Double Blow For Blues
Chelsea may yet finish the season without a trophy to their name as both their EPL and Champions League campaigns stuttered, with Manchester United the double beneficiaries.
The Blues will travel to Old Trafford for their Champions League quarter-final second leg with a one goal disadvantage after losing 1-0 at Stamford Bridge to a Wayne Rooney goal and having very strong penalty appeals waved away in stoppage time.
And they lost two EPL points last Saturday as they drew 1-1 at Stoke City, while United won their game, leaving Carlo Ancelotti’s men eleven points behind the leaders with only one game in hand and eight more to play.
Meanwhile, owner Roman Abramovich’s spending power was put to yet further use when Chelsea snapped up Brazil youth international Lucas Piazon from under the noses of Italian giants Juventus.
Blues Italian supremo Ancelotti remained in defiant mood after Didier Drogba’s diving header salvaged a point at the Britannia Stadium.
Last month Ancelotti largely wrote off Chelsea’s hopes of defending their EPL crown. And despite acknowledging that the 1-1 draw in the Potteries was “the right result for the game,” he added:
“The gap (between Chelsea and United) was not easy before and now it is more difficult. But we have to think game by game. It is not about Manchester United. We have to play our game.
Chelsea still have to visit Old Trafford in the EPL. But they will probably need to win there to stand any hope of the title. And they definitely need to win at the so-called ‘Theatre of Dreams’ next Tuesday to remain in the Champions League.
Ancelotti was adamant that his side should have had a late penalty. He said: “It was clear. For everyone. Everyone knows it was clear. But we have to forget it.”
Chelsea have spent an undisclosed amount on 17-year-old Piazon, who has been a goalscoring star for his native Brazil in the South American under-17 championship in Ecuador. Reports have put the fee at anywhere between £5.3m and £10m.
The attacking midfield prodigy will follow compatriots Ramires and David Luiz to Stamford Bridge, but not until January 2012, the first transfer window after he turns 18.
Chelsea have agreed a pre-contract deal with Piazon’s club Sao Paulo, for whom Piazon has yet to make a first-team appearance.
The Blues host bottom club Wigan in the EPL this Saturday afternoon at 3pm.
Tags: Chelsea, EPL, Champions League, Stamford Bridge, Carlo Ancelotti, Didier Drogba, David Luiz