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Daily Nation : February 28th 2014
70 | Sport DAILY NATION Friday February 28, 2014 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE | Chedjou cancels out Torres’s strike for Chelsea in last 16 tie Mourinho rues Blues’ missed chances as Gala remain alive Portuguese terms Wednesday’s draw against Galatasaray a missed opportunity Istanbul Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw against Galatasaray in Istanbul in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie had to go down as “an opportunity missed”. The London club took an C early lead through Fernando Torres at the Turk Telecom Arena, but they failed to capitalise on their good start and Galatasaray came back to equalise midway through the second half courtesy of Aurelien Chedjou. That means the tie remains open ahead of next month’s return at Stamford Bridge, when it could have been over after half an hour in Istanbul. “The first half was an op- portunity missed. The second half was a fair result,” Mourinho said. “In the first half we were the better team. We had three or four chances, but then they put more pressure on us and we were more defensive. “We were comfortable defen- sively but conceded a goal at a corner, which I don’t like (but) I think it was a fair result.” Chelsea may be top of the Premier League and closing in on the Champions League quarter-finals, but they have suffered at times from the lack of a clinical striker this season and the performance of Torres came as a tonic for Mourinho, although the tiring Spaniard was withdrawn with a quarter of the game remaining. “I think now he’s having a very acceptable season,” Mourinho said of Torres, who has scored six times in five Champions League starts, but Chelsea helsea manager Jose Mourinho has acknowledged that still missed too many chances for their coach’s liking. “That’s our team. Some other teams would score three goals, we have five chances and take one. “We create but we arrive in the last third of the pitch and the last decision - the correct pass, the right movement - is not correct. “We are paying for that, but I cannot be critica the fact that we h ceptable result where it is not ea London derbies Chelsea now turn their attentions back to the Premier League and two London derbies, to Fulham and a Tottenham Hots And they do s English side to or even score a Champions Leag two weeks in the results for Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United. But Galatasaray coach Rob- erto Mancini, the former City boss, dismissed doubts over the state of English football as he admitted his team remain very much the outsiders in the tie. “The Premier League is the best championship in the world and Chelsea are one of the best teams,” said the Italian, whose own side are on a run of just one defeat in 20 matches. His displeasure with Galatasaray’s start to the game was evident as he changed things tactically half an hour in, replacing winger Izet Hajrovic and introducing an extra central midfielder in Yekta Kurtulus, and that helped them eventually come back into the contest. “We can’t show Chelsea the level of respect we showed them in the first half. They wanted to be able to counterattack us and we conceded too many of these. We made three or four mistakes and played with fear. “The game in London will be We were comfortable defensively but conceded a goal at a corner, which I don’t like (but) I think it was a fair result” Jose Mourinho difficult but after this game we have a 40 per cent chance to go through,” added Mancini, who had previously measured their prospects at just 20 percent. Nevertheless, Mourinho re- fused to be drawn on Mancini’s comments, and also had a swipe at the man he replaced as Inter Milan coach in 2008 by crediting their performance on former coach Fatih Terim. (AFP) OZAN KOSE | AFP Chelsea head coach Jose Mourinho reacts during their UEFA Champions League round of 16 match against Galatasaray in Istanbul on Wednesday. They drew 1-1.
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