The match reports
The Observer, Daniel Taylor: “Chelsea are the flag-bearers for England in this season’s Champions League but there have to be grave doubts about their capacity to return to the competition next time out. This was a match that they sorely needed to win yet they fell short in insipid fashion.”
The Sunday Telegraph, Duncan White: “Since Roman Abramovich bought this piece of West London real estate in 2003, Chelsea have been in the Champions League every season. You cannot imagine he is thrilled at the prospect of mixing it with the also-rans in the continent’s second tier. Even taking into the context the intensity of Chelsea’s fixture schedule, this was insipid stuff, the players lulled into somnolence by the unseasonal sunshine.”
The Independent on Sunday, Ben Rumsby: “Spurs produced arguably their most disciplined away performance of the season to stay five points clear of the fifth-placed Blues, who now face an uphill battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League.”
Official Chelsea FC Website: “Ultimately, it was a disappointing afternoon for the Blues. In a game we really needed to win in order to close the gap on Tottenham, clear-cut opportunities proved hard to come by due to the visitors’ intent on stifling the midfield area.”
“We were looking to win the game and close the gap on Spurs, that was our idea today, we have to give credit to Spurs, they defended well and played a good game.
“It’s going to be difficult [to finish in the top four], from the day I was appointed we all knew it would be a difficult task but there are still eight games to go and we will try to win as many as we can to try and gain fourth spot.
“To make the gap up we will have to win all of our games, you look at the fixture list and you just have to try to win the next game.
“In the first half we were a little bit too slow in possession, we didn’t move the ball quick enough or get into dangerous positions.
“They defended deep and it’s always difficult to break the opposition down, every team that comes to Stamford Bridge defends with a lot of men behind the ball so it’s never easy, and they defended well.
“He [Cech] made some very crucial saves for us. On the other hand, we hit the post and we created some chances. We had a penalty claim as well with Ramires, I think Assou-Ekotto just pulled him down because he wasn’t aware of him.”
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