Champions League - Di Matteo: Chelsea can conquer Europe

Tue, 24 Apr 15:28:00 2012

Roberto Di Matteo declared Chelsea were good enough to win the Champions League as he stood on the brink of leading them to arguably the greatest victory in their history.

Roberto Di Matteo - 0

Barely seven weeks since taking charge and less than seven days after masterminding an astonishing semi-final first-leg win over Barcelona, caretaker Blues boss Di Matteo arrived at Camp Nou determined to complete the job.

Chelsea have been written off this season but Di Matteo was adamant they have what it takes to end their agonising nine-year wait for Champions League glory since Roman Abramovich bought the club. "We do have the qualities within this team," he said.

"I think we need away from home, as we've seen in the past, a bit of luck to be able to do well in a competition like this.

"But, certainly, the quality and the squad we have at Chelsea is very good."

Meanwhile, Chelsea will ignore the prospect of their players missing the Champions League final through suspension when they seek to protect a 1-0 lead in Tuesday's semi-final second leg at holders Barcelona, according to manager Roberto Di Matteo.

Defenders Branislav Ivanovic, Ashley Cole and David Luiz and midfielders Ramires and Raul Meireles are all one booking away from an automatic one-game ban ahead of the London club's bid to avenge their defeat at the same stage three years ago.

Only four of those are likely to play as Luiz is out injured but Di Matteo said all the players would be concentrating on executing a game plan that will see them through to next month's final in Munich.

"I don't think we can be thinking about that in the game tomorrow," he said

"The players are going to be fully focused on their tasks and whatever happens, happens," he added. "We can't be distracted by the bookings."

Di Matteo declined to reveal whether Didier Drogba, who scored Chelsea's goal in the first leg at Stamford Bridge, was likely to have shaken off a knee injury in time to feature.

"We have the final training session after the press conference where I will assess the physical and mental state of all my players," he said.

"Then I will make the team selection tomorrow morning so I can't tell you exactly what it is. Tomorrow night."

preview Barcelona vs

Both Di Matteo and goalkeeper Petr Cech were asked the inevitable questions about former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, whose Real Madrid side beat Barca 2-1 at Camp Nou on Saturday to close in on a first La Liga title in four years.

Cech sought to lighten the mood with an ironic answer to a query about whether they had sought the Portuguese's advice.

"Yeah we had a tactical meeting a few hours ago," Cech said with a straight face, prompting laughter around the media room. "He sent over the whole file and we tried to get it all down."

Cech said he did not think Barca's defeat by Real, which left them seven points behind their arch-rivals with four games left, would have a big impact on their performance on Tuesday.

Barca are making a fifth consecutive appearance in the last four as they bid to become the first team since AC Milan in 1990 to win consecutive European Cups.

Chelsea are chasing their first continental title and are through to the semi-finals for the sixth time in nine years.

"They are an experienced team and they know how to handle defeats," Cech said.

"I think the game tomorrow will be similar to the first leg," he added. "We hope to score a goal and that will have a big impact on the match."

Reuters / PA Sport

Comment 64 - 84 of 84

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  1. Well it's over. First half Barcelona playing­ freely and creating chances. Chelsea lose a key­ player, go a goal behind, get the captain sent off, go­ 2 behind. Ramirez goal was not luck and put Chelsea­ back in it. Messi misses a penalty, whose fault is­ that, he hits the post so the shot was off target,­ offside decision was right. At this point you could say­ Chelsea rode their luck, but surely with impetus and­ the high level of their team it's up to Barcelona­ to turn luck their way: they didn't. what­ surprised me later in the game when it became vital to­ create something was how increasingly inept and unable­ to do it the greatest team on the planet became. They­ continued to ticki tacki across the front of the box­ like some programmed robot that didn't know how to­ behave otherwise. From looking desperate Chelsea began­ to look composed and deserving. Not pretty, but­ Chelsea can hardly be called lucky because the best­ team on the planet failed to prove it with all­ conditions in their favour. Can't really say­ I'm glad except to point out to the dreamers that­ no football game is won on paper or in the hearts of­ fans.

    From , on Tue 24 Apr 22:12
  2. Abramovic looks like Rodders from Only Fools n­ Horses...

    From PRunguru, on Tue 24 Apr 21:07
  3. Bring back

    From PRunguru, on Tue 24 Apr 21:06
  4. Chelsea still squatting in

    From PRunguru, on Tue 24 Apr 21:04
  5. Cesc yellow ref...hahahahahahah

    From PRunguru, on Tue 24 Apr 21:03
  6. hahahahahahah...what di matter???... Gettin­ Messy!!!.... Terry Drogba concedes­ penalty....Barca's night to win...

    From PRunguru, on Tue 24 Apr 21:02
  7. Chelsea will fall apart after the half hour­ mark.Someone will be sent off,probably Drogba.

    From RICHARD, on Tue 24 Apr 20:30
  8. hope chelsea do it tonight, i think they will need to­ score at least once.

    From q, on Tue 24 Apr 18:36
  9. Remember the day that baldy, lardy Swiss ref killed­ Chelsea so unfairly in the eyes of the world. Well­ tonight, God will see justice done. Chelsea the blessed­ one.

    From Gurkha Rai, on Tue 24 Apr 18:28
  10. RIP Barca!!!!!!

    From Gurkha Rai, on Tue 24 Apr 18:18
  11. God Bless Chelsea. 3-1 overall in favour of Chelsea and­ march into the final against Bayern Munich not Real­ Madrid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    From Gurkha Rai, on Tue 24 Apr 18:16
  12. the twelveth man is what am praying for today which is­ luck for chelsea. good luck DMT.

    From Amiemenoghena, on Tue 24 Apr 18:01
  13. I just feel it's Barcelona's night tonight, if­ it's down to poetic justice, Chelsea will be­ knocked out tonight, Drogba's cheating didn't­ do it for me.

    From whocaresanyway, on Tue 24 Apr 17:56
  14. Lauging at all of those saying but Barca play­ act/dive/roll about. For years you were complaining­ about those from other countries doing it, now it's­ you it's ok. Doesn't matter who's doing it,­ it's wrong and you know it. Oh, and please try to­ play proper football!

    From Robert, on Tue 24 Apr 17:24
  15. we gonna park the bus today,who said passing is the way­ to play football,if barca lose u gonna hear em saying­ they were playing car ward football but win is a win­ lol.

    From Terry, on Tue 24 Apr 17:11
  16. come on CHELSEA! you gonna make my day tonight ! 1-3­ for CHEASEA!!! no doubt about that!!!1

    From T D A, on Tue 24 Apr 16:36
  17. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    Come on Barcelona make my day

    From Yvonne, on Tue 24 Apr 16:20
  18. everyone favours Barca but the blues will surely­ suprise people today. we will go all out and prove how­ tough we are. go chelsea, go Drogba, go the BLUES.­ CHELSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEA!!!!!!!!!!

    From joseph, on Tue 24 Apr 16:09
  19. Nice to see barcelona win convincingly tonight against­ a team that rarely entertains despite all the money­ they have used to buy their trophies....messi looking­ tired and too many youngsters being used too­ soon...fabrigas over rated.

    From brett ashcroft, on Tue 24 Apr 16:07
  20. Where is my comment?

    From A-RIS-G-M, on Tue 24 Apr 14:05
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