Chelsea under performed in the Champions League this season and Brazilian defender David Luiz says that he and his teammates feel a little humiliated they are now fighting for Europa League glory instead of defending their Champions League crown.
Chelsea have been slammed in various sections of the media over the last couple of weeks but there is good reason for one and all at the club to be optimistic and look forward to the rest of the season. Chelsea still have a great chance of picking up numerous pieces of silverware so their season isn’t dead in the water just yet.
“The Europa League is glamorous for me. I don't have this title so I want to win it. I look to the Europa League like I did the Champions League because I don't have this medal. We can do great things in this competition,” Luiz told the Daily Telegraph.
The Europa League will provide Chelsea with a chance to prove that they are still a very competent side in European football. They were outplayed by Juventus and Shakhtar away from home which are two results that cost them a place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Rafael Benitez is an extremely efficient manager in terms of tactics and managing his squad so Chelsea should thrive in this tournament against teams that simply aren’t equipped to match up against their best players.
Chelsea also need to fight in the Premier League title race. They are seven points behind Manchester United at the top of the table which is a deficit which can be clawed back. Manchester City overturned an eight point gap last season with only six matches left in the season.
“There was embarrassment in the dressing room and also sadness. We won the Champions League last season and to get knocked out after the group stage is a great disappointment,” added Luiz.
Chelsea will also fancy their chances of a domestic cup triumph in the FA Cup which Benitez is well placed to help them retain. Chelsea will be one of the big sides that minnows and underdogs look to topple so it’s a great chance for the club to prove that they can still play ugly.
There is much for the West London club to look forward to.
image: © Crystian Cruz