Champions League First Knockout Round – second leg (First leg 1-1)
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes this season’s achievements are more deserving of praise even than the previous two campaigns when they finished as Premiership champions.
Although Chelsea trail Premiership leaders Manchester United by nine points, Mourinho insists that the present campaign should be regarded as a triumph.
“To be where we are in the Champions League, having come through a very difficult group when we have been without Petr Cech for half a season, John Terry for half a season and Joe Cole for the whole season, gives us a lot of credit.”
The former Porto boss enthused about the efforts of Michael Essien, Ricardo Carvalho, Frank Lampard, Lassana Diarra, Cech – “who looks an even better goalkeeper than he was before” his head injury – and his attacking players, who have had to carry the side this season.
Mourinho added: “My desire is not to beat Porto, my desire is to be in the quarter-finals. This team deserves to win more. My motivation is that at the end of the season, the players have another cup in their hands.”
Jesualdo Ferreira’s Porto team arrived in London without right-back Bosingwa after he picked up a thigh injury in the Liga leaders’ 1-0 defeat of Braga, although Porto captain Lucho González has overcome a similar complaint suffered on Saturday.
Ferreira respects Chelsea’s achievements, but insists his Porto side will not be in awe of the big-spending London club.
“We are a young team but a good team,” he said. “We have to be more sure of ourselves than we were in the first leg, but it doesn’t worry us that Chelsea have such a strong record at home as that does not mean anything in itself. This is a game between a great team and a team that wants to become great.”
Petr Cech; Lassana Diarra, Michael Essien, Ricardo Carvalho, Wayne Bridge; Claude Makelele, Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack, Arjen Robben; Didier Drogba, Andriy Shevchenko.
Helton; Lucas Buccolini, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Fucile; Paulo Assuncao, Raul Meireles, Lucho Gonzalez; Ricardo Quaresma, Lisandro Lppez, Helder Postiga.