Chelsea hosts Valencia in crucial Euro match
LONDON - The Associated Press
Chelsea’s Juan Mata (L) will play against his former Valencia teammates tonight.Chelsea hosts in-form Valencia in the Champions League tonight in what could turn out to be the most crucial match of Andre Villas-Boas’ debut season as Blues coach.
With Chelsea 10 points off the Premier League lead and eliminated from the League Cup, defeat to Valencia would effectively leave Villas-Boas with only the FA Cup to aim for. Villas-Boas says Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will give him more time but that is not what the Blues expected when they prized the Portuguese from FC Porto at the end of last season.
Chelsea has not failed to reach the knockout stage of the competition since Abramovich bought the west London club in 2003.
Simply put, Chelsea must win to guarantee progress. If Leverkusen beats Genk, a scoreless draw would be enough to carry Chelsea through courtesy of the away goal it scored in a 1-1 draw at Valencia in September. A scoring draw would take Valencia through. But if Genk shocked the Germans, Leverkusen, Chelsea and Valencia could all finish on nine points and even a 0-0 draw would not be enough for the Blues.