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Chelsea were drawn in the Champions League Group H, and the Blues will face Juventus, Zenit St Petersburg and Malmo in our Champions League group stage games this season.
It was an exciting event in Istanbul during the draws with two Chelsea Legends Michael Essien and Branislav Ivanovic among the guests, and different Blues legends have reacted to this draw which was done on Thursday.
Former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has admitted that no team should be taken for granted in the group, in as much as Chelsea are favourites to top the group.
“You always have to respect the traditional teams like Juventus and you always have to respect every opponent you get in the group in the Champions League,” said Cech.
“These are big games and Zenit and Malmo will want to play their part in the group stage and give themselves a chance to get as many points as possible, so we have to respect that.
“The players and staff and everybody knows that once you win something, you are always the one everybody wants to play against and it is a special motivation. It is always harder to retain titles so we know it’s going to be tough.
‘We go into the group as reigning champions and everybody will expect us to do well and we will have to live with that fact. You want to show that you can do it again and it’s not easy, but we have a great squad and people with experience so we know that we can cope with those expectations, now we have to prove it on the pitch.”
Michael Essien who scored a stunning goal against Juventus in a 2009 knockout Champions League clash, has admitted that he’s hoping Chelsea qualifies from the group, but also admitted that the other teams shouldn’t be underrated.
“I’ll be hoping Chelsea go through but it’s not an easy group,” said Essien.
“Juventus are there and Malmo is going to be a difficult game, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Chelsea. I will be cheering for them to win back-to-back Champions Leagues because if they manage to do that it is going to be a very big achievement for the football club. They have a good squad and having Lukaku back they are well prepared to push for it, so hopefully they can win it.”
Branislav Ivanovic who had played for both Chelsea and Zenit St Petersburg didn’t withdraw his support from any of the two teams.
“It’s an exciting draw,” he said. “My two ex-teams are in the same group and this is going to be very interesting to see the games. I was very proud to score the first official goal in history at Zenit’s stadium. The stadium is really incredible and I hope everyone will enjoy the great atmosphere. It is one of the best stadiums I ever played in.”