Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho acknowledged that Wednesday night's 1-1 draw against Galatasaray in Istanbul in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie had to go down as "an opportunity missed".
The London club took an early lead through Fernando Torres at the Turk Telecom Arena, but they failed to capitalise on their good start and Galatasaray came back to equalise midway through the second half courtesy of Aurelien Chedjou.
That means the tie remains open ahead of next month's return at Stamford Bridge, when it could have been over after half an hour in Istanbul.
"The first half was an opportunity missed. The second half was a fair result," Mourinho said.
"In the first half we were the better team. We had three or four chances, but then they put more pressure on us and we were more defensive.
"We were comfortable defensively but conceded a goal at a corner, which I don't like (but) I think it was a fair result."
Chelsea may be top of the Premier League and closing in on the Champions League quarter-finals, but they have suffered at times from the lack of a clinical striker this season and the performance of Torres came as a tonic for Mourinho, although the tiring Spaniard was withdrawn with a quarter of the game remaining.
"I think now he's having a very acceptable season," Mourinho said of Torres, who has scored six times in five Champions League starts, but Chelsea still missed too many chances for their coach's liking.
"That's our team. Some other teams would score three goals, we have five chances and take one.
"We create but we arrive in the last third of the pitch and the last decision - the correct pass, the right movement - is not correct.
"We are paying for that, but I cannot be critical. I just praise the fact that we had a very acceptable result in a stadium where it is not easy to play."
Chelsea now turn their attentions back to the Premier League and two London derbies, away to Fulham and at home to Tottenham Hotspur.
And they do so as the only English side to avoid defeat, or even score a goal, in the Champions League in the last two weeks in the wake of poor results for Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United.
Galatasaray coach Roberto Mancini, the former City boss, dismissed doubts over the state of English football as he admitted his team remain very much the outsiders in the tie.
"The Premier League is the best championship in the world and Chelsea are one of the best teams," said the Italian, whose own side are on a run of just one defeat in 20 matches.
His displeasure with Galatasaray's start to the game was evident as he changed things tactically half an hour in, replacing winger Izet Hajrovic and introducing an extra central midfielder in Yekta Kurtulus, and that helped them eventually come back into the contest.
"We can't show Chelsea the level of respect we showed them in the first half. They wanted to be able to counter attack us and we conceded too many of these.
"We made three or four mistakes and played with fear.
"The game in London will be difficult but after this game we have a 40 percent chance to go through," added Mancini, who had previously measured their prospects at just 20 percent.
Nevertheless, Mourinho refused to be drawn on Mancini's comments, and also had a swipe at the man he replaced as Inter Milan coach in 2008 by crediting their performance on former coach Fatih Terim.
"They were good last year and they are good this year. Basically it's the team that Fatih built. The team that was champions last year and got to the quarter-finals. So I think Fatih did a great work (sic)," said Mourinho.
Real Madrid laid down a marker in this season's Champions League by inflicting a 6-1 thrashing on Schalke 04 in a one-sided last-16 first leg while Galatasaray and Chelsea drew 1-1 on Wednesday.
Real's galactico-laced frontline of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals each as the Spaniards secured only their second win in 26 trips to Germany and effectively booked their spot in the last eight.
Fernando Torres's early goal for Chelsea was cancelled out by Galatasaray's Aurelien Chedjou in the second half.
Benzema opened the scoring for Real Madrid on 13 minutes after Bale and Ronaldo had caused mischief in the German defence and Wales winger Bale drove through the heart of the Schalke backline to double the lead eight minutes later.
Ronaldo scored seven minutes after the break with a left-footed effort after a series of stepovers bamboozled Schalke's Joel Matip and Benzema grabbed his second following a one-two with Ronaldo.
Bale made it 5-0 with a precise finish after being played through by Sergio Ramos and Ronaldo netted for the 11th time in this season's competition before former Real striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar grabbed a stoppage-time consolation for the hosts.
In Istanbul, Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba was reunited with his former club but he suffered a largely frustrating evening leading the line for his new side.
Chelsea took the lead when Torres scored the first goal by an English club in this season's last-16 first legs, side-footing into an empty net from close range after nine minutes.
Chedjou equalised after 64 minutes when he tapped in after Wesley Sneijder's corner was missed by John Terry.
The return legs will take place on March 18.
Aurélien Chedjou scored in the 63rd minute for Galatasaray to strike out Fernando Torres' goal during their Champions League match at the Turk Telekom Arena in Istanbul on Wednesday.
Fernando Torres, who had scored five goals in his last four starts in the Champions League, once again lived upto his expectation giving Chelsea the first goal earlier on in the game.
Cesar Azpilicueta tapped in a clever ball to Torres whose right-footed shot found the centre of the goal in the ninth minute of the game.
Didier Drogba led the line, while Emmanuel Eboue and Wesley Sneijder laboured hard in the first half of play.
Turkish champions Galatasaray who progressed from Group B struggled to keep to the plot.
Drogba and Sneijder the two key players were well marked and did little to threaten their rivals.
