Chelsea squad just took off toward Portugal to reach Porto, where the Blues will play tomorrow night for the second clash of Champions League GROUP G.
Here a picture of Willian boarding the coach that took the team to the airport:
Speaking to Chelsea website Branislav Ivanovic analysed the moment of the team after the draw at Newcastle:
“I think the second half is the way we have to play all our games,” the Serbian said.
“It was a very difficult game for us especially in the first half when we did not play aggressively enough. We reacted well in the second half. We showed character. We played very hard and very strong with a lot of aggression.
“We wanted to win the game and we felt we could turn it around. We had a couple of chances to score and even score a winning goal which would have been massive for us. At the end of the day we didn’t score a third one but I thought we deserved to come back.
“It’s impossible to compare even one game from last season with a game from this one. This is a completely different season and in our head we know that. We cannot go back to last season.
“For us now it’s important to keep winning games and to go back to the good level we were at in the last couple of games. That is what we need. The first half against Newcastle was not good enough but the second half was very good and we have to keep going like that.”
Andre Schürrle was sold last January to Wolfsburg for £22m after 18 positive months at Chelsea.
The German winger still doesn’t why the Blues decided to let him go:
“I had a good time at Chelsea and was accepted in the team, so it’s difficult to explain why I left,” he told the Times.
“I don’t know why Mourinho didn’t trust me. It all felt a bit weird to me. I started a few games, was on the bench for a few, then started some more.
“It was up and down the whole time. I didn’t get any consistency from the manager so found it hard to produce my best.”
Before the clash in Porto, where José Mourinho will go back to the stadium that he left eleven years ago to join Chelsea in his first spell, the Portuguese manager analysed the moment of the team and the draw in Newcastle:
“If we play like we did in the second half [at Newcastle] we can win every match. But if we play like we did in the first half we can lose every match.
“I don’t believe in both extremes. I don’t believe we are always going to play like we did in the first half or like we did in the second half.
About the individual performances, he said:
“I’m concerned – I don’t understand and I don’t accept. I’d like to make more changes than I did, but the ones I did were enough to improve the team and get us a point.
“I didn’t make changes at half-time because I didn’t know which substitutions to make – I wanted to make six. I was trying to understand what was best for the team so I decided to wait.’
‘We started the fixture with an eight points difference to the top of the league and we finished it with an eight points difference and one match less away from home, in a stadium where it’s always difficult for us.”
Ramires spoke to Chelsea TV after his good performance with Newcastle: he entered in the second half when Chelsea were losing and helped the team with the goal that set the score on the 2-1 with eleven minutes to go, then Willian scored for the 2-2 at 87′:
“We started losing 2-0 and we reacted in the second half, I had to enter the pitch and help the team”
“Before entering the boss told me he had to try to tie and to try my best and I tried my best to help the team because the team was losing, and I helped the team with one goal, I wanted to do more to help the team”
“Yes, I scored two goals in two games…I came back to my form and scored two goals and I keep it up to help more the team”
“My new-born baby? Yes, it was a nice week…I scored one goal the other day, then yesterday he was born and today I scored another game for him and my wife and I am very happy”
“We need to prepare ourselves for the game with Porto: they are a very good team, they are difficult [to face] I played there a lot when I was playing for Benfica and to win there is really really hard”.
Chelsea striker Loic Remy had words of real appreciation for his team-mate Diego Costa, who’s currently suspended for another match in the Premier League but that probably will be back in the Champions League clash against Porto:
“Diego is the kind of player who can switch on during the game and that’s a good thing because outside the pitch, he is such a funny guy and joking all the time. He is a different person on the pitch, but I think he is really passionate and that’s why he is like this. He never gives up and I think he is a very talented player.”
“You maybe need to ask John Terry or Kurt Zouma [what he is like to mark] and they will tell you better than me, but even at training he can show some good skills and score some good goals. He is a good player.”
“Off the pitch and in the dressing room, he is always doing cheeky things everywhere. For me, I am really happy and pleased to play with this kind of player. You learn a lot next to him. He is a striker, as I am, so I try to take an example from him and from Falcao as well.”
After the incident between Diego Costa and Gabriel in the derby with Arsenal that led to the defender’s red card Chelsea player Kurt Zouma was interviewed by BeIN sport and added fuel to the fire, claiming: “the French centre-back added fuel to the controversy by saying: “We’re not surprised because we know Diego. Everyone knows Diego and this guy likes to cheat a lot and put the opponent out of his game. That happened in the game but he’s a really nice guy. We’re proud to have him, like the other players, and we’re happy to win this game today.”
This other incident, this time verbal, caused some more embarrassment to Chelsea and Costa, but the French defender explained that it was just language mistake and that Diego didn’t take it personally.
Speaking to Standard Sport Zouma also explained how he apologised to his team-mate and his reaction:
“I spoke to him and said, ‘Sorry, mate’ because I didn’t want to say that. English is not my first language, so I did not mean it. He told me: ‘It’s OK, no problem. I know what you wanted to say.
“Diego is a really nice guy. People just don’t see it. He is clever because he likes to put a guy off his game, so he loses control. Diego knows what he has to do,” the centre-back added. “In training he jokes a lot. He is so friendly. Diego is the craziest guy in the club. He is too funny. Everybody is very happy to have Diego in the team”
“I did a mistake because I just wanted to say that Diego likes to put pressure on his opponent. After the game, I was tired and was chosen for doping control [a random post-match test for all clubs] so I wanted to go quickly back to my house”
“I didn’t remember what I said and I didn’t expect it to come out like it did. It was a mistake and I am really sorry for it. It is my second year in England and my English is not perfect. Everybody can make mistakes. That day, I did. I never thought Diego was a cheat. He is a friend. I like this guy. On the pitch he gives everything for the club and the team. I hope he will continue like this. He should not change.”
Speaking to Coral Newcastle legend Alan Shearer previewed tomorrow’s clash between Chelsea and the Magpies:
“If there is any positive, and I am struggling to find one… it is that Newcastle got a great result against Chelsea last year at St James Park – so I hope that somehow they will take heart from that.
“They will have to come out against Chelsea and give it everything, because if they don’t, the fans will go mad – they just won’t accept the lack of fight. I hope for that reason it is a tough game for Chelsea.”
“Newcastle have been hammered by everyone in the last two weeks, whether it’s the media, the pundits or the fans.
“So if they are going to get beaten by Chelsea on Saturday, then they have got to go down fighting.”
Chelsea midfielder Ramires became a daddy for the second time today, as his son Bruno was born.
Ramires and his wife Islana already have another son, Davi, who is 5.
The excited new father posted a picture of the new-born baby with this message:
My son Bruno was born today!!!! Love him so much already!!
Congrats to Ramires and his family from ChelseaNews24 staff.
José Mourinho stated that he already knows who will replace the suspended Diego Costa tomorrow as a number 9 in the Chelsea attack against Newcastle, but he doesn’t want to reveal if it will be Loic Remy or Radamel Falcao because he can change his mind at last minute, after studying better McLaren’s side:
The Portuguese manager, in fact, claimed: “I know who will play as a striker but I don’t tell you, I have to know more about Newcastle, who’s playing, who’s not playing to study them better to take a better decision”
Asked if players like Remy, who scored on Wednesday against Walsall, could get more motivation facing bigger teams like Newcastle, Mourinho answered: “I don’t think the motivation for the players change based on the rival”.