Cesc Fabregas believes Chelsea have lacked ‘killer instinct’ at times this season and has issued a rallying cry to his teammates to be ruthless when the chance arises against Paris Saint-Germain this evening.
Chelsea will advance to the Champions League quarter-finals by seeing off PSG at Stamford Bridge tonight. The tie is delicately poised at 1-1 following last month’s first leg in Paris.
Fabregas expects PSG to enjoy spells of dominance, but wants Chelsea to capitalise when they’re on top, fearing his side have not always been ruthless enough this season.
Fabregas: Chelsea have lacked killer instinct
“We have to believe we are the best, be mentally dominant and ready to cope with every situation,” Fabregas said in an interview with the Guardian. “There will be moments against Paris Saint-Germain when they will be on top. We don’t expect it to be a walk in the park, so we have to be mentally and physically ready, stick together as a team when they are being dangerous, and go for them when we can.
“This is the thing: if I have to say what we’re missing a bit this season it’s that moment when, if we can kill, we have to kill. There have been moments where we’ve not done that and allowed other teams to push and be dangerous.”
Fabregas: Chelsea must score more goals
Fabregas, who spent three years with Barcelona before joining Chelsea last summer, wants his side to show that hunger to thrash teams when they take the lead during matches.
“We have to be more determined, especially when we go forward,” Fabregas added. “When we get one goal, we have to go for the second and third. That’s the only thing we can really improve. Hopefully we will have that killer instinct [tonight] and go for the game from the first second.
“We know PSG are a great team. That doesn’t mean they scare us. We will push to win it from the start. We won’t sit back, holding for a draw and seeing what happens. We’ll look to win it.”
David Luiz warns Jose Mourinho
PSG defender David Luiz, formerly of Chelsea, warned Jose Mourinho earlier this week that parking the bus will not be an option against the French champions.
Mourinho has utilised defensive tactics in crunch Champions League knockout stages matches on occasions in the past, but Luiz warned his former coach that this would play into PSG’s hands.
The Brazilian named Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi as three PSG players who have the capability of scoring a potentially vital away goal this evening, regardless of how many men Chelsea put behind the ball.
Crucially, Chelsea are currently the only team with a previous away goal, meaning a 0-0 draw would be enough to send them through to the Champions League quarter-finals.
Mourinho will also be looking to first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to produce another masterclass in between the sticks. The world-class Belgium international was the best player on the pitch as the Parc des Princes three weeks ago.
Fabregas can finally win Champions League this season
Like Courtois, Fabregas has never won the Champions League before, despite having played in a final.
The 27-year-old was on the losing side in the 2005-06 final, with Arsenal against Barcelona, but didn’t come particularly close to winning club football’s most prestigious trophy during his three-year spell at the Camp Nou.
Should Chelsea advance to the quarter-finals tonight, the west London outfit will have a real opportunity to win this season’s competition.
And Fabregas believes a victory tonight could give his side a mental advantage over their future opponents heading into the last eight.
“From my experience, and especially with the national team, when we unlocked mentally that fear of quarter-finals or getting on to a really big stage, that’s when we felt we could become champions,” Fabregas, who has won both the World Cup and European Championships with Spain, concluded. “And once we were champions we were unstoppable.”
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