Tags Posts tagged with "Champions League"

Champions League

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Chelsea defender and captain Gary Cahill was crucial in 2012 when the Blues eliminated Barcelona, before winning the UEFA Champions League trophy against Bayern Munich at Allianz ArenA.

The England defender, who featured alongside David Luiz in Munich, told Chelsea’s official website: “In a weird way I kind of expected it, there were only three options so it was quite a likely outcome. It will be a very tough game but it’s a great fixture to look forward to, both for us as players and the supporters”.

“It’s a very difficult tie but hugely exciting for everybody. We have good memories from the last time we played them and obviously we went on to win the trophy”.

Then he reminded: “We beat them 1-0 at home and then held them away, that famous game at the Nou Camp, so they’re great memories”.

“This stands alone, two big games. They’re a tough opponent but I’m sure they will be looking at us in the same way”.

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Earlier today Chelsea have been drawn vs Barcelona in the Champions League Last 16 stage.

The Spanish manager Ernesto Valverde admits the Blues are a tough opponent, especially for their offensive potential.

“It’s a tough draw for us because of the magnitude of the opposition,” – Valverde said. – “Chelsea are champions of the Premier League but we’re excited about the tie, even though it will be difficult. Chelsea are a strong and physical team, with a clear tactical system in place. They take advantage of the physical nature of the Premier League well. With the signing of Morata they’ve added pace in attack, while Hazard is very good between the lines.”

 

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Chelsea will face La Liga giants Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League round of 16.

As the Blues’ official website wrote today, “the first leg will take place at home on Tuesday 20 February, kick-off 7.45pm (UK time), and the second leg away is on Wednesday 14 March, kick-off 7.45pm (UK time)”.

Conte to take it ‘game by game’ after Chelsea were paired with Barcelona

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte spoke ahead of next Premier League clash against Huddersfield (kick-off time 8PM BST), but today the UEFA Champions League draw paired the Blues with current La Liga leaders Barcelona.

The Italian manager, when asked by Standard Sport about the game, claimed: “I think our priority must be the Premier League, to try to stay up and fight for a Champions League place. That must be our priority in this moment. Then when it will be the moment to play against Barcelona we will start to think of the game against Barcelona”. 

 Then Conte added: “We must be very realistic to understand that this league is very dangerous. We have to go game by game, play every game with 120% of our strength. Otherwise we risk to have a bad surprise at the end of the season.”

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We reported previously that Chelsea could face only a quartet of the winners from their Champions League groups, as no side can play another from the same country in the Round of 16. Anyway, Liverpool joined Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Manchester United in the 1st pot for the knockout stage after beating 7-0 Spartak Moscow last night, leaving Chelsea a two-out-of-three chance to play against either Paris Saint-Germain or Barcelona in the next round. Also Besiktas were included in the possible trio, but the Premier League champions will face the La Liga giants in the last-16.

Chelsea will face a terrific opponent so early in their Champions League return. Here’s the UEFA Champions League draw in full:

Juventus – Tottenham Hutspur

Basilea – Manchester City

Porto – Liverpool

Sevilla – Manchester United

Real Madrid – Paris Saint-Germain

Shakhtar Donestk – AS Roma

Chelsea – Barcelona

Besiktas – Bayern Munich

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“We have three possibilities – said Chelsea manager Antonio Conte ahead of the upcoming Champions League draw – To play against Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona or Besiktas, but now it is very important for us to be focused on the league, to go game by game, to try to find the right energy to play every three days and to take three points in the kind of game we had against West Ham”.

“There is a problem in this league: there are six top teams and only four places for the Champions League. You have targets and also, if Manchester City has many points over you, you have an important target to try to go in the first four and to play Champions League”.

The Italian manager reminded: “Don’t forget, two years ago Chelsea missed this target and last season we didn’t play European games. Last season Arsenal and Manchester United were out of these places. Then Manchester United won the Europa League, otherwise they were out [of the     Champions League] and also Arsenal, for the first time in 19 years”.

“To reach this target is not simple. It’s very important for me, the players, for all of us. This league is not simple to reach the top four positions”.

We will follow the Champions League draw at UEFA headquarters in Nyon live. More to follow…

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Chelsea could face PSG, Barcelona, Sevilla or Besiktas in the round of 16 of Champions League after failing to get the 1st place in Group C last night.

The Premier League champions cannot play against Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, then remains a quartet of teams available. Moreover, should Liverpool win Group E tonight, Antonio Conte‘s men can only face Barcelona, PSG or Besiktas in the last 16. Not the best prospect ahead of next round.

 

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After qualifying for last 16 as second in Group A behind AS Roma, Antonio Conte claims the biggest obstacles for Chelsea Champions League glory are not PSG or Barcelona but Premier League:

“With five teams to go through to the next round means the level of this league is very high,” the Blues boss said speaking ahead of Liverpool‘s bid to progress on tonight and with Manchester City, United and Spurs already confirmed group winners.

“Don’t forget here this season is very tough. You have to play a lot of games, but when you arrive at the final stage to play for quarter-finals, semi-finals the English teams have a lot of games in their legs. For this reason.”

The Italian coach is not very positive about his side chances to success in the major European competitions for clubs:

“I think it could be problematic to win the Champions League.

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Eden Hazard and his team-mates are not scared about Champions League draw, who can put Chelsea against two powerful teams like Paris Saint Germain or Barcelona in the competition Last 16 next February since the Blues qualified as second in their group:

“It’s not a problem. We are Chelsea. We can face any team. We know PSG and Barcelona, they are very good. But we are Chelsea and we have to be ready for everything. We can do everything.”

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Chelsea failed to gain the top spot in the Champions League group stage after drawing with Atletico Madrid tonight at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues will now face one of the winners of the other groups, but Chelsea manager Antonio Conte doesn’t seem worried by this perspective.

“This is a fantastic competition, this is the best tournament. If you want to go through, if you want to try to be protagonists in this tournament, you must be ready to face the best teams. Our opponent won’t be happy to play against us.”

Conte, hovewer, believes Chelsea and other Premier League teams may have more difficulties in the final stages of the Champions League: “Don’t forget here this season is very tough” – Conte added -. “You have to play a lot of games, but when you arrive at the final stage to play for quarter-finals, semi-finals the English teams have a lot of games in their legs. For this reason I think it could be problematic to win.”

 

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