Juan Mata: Chelsea can still reach Champions League quarter-finals

Chelsea's Juan Mata is refusing to give up hope of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals despite defeat in Naples

juan mata
Juan Mata signed for Chelsea from Valencia in the summer Photo: The Sport Review

juan mata

Juan Mata remains convinced that Chelsea can overturn their 3-1 deficit and beat Napoli to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

The Spanish midfielder calmly slotted home to put Andre Villas-Boas’s men ahead in the first leg at the Stadio San Paolo on Tuesday, only for the Blues to be pegged back by Ezequiel Lavezzi’s equaliser shortly after.

Edinson Cavani then put the Serie A side ahead before the break – and Lavezzi added his second midway through the second half to leave Chelsea on the brink of elimination ahead of the return leg at Stamford Bridge in three weeks’ time.

A 2-0 win for Chelsea in west London would secure their progression into the last eight – and Mata is refusing to give up hope of a quarter-final place.

“A score of 0-1 was excellent for us but we didn’t keep it and we knew Napoli is a team with three very fast strikers on the counter attack with a lot of movement,” said Mata.

“We like to play offensively and we had a lot of chance to score and at the Bridge we have to convert more goals than the first game.

“Napoli is a very strong, very intensive team in their stadium and for sure their supporters help them a lot, but now we have the second game and we are going to put 100 per cent in at the Bridge to win.

“For sure at Stamford Bridge the atmosphere is going to be very intense and full of supporters supporting us. It will be a very difficult game but we will have to give our best.

“I have confidence in this team and we believe in our style of football. We are not dead. It will not be easy for us but I think we can do it.”

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