Champions League reaction: Chelsea

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Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas insists his team are capable of claiming Europe's domestic crown this season after yesterday's draw in Monaco.

The Blues have been drawn alongside Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen and Racing Genk in Champions League Group E, avoiding the big-guns of the competition thanks to their seeding and position in pot one.

However, manager Andre Villas-Boas has already set his sights on the potentially tough challenges ahead, and is confident his side will be able to compete with the likes of Barcelona on the biggest stage.

"They (Barcelona ) are the reference point for everyone in terms of quality and football, the amount of titles, but we can challenge them," said Villas-Boas.

"They can beat any team in the world, but so could Chelsea and so could Real (Madrid). If I didn't believe that, I'd quit the game. I'm not going into the game with a losing mentality."

"We have been present in the Champions League throughout recent seasons, in semi-finals and finals. We want to have that breakthrough this year.”


Speaking before the draw, the former Porto boss was also complimentary towards domestic rivals Manchester City, and confident Roberto Mancini's side could be legitimate contenders in their debut season in the competition.

The Citizens have been handed a tough draw alongside Bayern Munich, Villarreal and Napoli in Group A, but AVB believes the strength-in-depth of the squad makes them a dangerous outsider.

“They are Champions League contenders. Why not? They have joined together the best talent in the world this year. It's something unbelievable," said the Stamford Bridge chief.

“It shows what they want to achieve and they have a winning coach as well, a coach who won three titles in a row at Inter. I don't see why they wouldn't have the drive or the qualities to go all the way through.

“Being in pot three (in the draw) makes it difficult, but the guys in pots one and two wanted to avoid Manchester City.”

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