Bridge of sighs
Rob Parrish looks at Chelsea against Copenhagen as the Blues progressed without a real test.
By Rob Parrish - Follow me on Twitter @skysportsrobp
Last Updated: 17/03/11 1:58pm
In terms of entertainment, Chelsea's clash with Copenhagen barely registered, but for effectiveness the men from Stamford Bridge can take almost full marks.
The UEFA Champions League contest was far from pretty. To borrow and bend the type of analogy favoured by Ian Holloway, you wouldn't even head over for a chat five minutes before the nightclub closed with your beer goggles firmly in place.
Although the visitors caught the eye in their hot pink shirts more suitable for a hen party than a football match, there was precious little from the home side to set the pulses racing during a drab 0-0 draw for which the phrase stalemate is perhaps too kind.
Chelsea did muster 24 shots during the contest, but only seven of these threatened the impressive Johan Wiland's net, with one effort from Didier Drogba of more danger to the referee's assistant - and not the one standing out like a sore thumb to the side of the goal.
In truth, the Blues' job had been done two weeks ago when they claimed a 2-0 victory in the first leg of their last-16 encounter, which is why they had no real need to step out of third gear against game but limited opponents.
Far greater challenges lie ahead in the quarter-finals for Carlo Ancelotti's side and the profligacy they displayed in front of goal against the men from Denmark would be severely punished by the European heavyweights who are through to the last eight.
Premier League rivals Manchester United and Tottenham, Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid and resurgent defending champions Inter Milan will test Chelsea's resolve, while Schalke and Shakhtar Donetsk must not be under-rated.
And it is worth noting that the West London club's group campaign was little more than a procession as only French champions Marseille posed any threat to their progress with Spartak Moscow and whipping boys MSK Zilina making up Group F.
Ancelotti continues to preach the mantra that this season can be the greatest in Chelsea's history should they lift the European Cup for the first time, but the road to Wembley on 28th May is hazardous, particularly for a side whose early season dominance has long since disappeared.
Early exits from the Carling Cup and FA Cup coupled with falling well off the pace in the Premier League means that Ancelotti's only escape from a season without silverware is the trophy craved above all others by club owner Roman Abramovich.
But that ambitious goal will not be achieved unless performances are improved by several significant notches than the lacklustre display witnessed against Copenhagen, with question marks remaining over the Italian's attacking options.
Fernando Torres is, without a shadow of doubt, one of the greatest striking talents in the world. But with every game that ticks by without the £50million signing finding the net and with Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka hardly at their most potent at present, the Blues are somewhat blunt.
The talented trio have managed a grand total of two goals in their last 18 outings combined, both of which were provided by the France international in the first leg of their continental contest with Copenhagen. Not the form which will strike fear into the hearts of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Effective displays will be tolerated by the Chelsea faithful and Abramovich for as long as European progress is maintained, but Ancelotti will not want to entertain thoughts of what his future holds should they fall short in Europe once again.