Mar 18, 2011

Chelsea drawn with United in last eight

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There will definitely be a Premier League team in the Champions League semi-finals after Chelsea were drawn to play Manchester United in the quarter-finals of this season's competition.

Surprise package Tottenham Hotspur's run of glamour ties continues with a last-eight clash against nine-times European champions Real Madrid.

Tournament favourites Barcelona have been pitted against Shakhtar Donetsk while defending champions Internazionale will face German club Schalke 04.

The semi-final draw was also made, with the winner of Chelsea v United scheduled to play the winner of the Inter-Schalke tie.

That raises the prospect of a semi-final between bitter Spanish rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid, the favourites for the trophy, should they win their last-eight ties.

Chelsea, yet to win the competition despite the playing riches bestowed upon them by billionaire owner Roman Abramovich over the last eight years, will have the chance to avenge their shattering penalty shootout defeat to Manchester United in the 2008 final.

Club captain John Terry slipped while taking the potentially winning penalty in Moscow.

Spurs' clash with nine-times winners Real Madrid will see a return to London for former Chelsea manager and current Madrid coach Jose Mourinho.

Should Spurs, playing in the modern Champions League for the first time, upset the odds and reach this season's final, they would have to beat both Spanish giants if Barca overcame Shakhtar.

Favourites Barca lost 3-2 to the Ukrainian outfit in the Camp Nou in a group stage match two years ago.

As Schalke were drawn against holders Inter then United or Chelsea in the semis, Real Madrid legend Raul will definitely not have to return to the Bernabeu in another club's colours this season.

If he were to feature against Los Merengues, it would be in the Wembley final on May 28.


April 5/13:

Real Madrid v Tottenham Hotspur

Inter Milan v Schalke 04

April 6/12:

Chelsea v Manchester United

Barcelona v Shakhtar Donetsk


April 26/27 and May 3/4

Inter Milan/Schalke 04 v Chelsea/Manchester United

Real Madrid/Tottenham Hotspur v Barcelona/Shakhtar Donetsk

source: yahoo sports

Mar 17, 2011

Chelsea's Petr Cech: I Don't Care Who We Get In Champions League Draw

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Chelsea keeper, Petr Cech has said that he is comfortable with whoever his side get drawn against in the quarter-finals of the Champions League after the Blues’ secured their passage with a 0-0 at Stamford Bridge against Copenhagen.

The Czech stopper was rarely tested in a poor game in which both sides lacked any true attacking menace and speaking to ITV Sport, Cech said his side fear no one:

“If you want to win the Champions League you have to beat any team in any stage, so I don’t mind who we get.”

Chelsea’s easily dealt with the threats of the Danish side and Cech was not concerned that the Blues failed to find the net.

“We are happy that we are through to the next round, but what we were missing in our performance was goals," he continued.

"We created enough chances but we didn’t take them, but the job is done and we kept a clean sheet, and all we were missing were the goals.”

The draw sees the Blues’ into Friday’s draw in which they could be drawn against current holders Inter or former boss Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid.


[EPL] Ferdinand could miss season, Rafael and O'Shea blows

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Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has said that Rio Ferdinand could be out for the rest of the season.

The central defender has been struggling with a calf injury and the news is made worse by confirmation that John O'Shea has been ruled out for five weeks while Rafael faces three weeks out. Both players have hamstring injuries.

"We're having a bad spell," said Ferguson. "Only a few weeks ago we had every defender fit. We've got the bonus of Wes Brown being able to play centre-back and right-back, and Chris Smalling has been brilliant.

"Rio has been out for a few weeks now. We are not looking at this as a short-term situation. He has not started training yet. We will be lucky to get him back for some part of the season."

Ferguson also said he is yet to decide whether to appeal against his five-match touchline ban, but is clearly not happy about it.

A disciplinary hearing on Wednesday saw him punished heavily for comments made about referee Martin Atkinson following United's 2-1 defeat at Chelsea earlier this month.

He has vowed to defend himself strongly.

"It is disappointing," he said. "It is the only industry where you can't tell the truth. But it is in the past now."

source: yahoo uk sports