Jose Mourinho claims that Chelsea can utilise their underdog status and potentially aim to win the Champions League this season.
The blues are not even listed as amongst the favourites to win this season’s title after having been very poor so far. Surprisingly, the Premier League champions are involved in a relegation fight with the season almost about to approach Christmas. Mourinho has still been kept in the job and it has been unlike Roman Abramovich, who has resorted to sacking managers even at the slightest hint of poor results. It seems that Mourinho will stay at the club irrespective of the results – at least until the end of the campaign.
For the time being, the manager can hope to impress the owner with some good performances in the Champions League. It has certainly been arriving for the club and the latest was in the 2-0 win over FC Porto at Stamford Bridge. Abramovich was in the stands to witness this victory and he applauded the team following a good performance. Mourinho says that this victory has done little to change Chelsea’s status as one of the underdogs especially in the competition that has the likes of Bayern Munich and Barcelona. However, the club’s previous success in the competition came under similar circumstances and Mourinho has targeted a repeat of the same. Continue reading
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is delighted that the club are back in the title race this season, and is relishing the end of season run-in, according to Sky Sports.
The club were fourteen points adrift of champions Manchester United last season, while they were twenty-five short of Manchester City’s winning tally of eighty-nine points in the 2011-12 campaign.
However, with eight games left to play, they are in pole position, four points ahead of both Arsenal and Liverpool and six in front of Manchester City, and despite those sides having games in hand over the Blues, Lampard is up for the fight.
Meanwhile, Didier Drogba believes that his former club are on course for success, and that Jose Mourinho can build “another great team” at Stamford Bridge, the Daily Star understands.
The Ivory Coast international, who returned to his former stomping ground on Tuesday evening as his Galatasaray side crashed out of the Champions League, has been strongly linked with a return to Chelsea in some capacity in the future.
Elsewhere, the club have been linked with a move for Southampton striker Sam Gallagher, according to the Metro.
The teenage, who is the latest in a long line of young talents to break into the Saints’ first team, scored his first Premier League goal in a 4-2 win over Norwich City last weekend.
Chelsea eased into the Champions League quarter finals after beating Galatasaray 2-0 in the second leg of their last sixteen tie at Stamford Bridge yesterday evening.
With the sides having drawn 1-1 in Istanbul three weeks ago, it was the Premier League leaders who made the breakthrough through Samuel Eto’o after just four minutes.
Gary Cahill doubled the hosts’ advantage three minutes before the break, thumping in after John Terry’s initial effort was saved by Fernando Musilera.
Didier Drogba, who was given a rousing reception by the home supporters on his first return to Stamford Bridge since leaving the club at the end of the 2011/12 campaign, had a chance to pull one back for Roberto Mancini’s side late on which he failed to convert.
The Blues will discover who they will face in the last eight of the competition on Friday, twenty-four hours before they return to domestic action with their top of the table clash with Arsenal.
Manager Jose Mourinho has told Sky Sports that “it doesn’t matter who” the club are drawn against in the quarter finals.
Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint Germain and holders Bayern Munich are already in the hat for the draw along with the Blues, and they will be joined by either Manchester United or Olympiakos and Zenit St Petersburg or Borussia Dortmund, with the final round of last sixteen ties taking place this evening.
Tags: Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Didier Drogba, Galatasaray, Gary Cahill, Manchester City, Manchester United, Olympiakos, Paris Saint Germain, Real Madrid, Samuel Eto'o, Zenit St Petersburg
Chelsea are expected to include both Ramires and Willian in their starting line-up for this evening’s Champions League last sixteen second leg against Galatasaray, with both midfielder suspended for Saturday’s clash with Arsenal.
Ashley Cole is doubtful having been absent from training on Monday, though David Luiz is fit and could replace the cup-tied Nemanja Matic, while Mohammed Salah is also ineligible having represented Basel earlier in the competition.
Former Blues forward Didier Drogba is expected to start for the visitors, with the tie finely poised following the 1-1 draw in the first leg in Istanbul three weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho is confident that the Ivory Coast international will return to the club in some capacity in the future, according to the Metro.
This evening will see Drogba return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since leaving the club following their triumph in the final of this competition in May 2012.
The forward, who was taken to London from Marseille by Mourinho in 2004, scored 157 goals in 341 appearances, plus the winning penalty in the shoot-out victory against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
The Blues boss believes that the 36 year old will return at some point as either ‘a player, coach or ambassador’.
Roma are considering moving for former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba when his contract expires at the end of the season, the Mirror understands.
The Ivory Coast international has been with Galatasaray since last January, scoring twenty goals in fifty appearances in all competitions, but is set to move on in the summer.
Drogba has previously spoke of his desire to one day return to Stamford Bridge, though the Serie A side, who are set to return to the Champions League after a three year absence next season, are reportedly set to offer the 36 year old a lucrative one-year deal.
Meanwhile, Zenit St Petersburg have given Brazilian striker Hulk the green light to move to the Premier League next season, according to the Express.
Jose Mourinho, who is almost certain to be in the market for a new striker in the summer, is a long-time admirer of the 27 year old, who has scored nine goals in fifteen league outings for the Russian champions so far this season.
Tottenham Hotspur have also been lined with a move for the former Porto man, with a price of £40m set to be enough to secure his services in the summer.
