Drogba return goes fruitless; Chelsea, Real Madrid onto CL quarters

Tuesday March 18th, 2014
Cristiano Ronaldo, right, celebrates one of his two goals for Real Madrid vs. Schalke on Tuesday with Gareth Bale, with Los Blancos cruising to the Champions League quarterfinals.
Paul White/AP

Chelsea is top of the Premier League and in Europe's last eight, and this is Mourinho's transition season. This Chelsea side may not have the 'last-chance saloon' belief of the 2012 Champions League winner but it's no worse than Mourinho's 2010 Inter Milan side that lifted the trophy. And with the Portuguese in charge, it's impossible to write off its chances this year -- in fact, Chelsea's tough-to-break-down tactics would be much tougher for favorite Bayern Munich to face than Real Madrid's more open style of play.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.