Di Matteo warns against complacency

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Football News

Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo has heeded caution ahead of his side's Champions League quarter-final second leg against Benfica, despite taking a 1-0 lead back to Stamford Bridge.

Salomon Kalou struck with 15 minutes remaining at the Estadio da Luz to earn the Blues their first away win of the Champions League this season.

The away goal gives Di Matteo's side a significant advantage going into the second leg, but the Italian boss is keen to stress the job is far from completed.

"It was an excellent performance from the whole team," he said. "It's difficult to play against Benfica, they haven't lost here for a couple of years [in Europe] and we saw why.

"They are a good side with good individual players and a threat from set-plays. I always felt we looked solid defensively, well organised and I always fancied us to score a goal.

"We're pleased we are in a different position going into next leg, we had a mountain to climb against Napoli, this will be as well but it will be a bit smaller because we had a good result here. We'll see what we can do, but it's a dangerous result if we think we've already qualified, we cannot think we're through yet.

"We've put ourselves in a good position, yes, but it's not a result you can rely on for the home game, it's only one goal and you look at the results which have been achieved in the tournament and we're not going to sleep easily because of that."

Having seen off both Valencia and Napoli in two must-win home games in Europe this season, as well as a one-goal lead to take back to west London, Chelsea have good reason to believe they can reach the last four. If they do, they will meet either AC Milan, conquerors of Arsenal in the last round, or reigning champions Barcelona.

With five points separating them from fourth place Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, Chelsea's best chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season may come from winning this competition in May.

Their slim hopes of reaching Europe's top table through their league position could be reignited by victory over Aston Villa this weekend though, prior to the second leg next week.

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European News
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Roberto Di Matteo

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