Saturday, March 25, 2017

Dynamo Kiev v Chelsea: Mourinho eyes momentum after weekend win

Jose Mourinho has urged Chelsea to take confidence from returning to winning ways when they face Ukrainian champions Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League on Tuesday. 

A Group G defeat to Porto had contributed to a three-match winless run for Mourinho’s side amid a rocky start to the campaign before Saturday’s much-needed if unconvincing 2-0 Premier League victory over Aston Villa.

Mourinho opted to bench a host of regulars as Diego Costa’s opener and an Alan Hutton own-goal gave the hosts maximum points at Stamford Bridge ahead of their trip to Ukraine.

The Chelsea boss visited the Olympic Stadium in Kiev earlier this week for Ukraine’s defeat to Spain on a reported scouting mission – speculation suggesting he was watching Kiev attacker Andriy Yarmolenko – and Mourinho hinted he could bring back the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Gary Cahill to add stability.

“I asked the players to look at the picture in a different way to a normal situation,” he said of Saturday’s selection.

“To look at a picture where I have to try to make decisions to bring results back, and when the results are back and we have better stability in our confidence levels, then go back to what you are.

“We were able to find these ingredients that we need especially when we are not playing at a top level.

“When you are not playing at a top level and on top of that you have no concentration, you make defensive mistakes, you don’t defend well, you lose the ball and you don’t have 10 players fighting to recover it as soon as possible, you cannot win.

“So let’s try to keep this mentality, let’s try to keep this tactical attitude and at the same time with a little bit more happiness and confidence, go in the direction of what we are.”

Victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv on matchday one means Chelsea are third, a point behind leaders Kiev, who have also beaten the Israeli side and drawn with Porto.

Sergey Rebrov’s men go into the game off the back of a 3-0 defeat at the hands of title rivals Shakhtar Donetsk, but were boosted by a new five-year deal for star man Yarmolenko in the build-up to the loss.

The loss was Kiev’s first in the league since April 2014 and former Tottenham striker Rebrov called for a reaction from his side.

“I want to apologise to our supporters. We are all upset,” he said.

“Still we must forget this terrible match and start getting ready for the game against Chelsea. Nothing horrible has happened in the Premier League for us. 

“We have the same number of points as Shakhtar.”

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