Chelsea will have David Luiz and Jon Obi Mikel available for this evenings Champions League last 16 first leg tie against Galatasaray.
Both players missed Saturday afternoon’s 1-0 win over Everton, but have made the trip to the Turkish capital ahead of the game.
Oscar has also made the squad despite being substituted at the weekend with an ankle injury, while Mohammed Salah and Nemanja Matic are both cup-tied having already featured in the competition with Basel and Benfica respectively.
Didier Drogba is expected to lead the line for Roberto Mancini’s men, giving him the chance to come up against the Blues for the first time since leaving Stamford Bridge at the end of the 2011/12 campaign.
He did score in a 3-2 win against Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid in the second leg of last season’s quarter finals, though Galatasaray lost the tie 5-3 on aggregate.
With the Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal all having lost the first leg of their last sixteen ties against Barcelona, Olympiakos and Barcelona respectively, the Blues are in the best position to guarantee English representation in this season’s last eight for the first time since two years ago, when they went on to lift the trophy in Munich.
Tags: Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, David Luiz, Didier Drogba, Galatasaray, Jon Obi Mikel, Manchester City, Manchester United, Mohammed Salah, Nemanja Matic, Olympiakos, Oscar
Didier Drogba is relishing having the opportunity to face his former club tomorrow evening, as his Galatasaray side host Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League last sixteen clash, Sky Sports understands.
The Ivory Coast international enjoyed eight successful years with the Blues, which culminated in him scoring the winning penalty against Bayern Munich in the 2012 final of Europe’s top competition, while he also won three Premier League titles, three League Cups and four FA Cups.
However, whilst admitting the club will always have a special place in his heart, he has fired a warning to his old teammates saying that he will happy to get on the score-sheet.
Drogba also revealed that, following the draw he received a text from Jose Mourinho, the man who brought him to Stamford Bridge in 2004 saying, ‘it’s your moment, enjoy it’.
Elsewhere, AC Milan strker Mario Balotelli has refused to rule out one day returning to England amid links with a move to Stamford Bridge, according to ESPN.
The 23 year had previously stated that he would not play for another Premier League club having won the Premier League and FA Cup with Manchester City, but has now fuelled speculation that he could be set to reunite with Jose Mourinho, who he worked with in Italy with Inter Milan.
Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has been praising Jose Murinho for helping develop his career, ESPN understands.
The Blues boss made the Ivory Coast international one of his first signings during his first stint at Stamford Bridge, and together they won two League Cup, and FA Cup and two Premier League titles.
The 35 year old has said that even after Mourinho left the club in 2007, the winning mentality which he created remained – something that was reflected by the clubs ability to continue clinching major titles, not least the Champions League, in which Drogba netted the decisive penalty in the shoot-out victory over Bayern Munich in May 2012.
Drogba will face Chelsea for the first time since leaving the club eighteen months ago as his current side Galatasaray were drawn against his former employers in the last sixteen of Europe’s top club competition.
Meanwhile, the club’s chances of signing Sami Khedira appear to have ended after the Germany international signed a new deal with Real Madrid, according to the Daily Star.
The 26 year old, who is likely to be out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury, has extended his contract at the Bernabeu by a further three years.
Chelsea moved to within two points of Premier League leaders Arsenal by edging past Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
Fernando Torres gave the Blues the lead with his first goal in five league games on sixteen minutes before Marouane Chamakh drew the Eagles level thirteen minutes later.
Ramires then fired in a second for the hosts ten minutes before the break which was enough to secure victory for Jose Mourinho’s men, who will now turn their attention to what will be there second trip to the Stadium of Light in the space of two weeks, as they take on Sunderland in the quarter finals of the League Cup tomorrow evening.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have been drawn against Galatasaray in the last sixteen of the Champions League.
The first leg takes place in Istanbul on February 26th, with the return leg at Stamford Bridge three weeks later.
The tie will see striker Didier Drogba face the club for the first time since he bowed out with the winning penalty in the shoot-out victory over Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final.
The Ivory Coast international, who joined the Turkish club in January, has scored twice in the competition so far this season.
2012 winners Chelsea secured their place in the knockout stages of this seasons Champions League with a narrow victory over Steaua Bucharest at Stamford Bridge yesterday evening.
Demba Ba’s goal on ten minutes was enough to secure victory for Jose Mourinho’s men, who will find out their opponents in the last sixteen – one from Bayer Leverkusen, Galatasaray, Olympiakos, Zenit St Petersburg and AC Milan – when the draw is made in Nyon on Monday.
Of the available options, the Blues’ boss has expressed his desire to be paired with the Turkish champions, in order to set up a reunion with Didier Drogba.
However, the club will first turn their attention to Saturday’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace where they will hope to keep the pressure on league leaders Arsenal, who face a tough trip to Manchester City earlier in the day.
Chelsea then face Arsenal in a mouth-watering clash at the Emirates Stadium a week on Monday.
Elsewhere, Everton are set to offer a new contract to England international Ross Barkley, according to the Express.
The 20 year old, who has established himself as a first team regular under Roberto Martinez this season, has been linked with moves to both Chelsea and Manchester United.
Tags: AC Milan, Arsenal, Bayer Leverkusen, Demba Ba, Didier Drogba, Everton, Galatasaray, Manchester United, Olympiakos, Ross Barkley, Steaua Bucharest, Zenit St Petersburg