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Champions League

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Jose Mourinho has spoken of his relief after he saw his side beat Dynamo Kiev 2-1 at Stamford Bridge to move to second in Group G.

An excellent late Willian freekick was enough to seal victory for Chelsea, after Kiev defender Aleksandr Dragovic put the ball into his own net in the first half before equalising with just over 10 minutes to go.

The win takes considerable pressure off Mourinho and his side, who are currently struggling to hit their stride in domestic competitions.

However, the Portuguese said that the win provided huge relief for all, not least himself:

“The win is a big relief. The players deserve to get compensation for their hard work.

“Many players are coming to their normal levels, despite having feelings as a team when negative moments come – and they are coming every game.

“The difference today was that we had confidence in the negative moment.

“The negative moment is always arriving for us. We had that good reaction against Stoke in the League Cup and today we conceded that goal with 15 minutes to go. I think the team was strong mentally, they kept trying and I’m happy with that.”

The 52-year old also praised matchwinner Willian, who has become somewhat notorious at scoring from set pieces in recent weeks. However, Mourinho was quick to praise the whole team for their display, and the fans for their support:

“He’s playing very well, not just today. He has been playing well for a long time. 

“Everybody did their job very well. It is fair to look at Willian because of his work-rate, quality on the ball, participation in the first goal and quality of second goal.”

“The fans recognise I’m a good pro, brought a great moment and have had great memories. Until my last day in this club, if that is in four years, 10 years, 15 years, I will give everything to them.”

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Chelsea are leading Dynamo Kiev 1-0 in at Stamford Bridge in their latest Champions League group stage match after 45 minutes in which they have been clearly the better side.

The game began brightly for the Blues and they fashioned the first sight on goal after two minutes when Ramires’ shot hit Diego Costa after the Spain international won a corner. The home side had the majority of the possession in the opening five minutes and used width more intelligently than they have down in recent weeks. Oscar had a shot saved by Shokovskiy having received the ball in the box from the right side.

Chelsea continued to apply pressure on Dynamo Kiev, their recent habit of starting games quickly evident once again. Both Azpilicueta and Baba got forward routinely, the latter venturing into the Kiev area just after the quarter hour mark but lost out. The on running Willian couldn’t quite make contact with a Oscar cut back from the far left side. The best chance came following a Willian free-kick in which the ball was out back into the box from the right side and not put in the goal by either Oscar, who couldn’t reach it in time as it drifted across the goal, or Costa who volleyed high and wide from eight yards out.

Chelsea were rewarded for their high pressing game just a few minutes later however, and they did so with a bit of luck that has eluded them this season. A mis-kicked clearance from Begovic found Baba who pushed forward and passed to Willian. The Brazil international, the author of almost everything good Chelsea have done this season, ran quickly down the right and put the ball in at pace which the hapless Dragovic put into his own goal from just outside the six yard box.

Chelsea’s approach play thereafter was good- all the star players present seemingly past their alarming dip in form. Fabaregas had the ball on the by-line but couldn’t find a teammate in the box as Chelsea did not, thankfully, sit back on their first half lead in the disasterous way they did against Liverpool on Saturday. Oscar had a shot from the edge of the box that curled about a yard wide seconds after.

Diego Costa had an apparently strong appeal for a penalty turned down just before the break when he ran into the box sandwiched between the two Kiev centre backs. On further inspection it is clear there was little if any contact and Costa should consider himself lucky to not have been booked for diving.

Chelsea should perhaps have more than one goal considering all the possession they have had, but it is a relief to see them get the halfway stage of a match in the lead. They have not backed off having scored the goal and have looked relatively comfortable at the back. They must still be aware of the danger the visitors possess. Now that they have the goal they can and should continue to play with freedom and should win the game easily from here. Anything else will be another huge disappointment.

