Away against the Turkish giants in the first leg, Chelsea took an early lead but a second half rally from Galatasaray proved there’s plenty of life left in this tie. Speaking to reporters ahead of the match, Mourinho believes it will go down to the wire in London.
“I think it is easy. If you look at the result – 1-1 – and you look at the game – one team was better in the first half, another team was better in the second half,” Mourinho said. “I think everything is balanced. So normally it will be the same kind of match, with a result that I believe goes until the end. I don’t think one of the teams is going to make a result where people know already at half-time who is going to win.”
With an emotional return for Didier Drogba to Stamford Bridge, a sign reading “Drogba – legend” hangs at one end of the stadium, plus a heated sideline battle between Mourinho and former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini brewing up nicely, on and off the pitch there are plenty of intriguing subplots bubbling up before kick off.
But it is the action on the pitch which will likely be the most entertaining as Chelsea look to hit back following their first defeat in 15 PL games on Saturday against Aston Villa, while Galatasaray aim to be the spoilers as they visit the Blues.
Miguel Pinto is the opposing goalkeeper whose long-range clearance, which covered about 50 yards during the final seconds of Universidad de Concepcion’s clash with O’Higgins in the Chilean first division, was taken off the fly, first-time, by the Argentine midfielder to seal a 3-1 victory for the home side.
Three of Roma’s locally born standouts held a meeting with the “ultra” fans during the week. Captain Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi and Alessandro Florenzi asked the supporters to return, and the club itself has also tried to resolve the matter.
But the appeals had no effect.
In contrast, Lazio fans filled the northern end of the stadium as usual.
The plexiglass barriers were put in place by city officials for security reasons.
In Episode 2 of Behind the Badge: Watford FC, watch the players’ recovery after a win against Leicester, a look at the club’s one-of-a-kind internship program and a flashback to a memorable moment in Watford’s history.
Following Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Southampton, in which Pardew’s side saved his job (for the time being), the 55-year-old Eagles boss and former player chose the first bright moment, Palace’s first Premier League win since Sept. 24, to hit out at the club’s new American owners with a scathing assessment of the footballing prowess, or perhaps lack thereof — quotes from the Guardian:
“The chairman got a bit edgy this week, as you’d expect. We have a lot of serious investors at the club who perhaps don’t know a lot about football so the chairman has been defending me.
“I always think as a manager at any level, particularly in the modern era, expect the sack. Just expect it; it’s coming at some stage, so just do your job as best you can. Every week, that’s what I try to do.
“Sometimes it’s hard to dress up six defeats when you’re the owner of the club and you have investors. Obviously there are things he’s got no control over but he’s tried to offer me all the assistance that he could. He’s been brilliant for me and I just want to say thank you to him really.”
With various reports linking Sam Allardyce and Roberto Mancini to a job which he still holds, it’s understandable that Pardew would be slightly on edge, quick to thump his chest and restake his claim as the right man for the job, but perhaps alienating and borderline embarrassing the new investors, who are now responsible for signing your paychecks, wouldn’t have been my go-to move.