Olympiacos 0 - 0 Chelsea

Starting Eleven:
Belletti, Alex, Carvalho, A.Cole
Makalele, Essien, Ballack
J.Cole, Drogba, Malouda
subs: Cudicini, Kalou, Anelka, Lampard, Terry

A boring, uninspiring stalemate it was. But no football club could boast of a bench like this. On a chilly day in Athens, Grant took the gamble of not playing Lampard and Terry in the starting eleven. The fact that both players are recently back from an injury spell may have influenced this decision by the coach. Shevchenko, who was also expected to make his comeback remained absent.

Michael Essien's effort was well wide in the first minute of play. Chelsea dominated the possession in the half but both teams failed to create any genuine chances. Anastasios Pantos and Vassilis Torosidis came close but failed to trouble Cech. And for the visitors, Malouda tested the home goalkeeper with a volley. Captain Makalele shot wide from 30 yards while Ballack, who was unmarked headed wide from a freekick.

In the second half as well, both teams failed to convert possession into attacks. Chelsea were finding it difficult to feed Drogba. In the closing minutes of the match, Lampard came for Ballack. Grant also brought Kalou and Anelka into play, but it was too late for them to leave any impression on the match.

Ashley Cole made it four Chelsea bookings in the injury time. Alex, Belletti and Makalele were booked earlier, although the game wasn't as rough as the number of cards would suggest. Grant admitted later that it was the least impressive display by the Blues after he took charge. He said that he was happy with the result but not happy with the way his team played. Afterall Chelsea has the best result playing away on Tuesday night.

Grant is desperate to win the trophy that has eluded the Blues. And for reaching the quarter-finals, Chelsea now has to defeat Olympiacos in home soil, after a fortnight. Meanwhile Chelsea will play Barnsley in the next round of FA Cup while Manchester United is to play Portsmouth at home