 

 

 

CHELSEA – Begovic; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Terry, Baba Rahman; Ramires, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Oscar; Diego Costa

Subs: Blackman, Cahill, Loftus-Cheek, Kenedy, Hazard, Pedro, Remy

Manager: José Mourinho

Scorers: Dragovic OG (34)

DYNAMO KYIV – Shovkovskiy, Antunes, Dragovic, Vida, Khacheridi, Sydorchuk, Rybalka, González, Buyalskiy, Yarmolenko, Kravets

Subs: Morales, Veloso , Garmash, Morozyuk, Petrovic, Gusev, Rybka

Manager: Serhiy Rebrov

Referee: Pavel Královec (CZE)

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Here are the official line ups for today’s game at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Dynamo Kiev.

CHELSEA – Begovic; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Terry, Baba Rahman; Ramires, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Oscar; Diego Costa

Subs: Blackman, Cahill, Loftus-Cheek, Kenedy, Hazard, Pedro, Remy

Manager: José Mourinho

DYNAMO KYIV – Shovkovskiy, Antunes, Dragovic, Vida, Khacheridi, Sydorchuk, Rybalka, González, Buyalskiy, Yarmolenko, Kravets

Subs: Morales, Veloso , Garmash, Morozyuk, Petrovic, Gusev, Rybka

Manager: Serhiy Rebrov

Referee: Pavel Královec (CZE)

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, UK

Kick off: 7.45 pm GMT

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JOSE MOURINHO EDEN HAZARD

Eden Hazard insists there has been no breakdown in communication at Chelsea despite the poor start to the season. These words are important because recently appeared speculation about a potential conflict between him and Jose Mourinho. What is not a surprise Chelsea ace hopes to win against Dynamo in tonight’s Champions League clash at Stamford Bridge.

Hazard told Chelsea official website :

“In a good moment or in a bad moment, we are professional,”

””Personally I don’t read the newspapers. I try to focus only on my football and win games.”

“I need to train and try to forget everything and be a better player. It is the case I learn every day now. We try to speak about it together. The communication is very important.”

“We know when we are in a bad way we need to keep going with communication.”

“People are sad when you don’t win but the communication is very important and we did very well because every day we spoke together, and this is good.”

“We need to keep going in training; we want to improve together and just want to win matches. We know the season after you are champion, it is difficult as everybody wants to beat you.”

“We missed chances, I missed penalties, it’s very difficult but we need to keep going and improve.”

Speaking about today’s clash against Dynamo Kiev, he said:

”We want to win tonight’s game but at the same time we must not lose so we have to come out and play well like we have been playing the last few games, and hopefully we can get the luck we haven’t had.”

”Hopefully it can all come today. We have to play well and take a big step towards achieving qualification. Hopefully we can get a win that we deserve.’

Then he reflected on the previous meeting with Dynamo:

‘‘We drew the last game in Kiev and we know they have good players, but the game there we deserved to win, and if we can win for the fans at Stamford Bridge it will be a good result.”

‘‘All the things were not in the favour of Chelsea. We tried everything but didn’t score. Okay, 0-0 was a good result but when you watch the game you can see we deserved to win.”

‘‘We drew there, we lost in Porto and we need to improve and take three points on Wednesday night.”

‘’We are not winning games, this is the most important thing. We need to keep going in training; we want to improve together and just want to win matches. We know the season after you are champion, it is difficult as everybody wants to beat you.”

‘‘We missed chances, I missed penalties, it’s very difficult but we need to keep going and improve.’’

 

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Chelsea face Dynamo Kiev tonight in a game they must win if they wish to retain the initiative in the Champions League Group Stage.

Radamel Falcao is definitely out but Ivanovic and Pedro participated in a training session yesterday.

Predicted Line-ups:

Chelsea:

Begovic; Zouma, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Ramires, Hazard, Oscar, Willian; Costa

 

Dynamo Kiev:

Oleksandr; Yevhen, Danilo, Dragović, Pacheco; Husiev Oleh, Sydorchuk Serhiy, Rybalka Serhiy, Buialskyi Vitaliy; Yarmolenko Andriy, Moraes Junior

 

Kick-off: 1945 GMT

 

 

 

 

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RADAMEL FALCAO CHELSEA

Jose Mourinho revealed that Colombian striker Radamel Falcao had a serious muscular injury in the training session ahead of Dynamo Kiev’s clash:

“Falcao today had an important injury, not so important like the one he already had, but he had an important muscular injury and he will be out, I don’t want to speak a lot about it but I have to give you this bad news,” he stated while speaking to the press.

