Right about now Jose Mourinho must be feeling fairly satisfied with the endeavours of his team last night. Not only did Branislav Ivanovic’s goal mean that Chelsea take a vitally important away goal into the second-leg, but the fact that they drew with Paris Saint-Germain means they’re in a very tidy position indeed.
Blues fans will naturally carry optimism heading into the second-leg at the ever-formidable Stamford Bridge, and they’ve every right to given how strong their side have been this year. Last night’s clash generated more than just a result though, and as such the bulk of Chelsea-related news today is derived from statements and ongoings surrounding the fixture.
Five players miss training
After seeing his side battle to a well-earned draw with PSG Jose Mourinho confirmed that no less than five key players had been restricted from training in the build up to the game. Not only was Francesc Fabregas laid off sick in bed for three days and unable to prepare properly, but the quartet of Eden Hazard, Oscar, Willian and Ivanovic were only made to train the day before yesterday because of the media coverage.
It wasn’t an ideal scenario for the Blues, and the fact that Mourinho was training without five players all pivotal to his first-team may make him even more grateful that he managed to carve out a relatively positive result.
Moving onto the major topic of this morning however the backlash surrounding the footage showing Chelsea fans singing racist chants has been widespread, with many quick to condemn those responsible.
The Blues released a statement claiming that any fans involved would face serious repercussions, with season-tickets set to be rescinded if positive identifications can be made.
Senior footballing figures like Ian Wright took the opportunity to voice concerns over Chelsea’s handling of the racist claims that have been pointed at them in the past, with the ex-Arsenal hero suggesting not enough was being done to eradicate it.
Lastly Serie A hot-shot Mauro Icardi has admitted it is an honour to be linked with clubs like the Blues, though also took the opportunity to affirm his happiness at Inter Milan. The Italian forward responded to recent transfer speculation by inferring he was aware of interest, though it doesn’t look like he’s going to push for a move away from the San Siro.
Chelsea fans, what do you make of the footage alluding to racism? How harshly do you anticipate the club dealing with offenders?