 34-year-old striker struck in stoppage time at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday with what turned out to be the Londoners’ only shot on target of an extraordinary 1-0 win over reigning champions Barcelona.
Victory gave Chelsea, who’ve never won the Champions League or its predecessor, the European Cup, a massive boost ahead of next week’s return leg at the Nou Camp.
For Ivory Coast forward Drogba, who could leave Chelsea at the end of the season when his contract expires, it was his second key goal in as many matches after he opened the scoring in the Blues’ FA Cup semi-final rout of London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
“For those who said that I was too old, they saw that I could run maybe one, two or three more years!”, Drogba said.
If Chelsea score an away goal in Tuesday’s second leg, Barcelona will have to score three and Drogba said: “We have to go there now and try to score another one.”
Drogba added Chelsea had ridden their luck in a first leg where Barcelona failed to convert several chances.
“That’s football and I think we were a bit lucky. You have to work for luck to come and to happen. We worked a lot. We worked hard.”
Chelsea continue their push for a top four Premier League finish that would guarantee Champions League football next term against London rivals Arsenal on Saturday and Drogba said: “It’s a difficult week, difficult 10 days for us after Spurs, this game, and then Arsenal, and then again Barcelona.
“It’s going to be an important, very decisive week for us, and I think we’re up for it.”