The good news was, anyway, the return of Pedro and Ivanovic to the group training: both of them have chanced to start the game tonight.

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mourinho julio cesar
Mourinho celebration with Julio Cesar: he ran from the dugout toward Inter goalkeeper after Sneijder scored the winner at last minute

Chelsea boss José Mourinho already met Dynamo Kiev on a 4th of November, and it was a crucial match that changed the history of a season, like it can be tonight.

The year was 2009 and the Portuguese was managing Inter, it was always the 4th matchday and the Nerazzurri had collected only three draws in the three previous games of the group ( with Barcelona and Dynamo Kiev at home and Rubin Kazan in Russia) so the game was really delicate, because a defeat could mean missing the qualification for the last 16.

Inter was, anyway, in a good situation in Serie A, leading the league, but the Champions League had been their “curse” in the previous years: people were accusing the team to show no character and confidence in the European nights.

Inter had a very good approach and dominated the game at the Olimpyskiy but Dynamo found a lucky goal on their only shot when Andriy Shevchenko‘s attempt was deflected with the back by Esteban Cambiasso: Julio Cesar was tricked and the ball went on goal.

Inter went at half time losing 1-0 and practically out of the Champions League at the group stage, Mourinho played the second half with three defenders and five attacking players ( Sneijder, Milito, Eto’o, Stankovic and Balotelli) and in the last ten minutes of the game he even substituted the centre-back Samuel with another midfielder, Sulley Muntari, leaving just Zanetti and Lucio to protect their goalkeeper.

The Nerazzurri seemed to have no luck: missed chances, hit posts, Dynamo’s keeper Bogush saving everything, it seemed like a nightmare until minute 84, when Diego Milito picked up a ball from Sneijder in the box and with a dirty but efficient shot finally beat Bogush.

It was the turning point of the game and the season: after three minutes Wesley Sneijder scored the winner with a smart goal anticipating Bogush in the coming out after Milito saved a ball on the touch line and put it in the box for him.

Mourinho went mental in his celebration: he ran from the dugout toward goalkeeper Julio Cesar jumping on him for an enthusiastic hug.

After the match he commented: “I almost had a severe muscular injury because it was really really cold….”

Despite the defeat for 2-0 at Camp Nou against Barcelona in the next game Inter could qualify for the last 16 beating Rubin Kazan at home for 2-0 in the last matchday of the group: the Nerazzurri then knocked out Chelsea with a 3-1 aggregate and at the end won the Champions League, making a treble that is still unique in the Italian football history.

Inter had been chasing the Champions League trophy for 45 years, since their last triumph in the competition was in 1965 with La Grande Inter: it was the dream of every fan, but it seemed to have turned into a curse, that was interrupted that night.

Mourinho later revealed what he said to his squad in the dressing room at half time, when Inter were losing and were out of the competition: “I don’t want to see you in the end of the game here crying: I want to see you here DEAD, we can lose but we must give everything, we have to come back here in the end of the game knowing that we did everything to win it, with no regrets”.

Words that made an impact on his side that night, a 4th of November like today, but in Kiev.

It was a turning point of the season for Mourinho and his players, like some of them revealed later.

Who knows if this curious and lucky precedent for Jose can strengthen in him more confidence for tonight’s game, a game that can turn things around like exactly six years ago.

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Ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League Group G game against Dynamo Kiev at Stamford Bridge tonight (19:45 GMT KO), we take a look at the odds on offer.

All odds provided by SkyBET (SB), Ladbrokes (L) and Coral (C), correct as of 3rd November. 

