Tags Posts tagged with "Champions League"

Champions League

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The full line-up for the knockout stages of the Champions League is already known. And between them, the winner of Group G, Chelsea.

The 16 teams who will go into the draw on Monday are:

Group A:

Real Madrid
Paris St Germain

Group B:

PSV Eindhoven

Group C:

Atletico Madrid

Group D:

Manchester City

Group E:


Group F:

Bayern Munich

Group G:

Dynamo Kiev

Group H:

Zenit St Petersburg

The last 16 draw will take place on Monday December 14 at 11am (GMT) at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

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Chelsea captain John Terry does not hide his great joy after today’s 2:0 victory over Porto and the qualification to the next stage of the Champions League. Encouraged by the victory he looks with hope for Monday game against the Premier League leaders, Leicester City.

Terry told reporters:

“With our league form being as it is, the fans needed this performance and the players needed it. We gave a big performance, we’re delighted,”
”In the league I think we have lacked a bit of confidence but not in the Champions League. We have been fluent and dangerous and we saw that again tonight. Now we go to Leicester on Monday, which will be difficult, but we need to try and replicate this performance.”

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Chelsea beat Porto 2-0 at Stamford Bridge and advanced to the next round of the Champions League in the first place in the group G. Dynamo Kiev’s 1-0 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv in the other match knocked Porto out of the tournament.

Today’s game was important for the Blues  for two reasons, not only because of the risk of not being able to qualify to the next phase of the Champions League, but it was no secret that defeat in today’s match against Porto could have decided on the future of Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge.

However, Chelsea players have done their job, and after winning 2: 0 over the Portuguese team they can peacefully await the draw for the next phase of the tournament. And it seems that also Mourinho can sleep peacefully, at least for now.

The Blues needed a draw to secure their progression to the last 16 but good luck smiled on them already after 12 minutes when Ivan Marcano put through his own net. The additional goal-line official awarded the goal despite his desperate dive. The first half was full of many emotions, but the result remained unchanged, and Chelsea players went down to the locker room with a one goal advantage over the Portuguese team. Without any doubt, Diego Costa was one of the best players of the first half and played a key role in the opener goal. However, the Spaniard was booked for petulant trip on Casillas and and had a lot of luck when he escaped punishment for kicking at Bruno Martins Indi.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich could not suppress his joy with a good first half of his team and all the cameras have registered him sharing in high fives with people who sat around him.

Porto quickly started the second half of the fight for promotion to the final 16, but Willian put the result beyond doubt in the 52nd minute when he scored the second and the last goal for the Blues. After the second goal, the Special One turned towards his son seated behind the dugout as his was not able to restrain his joy. Also Eden Hazard was very close to score the third goal of the evening, however, he lacked a bit of luck.

However Porto had their chances with Brahimi who without a doubt was Porto’s most dangerous player, but great performance of Branislav Ivanović and Thibaut Courtois meant that they had no chance of changing the final result of the game. And honestly said from the very beginning of the game , Porto chances were pretty  questionable, given the fact that they had never won in England in 15 previous matches.

There is no doubt that Chelsea were far the better team today and their victory was the most deserved.


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Here are the official line ups for today’s game at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Porto in the last match of the group stage of the Champions League.

CHELSEA – Courtois; Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Ramires, Matic; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Diego Costa

Substitutes: Begovic, Cahill, Mikel, Kenedy, Fabregas, Pedro,Remy

Manager: José Mourinho


PORTO – Casillas;Maxi, Pereira, Marcano, M.Indi, Danilo, Imbula, Herrera, Layun, Corona,Brahimi

Substitutes: Helton, Neves, Evandro, Varela,Aboubakar,Tello,Bueno Calvo

ManagerJulen Lopetegui


Referee: Cüneyt Çakır

Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Hüseyin Göcek
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Baris Simsek

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, Uk

Kick Off: 7.45 pm GMT



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Chelsea face Porto tonight at Stamford Bridge ( KO 19.45 GMT) in a game they must win if they wish to qualify for the next stage of the Champions League.

Predicted Line-ups:

Chelsea (4-2-3-1):

Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Ramires; Willian, Fabregas, Hazard; Diego Costa.

Porto (4-3-3):

Casillas; Maxi, Maicon, Marcano, Martins Indi; Danilo, Ruben Neves, Imbula; Brahimi, Aboubakar, Andre


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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has stated that, in his opinion, the Blues are above playing in the Europa League because this tournament is a different level of competition for a different level of players and a different level of clubs.

The Portuguese coach has no doubt that the Europa League is very different from the Champions League when it comes to the level of competition and the level of players, which is why Chelsea should not enjoy the fact that if they fall off tonight with the Champions League they still a chance to play in this tournament.

Mourinho said:

“When I returned, I felt the experience of Chelsea playing Europa League was not good.”

“The Europa League is a different competition (to the Champions League), the Europa League is a different level of competition for a different level of player and a different level of club. It is not good for a big club to go there and win it.”

“I know that, in this moment, it looks to win the Europa League might be an easier way to be in the Champions League next season, than to finish in the top four. But there is another possibility, which is to win the Champions League.”

