Chelsea, Champions League


By Tom Finn

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said his desire was to avoid the “sharks in the ocean”when the draw is made for the Champions League last 16.

Chelsea eased pass Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon 3-1 Wednesday night to win their group after securing four wins from six games, and know that Mondays draw will either pair them with Shakhtar Donetsk, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Basel or Bayer Leverkusen.

“We don’t fear anybody, but we know there are very good, strong teams in this competition,” Mourinho told the BBC.

“Last year we were close and we didn’t have the team playing at such a high level as we do this season, so we can dream we will do it.

“But let’s see if the sharks let us, because there are a few sharks in the ocean.”

While Chelsea managed to avoid Group winners Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, French champions PSG and last season’s Serie A winners Juventus could prove to be tricky opponents.

Mourinho is of the opinion that the real Champions League starts now and is backing his team to do well after scoring 17 goals during the group stage.

“I don’t think any of the big teams are out of the Champions League now… maybe Liverpool,” he added.

“But all the teams that want to win the competition, they’re all in the competition.
“Season after season you repeat this, normally everyone is in the last 16. The Champions League starts now.”

The Blues boss added that he was happy to see fellow Premiership sides Manchester City and Arsenal reach the knockout stage also saying: “I work in England. I want the prestige of English football and I hope they do well.”

“We have also Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton in the Europa League, so I wish them good too.

“At the same time it’s good for us that our direct opponents in the Premier League are involved in European competitions.

“Manchester United are not. They have the same advantage that Liverpool had last season in terms of the Premier League, a big advantage.”