Chelsea leaves it late while other European superpowers stumble in the Champions League
Chelsea will qualify from the knockout stage of the Champions League, but the defending Champions can expect an uphill battle from there onwards. Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo admits the real test will begin once Chelsea is out of the group stages.
Roberto Di Matteo and Co. left it late to win their match against Nordsjaelland last night. Chelsea drew first blood in the 33rd minute of the game with a strike from Juan Mata, but the Blues weren’t able seal their victory till the final moments of the game.
David Luiz scored in the 79th minute which was followed by Juan Mata’s second goal in the 82nd minute. Ramires sealed with Chelsea’s victory with another goal in the 89th minute.
Group E of the Champions League is starting to resemble a three way battle between Chelsea, Juventus and Shakhtar Donetsk. Chelsea and Shakhtar Donetsk are tied at four points, but the London outfit leads the pack on better goal difference. Juventus could see elimination as they have drawn both of their games.
Chelsea’s encounter with Shakhtar Donetsk will decide the fate of the second team to qualify from Group E. Roberto Di Matteo admits his men will have to leave behind their complacent form if they hope to run deep in the tournament.
“The Ukrainian champions are a very good team, and it's going to be hard for us to qualify,” Roberto Di Matteo said. “For us, it was important to win. The scoreline shows four goals scored and none conceded, so that's pleasing.
“Away from home, it's not easy in this competition.”
Last night a number of other European football giants felt power of the underdogs as well. Manchester United had come from behind to defeat Cluj 2-1. Meanwhile, last year’s runners-up Bayern Munich weren’t so lucky. The German superpower had to face a shocking 3-1 defeat to BATE Borisov. This might be one of the biggest upsets of the year.
“There are no pushovers in the Champions League - look at Bayern losing, and United having to come back,” Roberto Di Matteo added.
“We got a clean sheet, another one, and scored four goals. Who knows? Hopefully some more will come away from home.”