 

Full-time score:

Chelsea win: SB – 7/10, L – 18/11, C – 3/4

Draw: SB – 13/5, L – 13/5, C – 13/5

Kiev win: SB – 4/1, L – 9/2,  C – 17/4

 

First goalscorer:

Eden Hazard: SB – 11/2, L – 6/1, C – 6/1

Pedro: SB – 11/2, L – 6/1, C – 11/2

Loic Remy: SB – 5/1, L – 9/2, C – 4/1

Diego Costa: SB – 7/2, L – 7/2, C – 10/3

Willian: SB – 7/1, L – 7/1, C – 7/1

No goalscorer: SB – 9/1, L – 8/1, C – 9/1

Andriy Yarmolenko: SB  17/2, L – 9/1, C – 9/1

Junior Moraes: SB – 17/2, L – 9/1, C – 8/1

Miguel Veloso: SB – 9/1, L – 10/1, C – 19/1

Artem Kravets: SB – 9/1, L – 9/1, C -9/1

Sergiy Rybalka: SB – 16/1, L – 18/1, C – 33/1

 

Final Score:

Chelsea win:

1-0: SB – 11/2, L – 11/2,  C – 11/2

2-0: SB – 13/2, L – 13/2, C – 13/2

2-1: SB – 15/2, L – 7/1, C – 7/1

3-0: SB – 12/1, L – 12/1, C – 12/1

3-1: SB – 12/1, L – 12/1, C– 14/1

 

Draw:

0-0: SB – 9/1, L – 9/1, C – 9/1

1-1: SB – 11/2, L – 11/2, C – 6/1

2-2: SB – 16/1, L – 14/1, C – 16/1

3-3: SB – 66/1, L – 50/1, C – 66/1

4-4: SB – 250/1, L – 275/1, C – 150/1

 

Kiev win:

1-0: SB – 11/1, L – 11/1, C – 12/1

2-0: SB – 25/1, L – 25/1, C – 28/1

2-1: SB – 14/1, L – 14/1, C – 14/1

3-0: SB – 66/1, L – 75/1, C – 70/1

3-1: SB – 50/1, L – 40/1, C – 45/1

 

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Chelsea will look to get back to winning ways in the Champions League as they face Dynamo Kiev tomorrow (19:45 GMT KO).

The Blues have sufferer their worst league start in over 30 years, are out of the League Cup and are currently third in Group G with just one win out of three.

Kiev on the other hand are unbeaten thus far in Group G, drawing two and winning one.

Jose Mourinho’s side drew 0-0 with the Ukrainians last month, Eden Hazard striking the post as Chelsea dominated but failed to find a winner.

Last six games:

Chelsea: LWDLDL (includes one Champions League games and one League Cup game).

Dynamo Kiev: WWLDWW  (includes one Champions League game).

 

Team News:

– Chelsea will be without striker Radamel Falcao, who picked up a “muscular injury” in training on Tuesday.

– Pedro may return after resuming training last week.

– Branislav Ivanovic may also return after recovering from a hamstring injury.

– The Blues continue to be without injured Thibaut Courtois.

– Kiev boss Sergei Rebrov has no injury concerns.

 

Statistics:

– Chelsea have won their Champions League group in nine of their past 12 campaigns.

– However, they have won just one of their last five Champions League games (D3, L1).

– In 12 years, Mourinho’s side have lost just two Champions League group stage games.

– Dynamo Kiev have kept clean sheets in 14 of their 19 games in all competitions this season.

– The Ukrainian club have never won a match in England, drawing two and losing 10.

 

Starting XI last time out in the Champions League:

Chelsea (away vs. Dynamo Kiev, drew 0-0): Begovic, Zouma, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Matic, Willian, Hazard, Fabregas, Costa.

Dynamo Kiev (home vs. Chelsea, drew 0-0): Shovkovskiy, da Silva, Khacheridi, Dragovic, Vida, Rybalka, Yarmolenko, Sydorchuk, Buyalsky, Gonzalez, Kravets.

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