Chelsea’s domineering display against
Galatasaray on Tuesday night proved Jose
Mourinho’s men are the real deal in the
UEFA Champions League.
Relentless pressure in midfield, clever counter-
attacks and clinical finishing all played out in front
of a yet another stingy defensive display.
(MORE: Chelsea cruise past Galatasaray, as Blues
make Champions League quarters with 2-0 win)
The West London club are likely to be the Premier
League’s only representatives in the last eight of
the UCL, (barring a valiant fightback from
Manchester United against Olympiakos on
Wednesday) so they’ll be flying the St. George’s
flag in Europe for the rest of the season.
But how long will that be for? Here are three
reasons why Chelsea can go all the way and lift the
‘big eared’ trophy in Lisbon on May 24.
Chelsea have only conceded four goals in eight UCL
matches this season, and have kept five clean
sheets. With John Terry and Gary Cahill marshaling
central defense, Petr Cech racking up 100
appearances in the UCL, plus Cesar Azpilicueta and
Branislav Ivanovic steady and dependable at full
back, many of Europe’s best offensive sides will
struggle to break down the ‘Blue curtain’. We all
know Mourinho loves a 1-0 win and to rub it in the
faces of his opposition, there will be plenty of that
as Terry and co. throw themselves in front of
crosses and shots until their little hearts are
content. Add in the fact that Chelsea have now
conceded they won’t be an expansive, glitzy side
just yet, and they will play to their strengths to
beat Europe’s elite. Solid defense, with clinical
finishing, that should be the plan.
Experienced Players Leading The Way
In any walk of life, experience goes a long way. As
we mentioned, Cech has 100 UCL appearances to
his name, Frank Lampard has 73, then John Terry
has 99 and the list goes on and on. Against
Galatasaray Samuel Eto’o scored his 30th
Champions League goal, just the 14th player to
reach that milestone, and all of this adds up to
giving Chelsea the edge when it really matters.
Of course having too much experience (a.k.a.
oldsters who are struggling to get around the
pitch) won’t work, but the Blues have a great mix
of youngsters who are contributing and learning
from their veteran leaders. Eden Hazard, Oscar and
Willian augment the experienced core around
them, as most of these players have “been there,
done that” in the UCL and lifted the trophy before.
That counts for an awful lot in the last eight and
The ‘Mourinho Factor’
Love him, hate him… we all know Chelsea’s
manager Jose Mourinho is a born winner. The man
who has already won two Champions League titles
in two different countries (with FC Porto and Inter
Milan) is eager to add a third to his collection, with
many believing he’d prefer a UCL crown over the PL
title. Regardless, Mourinho will set up his team to
annoy opponents and pounce on the counter to
This is the environment where the ‘Special One’
earns his corn and sets himself above the rest.
With a large squad challenging for two titles, he
will have to be a master of alternating lineups and
using certain players only in Europe or the PL
exclusively. Rallying calls aren’t really his thing
anymore, so it would seem, and with a strong core
of leaders Mourinho doesn’t have to give vast
monologues of tactical instructions in the locker
room to get his point across.
Instead it’s the finer details, as Jose knows better
than anyone, which push you over the finishing
line to win a UCL crown. Chelsea have a long way to
go until a second UCL title arrives in West London,
but with Jose on board, I like their odds of getting
through two more rounds and at least reaching the
final in Lisbon. In Jose’s homeland of Portugal, he
may become the first manager in history to win the
UEFA Champions League with three different
teams from three different countries. That’s the