Chelsea FC registered a 3-1 win over Sporting Lisbon, in the final match of the UEFA Champions League group stages. Chelsea FC came into this match as group victors – already qualifying for the Champions League’s round of 16. Sporting Lisbon meanwhile had a mammoth job at hand, they had to defeat Chelsea FC to guarantee progression into the next round. Sporting Lisbon’s dream of qualifying recieved a major set back minutes into the first half, as Cesc Fabregas scored Chelsea FC’s opening goal of the match, following a penalty kick. Eight minuted later, Andre Schurrle scored a brilliant out-of-the-box stunner, to give Chelsea FC a two goal lead. Although Sporting Lisbon pulled a goal back in the 50th minute through Silva, the Chelsea FC juggernaut was already on its way to three points, and started pulling strings. John Obi Mikel, six minutes after Silva’s goal, scored his first goal in Europe, and maintained Chelsea FC’s two goal lead. With Chelsea FC pulling up a 3-1 victory, Jose Mourinho believes that the Champions League, starts now.
” I used to say that the real Champions League starts now. Barcelona are there, Real Madrid are there, Bayern are there, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Dortmund, Paris, everyone is there, so the season starts now.” said Mourinho
Given his distaste for the ‘red side of Merseyside’, Mourinho surprisingly commented on Liverpool’s Champions League exit and hailed them as a ‘big’ team, which failed to qualify. Although Mourinho’s comment seemed genuine, it might be sarcastic in it’s own way.
“I don’t think any of the big teams are out of the Champions League, maybe Liverpool, but all the teams that want to win the competition are all still in. Season after season you repeat this. “
Chelsea FC dominated their match against Sporting Lisbon and were easily the better side. Chelsea FC dominated possession and haunted the Portuguese defense, time after time.
“Chelsea were the stronger side, we played very seriously. We kept four or five regulars and the players that don’t always play like Schürrle, Čech and Luís all came in very well. I can’t speak about Sporting because the substitutes for Chelsea would probably be starting for Sporting or any other side. When the game was 2-1, maybe they could bring some emotion to the game, but at 3-1 the game was finished, the better side won. If Sporting were supposed to get more points within the group, it was definitely not at Stamford Bridge.”
“It was a good attitude. The players were serious, the ones who were not playing a lot got a chance. The ones who are playing regularly also faced the game in the right way and we did what we had to do and deserved to win.”
Inquired about Chelsea FC’s endeavors in Europe’s elite competition, Mourinho was quick to play the ‘devil’s advocate’.
“What can we do? I don’t know. For sure we were not one of the top four teams last year and we played in the Champions League semi-finals. Let’s see what we can do this season, step by step.”