The Blues, who reached this stage after topping Group E, certainly had the pedigree to go all the way but just lost the plot in the second half.
After claiming European football's grandest prize two years ago the men in Blue had their sights set on a memorable hat-trick.
But Aurélien Chedjou's right footed shot in front of the box assisted by Wesley Sneijder striked out the deficit to put Chelsea in a spot in the dying moments of the game.
Torres's opener cancelled out by Chedjou midway through the second period.
Galatasaray 1 (Chedjou 64") Chelsea 1 (Torres 9")
90+2" Cole taps the ball to Lampard from a corner but Felipe Melo blocks the threat.
90" Chelsea look in trouble as Oscar comes in for Hazard.
90" Three minutes of stoppage time and Sneijder pushes on.
89" Balta moves the ball up to Eboué but is intercepted by Willian.
89" Ref Velasco Carballo looks unperturbed and signals to carry on.
88" Mikel wriggles in pain as Felipe Melo jumps on him.
87" The ball with Willian is moved up with Mikel slamming it over the post.
86" Lampard takes a free kick.
85" Eboué labours on with Sneijder attempting a ambitious shot.
84" Ramires in the thick of action but the ball is in Galatasaray's posession.
83" Sneijder taps the ball from a corner to Inan.
82" Eboué finds the gap and lofts a pass to Bulut.
81" Sneijder attempts a long range shot but misses the woodwork.
80" Quick substitutions by both teams takes the game to another level.
79" Drogba out and Bulut comes in for the vital role.
78" Galatasaray grab the opportunity and move in with Eboué looking for Drogba.
77" Lampard moves the ball around to Willian and keep possesion.
76" Chelsea on the attack with Eto'o and Willian darting forward.
75" Drogba torments the defence with Cahill checking the threat.
74" Cech saves a brilliant shot off a slip of from Willian.
73" Willian moves in but is checked by Sneijder.
71" Chelsea get their act together with Eto'o and Willian.
70" Chelsea play a defensive game with Sneijder and Drogba lurking in the centre.
69" Galatasaray move the ball in the deep with Eboué and Felipe Melo.
68" Eto replaces Torres.
67" Sneijder and Telles push on and Inan latches on.
66" Chelsea look stunned but Galatasaray move on with Drogba.
65" Mikel replaces Schürrle.
64 GOAL! Chedjou scores volleying in from close range from a corner.
Galatasaray 1 (Chedjou 64") Chelsea 1 (Torres 9")
62" Drogba's header into the box wasted much to the dismay of Galatasaray fans.
62" Ivanovic latches on but fails to convert.
61" Torres moves strongly with Sneijder facing him.
60" Wasted shot and Cech takes the long shot.
58" Galatasaray look for the break with Drogba and Eboué in top form.
57" YELLOW! for Inan who brings down Torres with a dangerous tackle is punished.
56" Drogba is well marked and Felipe Melo moves in but fails to latch on.
56" Both teams attempt long shots with Terry winning the ball.
55" Throw in for Galatasaray but Azpilicueta intercepts.
54" Cahill misses the mark and Galatasaray are on the offensive.
53" Chelsea dictate the game with Schürrle on the ball but is flagged offside.
51" Muslera does well to save Torres shot in front of the box.
50" Torres on the ball but ball pushed away to Sneijder.
49" Azpilicueta is brought down by a ugly tackle by Yilmaz.
48" Willian and Ramires push on along the right flank.
45" Kaya replaces Balta in the second half.
Galatasaray 0 Chelsea 1 (Torres 9")
45" Schürrle misses the opportunity and its half time.
45" Two minutes of stoppage time and both teams fight on.
45" Chelsea move up with Lampard and Torres rushing to support him.
44" Eboué moves the ball to Chedjou but a long pass fails to meet their objective.
43" Galatasaray seem desperate to restore parity with Telles on the ball.
42" YELLOW! for Terry.
40" Chelsea build on their attack with Torres and Willian.
39" Galatasaray push on with Lampard and Cahill blocking their moves
38" Drogba grabs the throw-in but is dislodged by Hazard.
37" Muslera takes a long shot which is headed out by Azpilicueta.
36" Drogba and Sneijder coordinate well but fails to convert.
35" Ivanovic floats a free kick but is wasted.
34" Willian colects a throw in but Drogba wins over the ball.
33" Sneijder takes a corner kick but fails to find the Drogba.
32" Drogba and Yilmaz torment the Chelsea defence.
31" Kurtulus comes in for Hajrovic early changes for Galatasaray.
30" Chedjou guards well but Chelsea push on.
29" Hajrovic drills a long grounder which is well collected by Cech.
28" A Chelsea attack is well checked by Eboué and Chedjou.
28" Ivanovic takes a header wide off the mark.
27" Torres moves along with Ramires and Willian.
26" Willian wins the ball and slams it to Schürrle.
25" Balta moves ahead with the ball but fails to find Drogba.
24" Galatasaray move the ball with Yilmaz and Inan.
23" Mourinho anxiously looks on as Ramires is brought out.
