Following Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Galatasaray, manager Jose Mourinho admitted the grand atmosphere in the Turk Telecom Arena may have had an affect on his club as the home side fed off the crowd.
“This is Turkey, this is Istanbul, this is Galatasary, very emotional,” Mourinho said after the match. “We were playing against not just a big club but a big club with big players. And it’s not easy.”
Despite the rocking atmosphere in Istanbul, Chelsea were on the front foot early, with “chances to kill the game” but they failed to do so, and the crowd returned to full strength in the second half.
Mourinho was left so impressed by the crowd in Istanbul, he said he hopes that Stamford Bridge gives him even “10% of what [Turk Telecom Arena] gave Galatasaray today.”
The Blues manager admitted that their strong first half left his main attackers, Fernando Torres and Andre Schurrle, in trouble due to exhaustion and discipline. However, he ultimately his players were “fantastic” to come away with even a 1-1 result in “such a difficult place to play.”
Despite the chances to finish off the home side in the first half, Chelsea will still feel they have the upper hand, going into their fortress with a slight advantage. The Londoners have only conceded 11 total goals across all competitions at home this season, and with the 1-1 result, they have an away goal to fall back on. Get a clean sheet and they are through.
The second leg will take place in three weeks time, on March 18 at Stamford Bridge.