Mourinho claims Chelsea ready for any CL semi-final opponent
Mourinho's Chelsea ready for any CL semi-final opponent
After seeing his team perform an incredible comeback against Paris St Germain in the quarter-finals, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says that his team are ready for any opponent that they may play in the Champions League semi-finals. The draw for the semi-finals will take place on Friday and Chelsea have joined Real Madrid as two of the four teams in the draw.
The identity of the remaining two opponents will become clear tonight when Bayern Munich take on Manchester United and Barcelona face Atletico Madrid.
This year’s competition has been brilliant in every regard. Mourinho says that he is aware from the experience of being involved in several Champions League semi-finals over the years that there are no easy routes to the final. According to the Express, he said:
"Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico, Bayern, Manchester - it doesn't matter.
"We are in the semi-finals and if the quarter-finals had eight fantastic teams, imagine the four that are going to reach the semi-finals. Anything can happen.
"A big opponent is waiting for us in the semi-final, but I think it doesn't matter who. They know that we are a team with a special spirit, even if we are not in the maximum of our potential."
Real Madrid survived a late scare from Borussia Dortmund to win the tie 3-2 on aggregate. Bayern and United played out a 1-1 draw – just as Barcelona and Atletico Madrid – in the first leg. The away goals gave Bayern and Atletico Madrid sizeable advantage as they head into their home matches tonight.
Mourinho is no stranger to taking Chelsea into semi-finals of the Champions League. He did it twice in his previous spell at the club. However, they lost on both occasions to Liverpool. Roberto di Matteo then led Chelsea to Champions League success in 2012. This remains as the only trophy missing from Mourinho’s Chelsea career and it may be an extra motivation for the Portuguese.
Chelsea have played against Barcelona numerous times – most recently in the semi-final en route to their success in 2012, but both Madrid teams are rare opponents for the blues. Both legs of the semi-final will occur either side of the Premier League match against Liverpool.