22" Eboué cheers along as Ramires is brought down by an ugly challenge.
21" Lampard takes the free kick but shoots wide off the mark.
20" Galatasaray push but Torres slides in and is brought down.
19" The resulting free-kick fails to meet the mark and Ramires is on the ball.
17" Sneijder scripts a move is not read well with ball moving over the bar.
16" Willian does a lot of running with ball but is robbed off by Balta.
15" Ramires and Torres in the the box but fail to threaten.
14" Cech rushes out to loft the ball to Willian.
13" Muslera looks for Drogba and misses.
12" Galatasaray push on but the the men in Blue are adamant.
11" Ramires and Sneijder battle on but is offside.
10" Drogba on the ball but fails to hold.
9" GOAL! Torres does it for Chelsea. Torres slides in the ball into the open goal to put Chelsea ahead.
Galatasaray 0 Chelsea 1 (Torres 9")
8" Drogba and Ivanovic slug it out along the left flank.
7" Willian is down after an ugly tackle. Terry misses the ball from the free kick.
6" Chelsea step up their act with Lampard on the ball.
5" Burak latches on to the ball but is dislodged by Hazard.
4" Muslera fumbles and almost paid for the mistake.
3" Terry and Ramires move the ball along the left flank but fail to meet a blue jersey.
2" Galatasaray regroup with Drogba on the ball but halted by Willian.
1" Galatasaray get the game underway and attack with Hazard slamming a long pass.
Both teams are out of the tunnel now with the stadium in Istanbul packed to capacity.
Chelsea's Cahill, Torres, Ivanovic and Terry ready to strike lethal blows.
Torres has scored five goals in his last four starts in the Champions League.
Mourinho makes three changes to the Chelsea side which beat Everton 1-0 on Saturday.
The back four remains unchanged but in midfield, with Nemanja Matic ineligible, Ramires partners Frank Lampard.
Andre Schurrle makes his first start since our FA Cup fourth round win over Stoke City, while there is also a return to the starting line-up for Fernando Torres.
For the home side, Didier Drogba leads the line as expected, while there are other familiar faces in the shape of Emmanuel Eboue and Wesley Sneijder.
Galatasaray: Muslera, Eboue, Chedjou, Hakan Balta, Alex Telles; Selcuk, Melo, Burak, Sneijder, Hajrovic; Drogba
Subs: Gülselam, Bulut, Kaya, Kurtulus, Colak, Sarioglu, Ceylan
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Azpilicueta; Ramires, Lampard; Willian, Schurrle, Hazard; Torres.
Subs: Cole, Oscar, Mikel, Ba, Schwarzer, Eto'o, Kalas
Chelsea have won their two previous competitive encounters with Galatasaray, both in the Champions League group stages in 1999/00 (6 goals for, 0 against).
Galatasaray have only lost one of their last seven Champions League home games (4 wins, 2 draws), that was against Real Madrid in this season's group stages (1-6).
Galatasaray have conceded 14 goals in the Champions League this season, the highest tally among the 16 teams who have reached the knockout stages.
PROBABLE LINE UPS
Galatasaray will give Drogba and ex-Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder the opportunity to get one over on former mentor Mourinho.
Aydin Yilmaz is Roberto Mancini's only injury concern ahead of the welcome of Chelsea.
The Italian has no further worries and and is expected to name a strong XI for the encounter.
Felipe Melo is one booking away from suspension.
Chelsea duo David Luiz and John Obi Mikel are in contention for starting berths despite nursing knocks.
Marco van Ginkel is sidelined through injury, while Chelsea are waiting to hear on the fitness of Oscar.
Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah are ineligible having already played for Benfica and Basel, respectively, in the competition.
José Mourinho could play a 4-3-3, as he has done for tough away games this season.
Chelsea's Champions League game at the Turk Telekom Arena in Istanbul on Wednesday is overshadowed by comments made by manager Jose Mourinho last week about the lack of scorers in his squad.
"The problem with Chelsea is we lack a scorer," the Portuguese said. "I have one (Samuel Eto'o) but he's 32. Maybe 35, who knows?."
Chelsea have not denied Mourinho made the comments at a sponsor's event in Nyon, Switzerland, British media reported, but said he was speaking in a light-hearted private conversation.
Chelsea lead the Premier League but have struggled for goals from their three recognised strikers, Eto'o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba, who have found the net 11 times between them in the league this season.
Mourinho also went on to discuss Colombia striker Radamel Falcao, who joined French club Monaco this season from Atletico Madrid.
"I don't have Falcao but Falcao doesn't have a team," Mourinho said.
"Who wants to play in front of 3,000 supporters? If I was one day to go to Monaco it would be at the end (of my career)."
Drogba will plot Chelsea's downfall as he prepares to spearhead Galatasaray's attack in Istanbul.
Mourinho is fully aware of the threat posed by the 35-year-old striker and will be looking for John Terry and co to keep a close eye on their former colleague.
The Champions League was the one major honour to elude Mourinho during his first spell as Chelsea boss and he now will be hoping to complete the set in 2014.