Robbie Savage: How Mancini made amends to match Mourinho

In his regular BBC Sport tactics column, Robbie Savage looks at Galatasaray's recovery from a bad start to draw with Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League tie.

I was surprised to see Galatasaray manager Roberto Mancini select such an attacking line-up, and for them to be so open when they came forward.

It backfired horribly for him in the first 30 minutes when Chelsea tore the Turkish team apart on the counter-attack.

Galatasaray manager Roberto Mancini

If you are wrong, you have got to be bold, so credit to Mancini for abandoning his plan early on. He got things right, eventually.

The changes he made mean his side are still in this tie, even if I would back Chelsea to finish the job at Stamford Bridge in the second leg on 18 March.

Mancini in a mess

The first half-hour of the game was a complete mess as far as Mancini was concerned.

His back four were playing so high, they left Chelsea a huge amount of space to attack into.

Even worse, Galatasaray were not putting any pressure on the Blues players when they had the ball in midfield.

Mancini started with two strikers up front, with Burak Yilmaz running beyond Didier Drogba, in what was an attacking 4-4-2 formation,

But they only had one shot on target in the first 31 minutes, from Izet Hajrovic. They were not opening up Chelsea, and they were all over the place at the back.

Galatasaray Game stats (31 mins) Chelsea

Stats: Opta





Passing accuracy






Shots on target


Mancini's full-backs, Emmanuel Eboue on the right and Alex Telles on the left, were bombing forward to join their wingers.

And, in the middle, if Brazilian midfielder Felipe Melo was meant to be staying deep in front of his defence, it was not happening.

It meant that there was no protection for Galatasaray's centre-backs when Chelsea won the ball back and broke forward, something that happened time and time again.

Chelsea had Eden Hazard and Andre Schurrle lying in wait upfield for Galatasaray to commit too many men forward and lose the ball.

Because of Eboue, that happened a lot. He had a complete nightmare for the Blues goal, losing possession to Chelsea left-back Cesar Azpilicueta, who immediately launched an attack.

First half touches in Galatasaray v Chelsea
Azpilicueta/Eboue touches

Azpilicueta did not get forward much in the first half, only touching the ball seven times in the Galatasaray half. But the one time he got into their area, he made it count.

Both Hazard and Schurrle were also involved in the move that led to Fernando Torres scoring. They had other openings too, but could not take them.

If they had, Chelsea might have been out of sight before Mancini could react.

Mancini makes his move

After 31 minutes, Mancini had seen enough.

He took off Hajrovic, who had been playing on the right wing, and brought on Yekta Kurtulus as an extra midfielder to sit in front of his centre-backs. His 4-4-2 became a 4-5-1.

It did not solve all of Galatasaray's problems instantly - for example, they were still committing their full-backs forward so were still open to counter-attacks.

But the presence of Kurtulus meant those breaks were less dangerous because Chelsea had less space to run into.

And, after half-time, Galatasaray at last began to make their advantage in possession count.

Their most creative player, Wesley Sneijder, had hardly touched the ball on their left flank in the first half hour.

Wesley Sneijder touches against Chelsea
Wesley Sneijder touches against Chelsea

After Kurtulus came on, and with more support in that area, they were able to get Sneijder more involved, and further up the pitch. His class told.

It was from Sneijder's free-kick after 65 minutes that Didier Drogba touched the ball in the Chelsea area for the first time - with the header that led to Selcuk Inan hitting the post.

Moments later, Aurelien Chedjou equalised. Again, it was from a Sneijder set-piece. As he came into the game, more chances followed for the home team.

Galatasaray Game stats (90 mins) Chelsea

Stats: Opta





Passing accuracy






Shots on target


Rare Terry error proves costly

Until that Galatasaray goal, it looked like John Terry and Gary Cahill would again deal with everything that was thrown at them.

When Terry and Cahill have played together this season, Chelsea's already strong defence is harder to break down: since the Blues' 3-2 defeat by Stoke on 7 December, they have partnered each other eight times in the Premier League and Chelsea have conceded just two goals.

They often drop deep to make up for Terry's lack of pace but both of them relish the physical challenge of a big striker and they had coped well with Drogba all night, whether he was up front on his own or alongside Burak Yilmaz in the early stages.

Aurelien Chedjou equalises for Galatasaray

You do not see many mistakes from Terry like the one he made for Chedjou's goal but what happened was that he got his body shape wrong because he did not expect the ball to come through to him, and he could not adjust in time.

From Chelsea's point of view it was disappointing to concede but they still have their away goal and they have the upper hand in this tie.

After an awful week for English teams in the Champions League, I think they will be the only ones flying the flag for the Premier League in the quarter-finals.