Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
 | 
Last updated 0 minute ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
HOME LOCAL MIDEAST ASIA WORLD BUSINESS SPORT OPINION WRITERS
Chelsea need win and favour from Shakhtar
December 05, 2012
 Print    Send to Friend

PARIS: Defending champions Chelsea face the ignominy of becoming the first title-holders to fail to advance to the Champions League knockout stage as the final round of group fixtures takes place on Wednesday.

A comprehensive 3-0 defeat at Juventus a fortnight ago left Chelsea’s title defence hanging by a thread and the Blues’ destiny out of their hands, as a draw between Group E frontrunners Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus in Ukraine would consign Rafa Benitez’s side to the Europa League.

The pressure is already mounting on Benitez after an inauspicious start as Chelsea manager following his appointment in the wake of Roberto di Matteo’s dismissal, with the team yet to record a victory under the Spaniard’s tutelage and the fans quickly losing patience.

“We have to improve on the pitch and the fans will be happy,” said Benitez following Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat at West Ham on Saturday, with the match against Denmark’s FC Nordsjaelland looming.

After starting the campaign in impressive fashion, Chelsea’s form has plummeted drastically as the west Londoners are without a win in seven Premier League outings, their worst stretch in the top-flight in 17 years.

“The positive thing is that Shakhtar has a lot of good players and everybody is talking about them, so they have to show the rest of the world that they are really good players,” said Benitez, who guided Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2005.

“They might finish second and have to play against one of the top sides in Europe and it will be more difficult, so I think they will try to win,” he added, hopeful of a favour from Mircea Lucescu’s side who boast an unblemished home record in all competitions this campaign.

Meanwhile Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio, who is suspended for the trip to eastern Europe, insisted the Italians had no intentions of just playing to secure the point they need to progress.

Agence France-Presse

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments
 
Post a comment
 
Name:
Country:
City:
Email:
Comment:
 
    
    
Related Stories
Holders Real face Liverpool as Barcelona draw against PSG in Champions League
Monte Carlo: Champions Real Madrid will play five-time former winners Liverpool while fellow Spanish giants Barcelona plucked big-spending Paris Saint-Germain as the Cham..
Rooney named new skipper of England football team, says it’s a dream come true
LONDON: Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will take over from Steven Gerrard as England captain, manager Roy Hodgson announced during a press conference at Wembley S..
Platini rules out contesting elections against Blatter
PARIS: UEFA president Michel Platini announced on Thursday that he will not challenge Sepp Blatter for the leadership of football’s world body but made a new call for Bla..
Tendulkar bats for new India football league, World Cup winner Del Piero latest to get onboard
MUMBAI: Batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday threw his weight behind the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL), saying it was the way forward to unearth football t..
Real Madrid’s Ronaldo named European Player of the Year
LONDON: Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo was on Thursday named European Footballer of the Year, the Portuguese striker topping the journalists’ poll ahead of Germany’s Wor..
 
FRONTPAGE
 
GALLERY
 
PANORAMA
 
TIME OUT
 
SPORT
 
 
Advertise | Copyright