Johan Cruyff: Lucescu can eliminate Barcelona.
FC Barcelona’s former great player Johan Cruyff raised the alarm ahead of the Champions League fixture that pits Barcelona against Shakhtar. The Dutchman believes that Ukraine’s title holders are able to deliver a surprise result and eliminate Barcelona from the Champions League, Hotnews informs.
“Mircea Lucescu is a very experienced veteran that managed to give his team the most important thing: balance. The Barcelona vs. Real semifinal is in danger because of Shakhtar,” Cruyff pointed out. “Everyone is talking about a Real vs. Barcelona semifinal. In what concerns me, I’m sure los Blancos will qualify at Tottenham’s expense. I have some doubts concerning Barca, things are not that clear for me. Why? Because I have confidence in Shakhtar. It’s a team that has lots of talent and quality. I believe Tottenham is below Shakhtar, Ukraine’s title holders are far more dangerous.” “I could say that Shakhtar is unique. The players know their roles very well, they have certain value. The Brazilians are doing their job well at midfield and in the offence and Croatia’s Srna is a veritable wing-back,” Cruyff added.
The Dutchman added that “a veteran and very experienced, Mircea Lucescu found at Shakhtar one of the most important things: balance. Today this team is far better than it was one or two years ago. In order to qualify for the semifinals Barcelona will have to work enormously, maybe more than any other team in the quarterfinal fixtures,” Johan Cruyff stated for ‘El Periodico.’ Barcelona will play against Shakhtar on Wednesday at 9.45 PM on Camp Nou. The game will be broadcast live on TVR 1.
Chelsea find home comfort for United rematch
Chelsea FC will look to avenge their 2008 UEFA Champions League final defeat by Manchester United FC when the two Premier League teams meet in the quarter-finals, uefa.com reports.
Between them Chelsea and United have dominated the last six seasons of the Premier League and their rivalry gained a new dimension when United prevailed on penalties to claim their third European crown after a 1-1 draw at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. It was a night when Blues captain John Terry spurned the chance to win the trophy for the first time for Chelsea, sending his spot kick against the post.
Three years on the teams meet again in the UEFA Champions League and Chelsea have a strong recent record against United going into this first leg at Stamford Bridge, where Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have not won for nine years. Previous meetings: The head-to-head record between the clubs in all competitions is 67 wins for United, 44 for Chelsea and 47 draws.
Their 2008 UEFA Champions League final meeting is classed as a draw. After Cristiano Ronaldo and Frank Lampard swapped first-half goals, Avram Grant’s Chelsea ended with ten men after Didier Drogba’s 116th-minute sending-off and United prevailed 6-5 in the shoot-out.