“It’s harder than winning the Europa League, yes, but this is the competition we’re in. I was always against the teams being knocked out of the Champions League going into the Europa League because there’s such a big difference in the level of competition between the teams in both. It’s not fair on those who have been in the Europa League.”

“If you are knocked out of the Champions League, you should go home and focus on domestic competitions. But, because the rules say the third has the chance to go to the Europa League, it’s a good way for those who are knocked out of the Champions League to win the competition and get back into the Champions League next season.”

“But we don’t want that. We want to play Champions League, play the best teams – Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern, all the big teams. And, for that, we need to win.”

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Kurt Zouma © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea centre back Kurt Zouma has urged his team to think only about a victory and qualification for the next stage of the Champions League from the first place ahead of tonight’s decisive match against Porto.

Zouma told Chelsea’s official website:

”It’s the best competition in the world and playing in the Champions League gives you the chance to play against the very best teams,”

”Because you are playing against teams from other countries there are differences to playing in the Premier League, which I think is the best championship in the world. In European fixtures there are not the same kind of systems on the pitch, and not the same type of games. You have to think differently, you have to adapt and you have to travel much further, too.”

”I’m at a big club and I’m here to learn so I am very happy to have played some Champions League games and to have been given the chance to see how different teams in other countries play football.”

”We have a big game today and we have to win because we want to qualify in first place,”

”We are very determined. We are at home. We lost our last game there on Saturday so it’s a good thing that we play today because we can forget the other game and move forward. We have to be very concentrated in our game and play like we were a couple of weeks ago.”

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Former Chelsea left-back Wayne Bridge has warned everybody not to underestimate Jose Mourinho because the Portuguese coach is capable to win this season Champions League and shut the mouths of all his critics.

Bridge told the London Evening Standard:

”You wouldn’t say it on current form but it would be a great story for a team that doesn’t do too well in the Premier League.”

”To go and win the Champions League – it’s something he [Mourinho] is capable of – but it’s a very big ask at the moment.”

”But with Mourinho being there you can never underestimate what he can produce,”

“I think they will progress. He [Mourinho] can always produce when he needs to and I keep saying it week in, week out – it’s going to change for them at some point.”

“It’s a big game when they need to produce and he’ll make sure that all the players are ready to go out there and win the game.”

”I think it’s something that will – I wouldn’t say rescue their season – but it will definitely help as they’re struggling so much in the Premier League.”


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Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has stressed that in his opinion it would be a huge embarrassment for Chelsea if they would lost tonight against FC Porto and drop into the Europa League.

Today’s match at Stamford Bridge is really a struggle for survival. The team that wins today, you can be sure of reaching the next round of the Champions League. While the defeated will be playing in the Europa League, and Chelsea’s goalkeeper makes no secret that this is not the pinnacle of his ambition for this season.

Courtois said:

”Yes, of course. We’re a team to go in the Champions League and go as far as we can.”

”But we’re confident we’ll get the win and get through. A team like Chelsea has to have the goal to win the Champions League so, obviously, we don’t want to be in the Europa League.”

“I don’t want to win the Europa League,”

“It would be a big disappointment for me. I don’t want my players to feel the Europa League is our competition.”

“When I returned, I felt the experience of Chelsea playing Europa League was not good.”

“The Europa League is a different level of competition for a different level of player and a different level of club.”

The Belgium international has also ensured that just one goal will be enough for Hazard to unlock himself and found his form:

“This season, a lot of players that last season were top and playing really well, have struggled a bit more to be decisive.”

“Eden is important for us. He makes good actions. He doesn’t score at the moment, but he scored four for Belgium in the last few months.”

“That moment will come. If he scores one, he’ll score a lot more.”


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jose mourinho

Jose Mourinho spoke to Chelsea TV before Porto’s clash.

The Chelsea manager thinks this game will be like a knock-out and doesn’t want his players to relax thinking that a draw can still qualify them:

“Maybe if I say this people don’t believe me but the atmosphere and desire to work together of the players and the staff have been always brilliant in these months, I think in the end is our strength because we got so many bad results and we always found strength to carry on and work, to search for next good result, I think the group is phenomenal.

“No one wants to hide, nobody wants to go, everybody wants to play and try ( to give their contribution).

“It’s a contradiction when you look to the instability of the results and you look to the stability of the group and the work, it’s a huge contradiction.

“Porto have to win, this is like a knock-out and we play to win: I think is dangerous ( to approach the game) with a mentality that one draw is enough for us, so we have to go in that direction, with the responsibility we know that is a knock-out but Porto is a good team and they are playing well and for sure, a big support, traditionally Portuguese teams bring big support with them, so they feel quite comfortable, quite supported so it’s very difficult match, but I want to think that is more difficult for them.

“What do we need from our fans tonight? I cannot say one negative word about Chelsea fans, exactly the opposite, they are giving us a lot considering the bad results we are having. I can’t ask for more, I can’t just ask…I can only say that in case the support is not massive, at least don’t put more pressure on the players because they [already] have enough pressure with the results we’re getting”.


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