Uefa Champions League - 10 Marzo 2009
Second Leg - Stadio Olimpico - Torino
Three years. Three long, hard-fought years. Each of you Bianconeri out there know exactly what I'm talking about. We've endured our fair share, but today my friends is our chance to claim something back. Mister Ranieri, we ask but a few things from your men. We ask them to play with heart and determination. To play with organization, speed, grit, and imagination. Press forward men and never look back. Roll the dice and dance with the devil in the pale moon light. These might seem like extraordinarily tall orders, true. But never forget my friends, this is an extraordinary club.
The Old Lady will once again call upon her two favorite sons. Alessandro Del Piero and David Trezeguet. For these two don't have one thing in common, they are one thing in common. Ranieri will be counting on this time tested relationship for any hope of a goal.
Tiago, Tiago, Tiago, I will tell you this: "Win the crowd and you will win your freedom"- from the doghouse. Marchisio (I hope), play with all your heart my boy. Be fearful of no one and fight with the vitality you're blessed with.
Nedved. Oh my beloved Nedved. Will this be your last champions league game? You've been a soldier your entire career my friend. No one deserves to wear those colours more, or to lift this cup higher. I wish you all the best tonight. Brazzo what you lack in technique you must make up for with intensity. Keep the flow of goods steady on the right with consistency and promptness. Nothing fancy here, just grit and simplicity.
Molinaro, I've been hard on you in the past but I'm trying my best to think positive thoughts here. Run like you've never ran before. Grygera same goes for you, piu veloce. Mellberg and Chiellini- my new favorite pairing in our defence. These two are about as no non-sense as we're gonna get. Stay strong back there boys and work together. Remember, first to the ball *always. And Giorgio, take all that's yours lad. You are the future and this is the stage where you belong. Take the seat on the throne now Chiellini, you're at home. Last but not least Gigi. If all goes to plan you won't have much to do.
Aside from that, there's really nothing else I can say. Our injuries are unfortunate, but we don't make excuses. We know what needs to be done and that's that. We can certainly turn this thing around. But if we get eliminated today having given everything we've got, then it's a reality I will gladly live with. Until next year...
Statistics worth note from UEFA's Match Press Kit:
- In the UEFA Champions League era, the Turin team have overturned a first-leg deficit four times in seven ties overall.
- The 1996 winners have also built up an impressive home record in recent years, winning all three group matches at the Stadio delle Alpi in both 2004/05 and 2005/06. In Total, they played ten home games in those seasons, winning eight and drawing twice while conceding just two goals. With this season's group campaign taken into account their home record is: P13 W10 D3 with just three goals allowed. Their last home defeat in the competition came against RC Deportivo La Coruna in the first knockout round on 9 March 2004, the Spanish club triumphing 1-0 on the night and 2-0 overall.
- Juve have won ten of their 16 home fixtures against Premier League opponents in UEFA club competition, drawing three of the others. However they have encountered difficulties in their last three opponents, drawing two of them 0-0, against Arsenal FC in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals and Liverpool FC at the same stage the previous season, bowing out on each occasion having already lost the first leg.
- Juventus have scored seven goals since the start of the group stage, fewer than any other side in the first knockout round.
- Amauri, Claudio Marchisio and Mohamed Sissoko will each incur a suspension with their next bookings.
- Six of Del Piero's seven goals in Serie A this term have come from dead-ball situations. The Bianconeri have scored in each of their last 19 home games in Serie A. The last time they drew a blank was against Torino FC on 26 February 2008.
- Chelsea, meanwhile, have travelled with a first-leg advantage on three occasions in the UEFA Champions League proper mixed results. FC Bayern Munchen were overcome in the 2004/05 quarter-finals, but Liverpool FC (2006-07 semi-finals) and FC Barcelona (1999/00 quarter-finals) turned the ties around to end the London club's interest in the competition.
- Chelsea have a quick return to Italy after their meeting with AS Roma in the group stage when a 3-1 defeat on Matchday 4 meant that last season's runners-up finished Group A in second place on eleven points, one behind Roma. In a total of five visits to that country it was their second defeat. They have drawn on two occasions and won in the other.
- Chelsea failed to win on their travels in this season's group stage, drawing with FC Girondins de Bordeaux and CFR 1907 Cluj.
- Terry's next booking will incur a ban.
- Chelsea have been caught offside 31 times, more than any other team.
- Chelsea have won five out of five games since Hiddink's arrival. Chelsea have won their last six matches in all competitions and have been victorious in their last four away games.
- Lampard is ever-present in the league this season, starting all 28 matches.
- Quaresma is ineligible for the UEFA Champions League.
- Essien and Carvalho both featured for Chelsea's reserves in a 4-3 defeat at Aston Villa FC on 2 March; the former, who scored, unexpectedly played the whole match and the latter just over an hour. Joe Cole is still injured having undergone knee surgery for a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. Ferriera will also miss the rest of the campaign after also damaging an anterior crusciate ligament last Thursday.
Predictions: Juventus 4 - Chelski 1
IERI... OGGI... DOMANI... SEMPRE JUVE!!!