Didier Drogba was blown away by the support Chelsea received at the Bukit Jalil Stadium on Thursday, as Chelsea squeaked past a Malaysia XI in front of 85,000 spectators.

It was a quite remarkable attendance for a friendly at Malaysia's national stadium, and further reinforces the popularity of the Barclays Premier League in Asia.

And, although the supporters were not treated to a particularly entertaining encounter, they still got behind both sides with ear-piercing fervour.

"The reception was amazing," said Drogba. "People used to tell me we have a lot of fans here in Asia and what we saw was unbelievable, and the whole time we have been here, the passion really was special.

"It is good to travel and feel who our supporters are. Now we know when we are playing we are not only playing for our Chelsea fans in England, we are also playing for these people."

Chelsea emerged as victors on the night after scoring the only goal of the game, which game courtesy of an own-goal after a fierce Drobga free kick.

 

The Ivory Coast international, however, admits to struggling with the conditions - and the opposition - despite being the catalyst for the victory.

"I think it was a good opportunity to try and score, I'm not sure if the ball crossed the line but the most important thing is the result," he added. "It's good for the team to win, even if it was a friendly and the game was very difficult.

"Everything made it difficult, our opposition, the heat, the pitch. We have had around 14 days of training since we started, not a lot, and our fitness is difficult starting again here.

"The pitch was not easy and also the weather, the humidity, the heat, it is really difficult. I've said before it is similar to Ivory Coast, so I am a little bit used to it even though it is very difficult.

"I think it's difficult for both teams, even though they are from here it must be difficult for them as well. That's how it is, it's a bit crazy."


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Didier Drogba
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