The first round of the UEFA Champions League has come and gone, but not without leaving fans with mixed feelings. Teams have been booted out of the competition, and others have progressed. Even progressing teams had to work hard for it; and this highlights the difficult nature of the UCL, and why it’s regarded as the top club competition in the world. It’s a gathering of champions, and only the very best can make it forward.
Chelsea progressed with relative ease, except for a few scares, and we could have easily topped our group, but for a spirited fight to qualify by Atletico Madrid, and a win for Roma.
Now, we finish second, and face the possibility of meeting one of Europe’s top teams in either Barcelona or PSG, and already we’re being written off by people from certain quarters.
It’s not news that we can beat any of those teams any time, any day. We have met them in the past, and have won them very well. In fact, if there’s any team to be feared and avoided in the second round of the UCL, it is Chelsea, after all, we boast a strong talent both behind and in front of goal.
On Tuesday, Hazard again reminded Europe why he’s perhaps the finest in the game at the moment with that solo effort against Atletico, and of course we have more players that can inflict damage on any team in the likes of Willian, Morata, Fabregas and more, so what’s to not be confident about?
We have come up against most teams in the round of 16 in the past, and even they know how deadly we can be
I can’t think of any reason why we would be afraid of any opposition, and like Conte rightly mentioned, we are not afraid of any one. We currently ply our trade in what is perhaps the most difficult league in the world, and we have won the competition more than anyone else in recent years. We lose games like any other team would, but when the stakes are high, we never relent to show the stuff we’re made of.
As the draw dates draw closer, teams will be desperate to avoid us because they know that could mean the end of the journey for them. The kind of hunger and fight this Chelsea side has shown in recent months has given me enough belief to not doubt our ability to make it as far as the final round of this competition. I am eager to see who we’ll be drawn with, and whoever that is, I know we will beat them and qualify for the next round.