After their surprising draw in the Champions League against Schalke, the Blues have made the road to topping their group a little steeper; it however doesn’t mean they can’t pull it off.
The air around the dressing room after Wednesday’s draw at home against the dogged German side was one of disappointment;
“We were pretty comfortable in the first half. The manager stressed at half time that we looked a bit sloppy late on in the first half and not to throw it away. We did exactly what he predicted, so it’s disappointing to drop points in the first game at home”
One good sign to take from the above quote is that Jose Mourinho allegedly saw it coming, which might go a long way to ensure that such complacency happens less often.
Chelsea supporters will be comforted by the thought that last season’s campaign was even worse as the Blues lost their match day one game against Basel.
It also helps to rationalize Wednesday’s draw, when you think of the fact that of all the 3 teams the Blues will encounter home and away, Schalke 04 is probably the strongest of the lot.
Games against Sporting and Maribor should end in wins for the Blues and the return leg against Schalke should see the league table decided.
With both the English and German side likely to overcome their other opponents, all is set for a table topping decider with the draw in their first game, probably ensuring that Chelsea wont rest any players come the second leg, a full strength Chelsea v. a full strength Schalke is still most likely to end in the Blues topping the table.
A make or mar match will be nothing new to the Blues. The 2012 winning side have been through a disappointing first game before;
“We lost our first Champions League game last season and we came back to win the group and go through. We’ve got some tough games coming up, but that’s our aim again”- Captain John Terry
The above quote proves that despite an initial disappointment this early in the campaign, the Blues know their worth as potential winners of this group and are ready to work hard for it.
Helping them was the news that after 90minutes Sporting Lisbon drew with Maribor, and thus ensuring that the London side top the table.
Jose Mourinho side will not have an easy ride of it, but seem determined to win every game they play;
“The result was not what we were expecting because we want to win every game. We could have scored more goals but we were a bit unlucky I think. We had lots of positive things in the match. All the team worked hard to get the result but it wasn’t enough” – Frenchman Loic Remy
Many pundits despite Wednesday’s draw will not change the predictions they gave, on the day the draw was announced. Chelsea got an easy group and they will top it, very easily.