The Andy Gray Column: Chelsea must fight to retain Champions League title

Summary: ambassodor Andy Gray was talking exclusively to South West Londoner…


CHELSEA are arguably a greater side than the one that won the Champions League last season but there are better teams on paper who have tried and failed to defend this tournament.

They can definitely go a long way in the competition but whether they can enjoy the same good fortune they had last year against Barcelona in the semi-final and Bayern Munich in the final, I’m not too sure.

They’ll be a tough side to beat whoever they come up against – they’ve got four points from two games and although they have a tough group I think they’ll get out of it.

Then once you’re in the knockout stages anything can happen, as Chelsea proved to everyone last year when they went all the way.

There is no doubt they will give their defence of the competition everything because the one thing you know is that when a trophy is yours you fight very hard to keep it.

Chelsea got the job done on Tuesday night against FC Nordsjaelland. Roberto Di Matteo put out a very strong side which was good to see because there is less chance of a surprise when you do that.

People are giving these smaller teams in the Champions League a bit more credit now too, and rightly so – just look at BATE Borisov beating Bayern 3-1.

I had spoken to Kent Nielsen, who used to play for Aston Villa and now manages Aalborg in Denmark, and he said they were a very good footballing side, whose philosophy is to get the ball down and play it about, and they did that.

They caused Chelsea a few problems but the job was done, and it was done comfortably in the end with them winning 4-0.

When you don’t go on and emphasise your superiority in a game away from home in Europe then you can get caught out, but luckily a couple of good saves from Petr Cech kept the score at 1-0.

Chelsea were then able to go and get three late goals which were harsh on the Danish side to be fair, but the Champions League can be unforgiving in that way.

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