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Wednesday, Feb 10th

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Di Matteo calls for increase in performance level for future Champions League fixtures

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Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has warned his players that they will have to step up their game for their future fixtures in the Champions League in order to qualify for the knockout stages, reports The Telegraph.

Although the European champions came away with a flattering 4-0 scoreline from last night's game against Nordsjaelland in Copenhagen, it was a tight match, with Chelsea scoring thrice in the last eleven minutes. Athough Di Matteo was not overtly happy with the performance, he seemed pleased to grab a win which puts them on top in a challenging group consisting of Ukrainian side Shakhtar and Italian champions Juventus.

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Diaby injury a chance for others to impress, says Wenger

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has said that although Abou Diaby's recent injury is a big blow to the club, other fringe players may take advantage of the opportunity and push for a permanent position in the first team.

The 26 year old French midfielder, who has started less than a hundred games in his eight year Arsenal career due to injury problems, was once again ruled out for three weeks following a calf strain in Saturday's match against Chelsea, where the Gunners lost 2-1.

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Chelsea thump newcomers Nordsjaelland 4-0 courtesy Mata brace

juan_mataThe scoreline might not have done justice to Champions League newcomers Nordsjaelland, but Chelsea are unlikely to complain after picking up a rather flattering 4-0 away win that took them to the top of Group E. A first half strike from the reinvigorated Juan Mata put Chelsea on their way before 3 goals in the last 11 minutes sealed the win for Blues in rather emphatic fashion. Mata ended up with a brace while the Brazilian duo of David Luiz and Ramires were the other scorers.

Chelsea made some interesting team selections for the trip to Denmark with Gary Cahill and David Luiz partnering each other in central defence with Frank Lampard returning to the starting eleven as skipper for the night. Jon Obi Mikel dropped to the bench, while Oscar and Mata got the nod in creative midfield roles. Victor Moses also got the nod to start alongside Fernando Torres, thus making his Champions League debut.

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UCL: Van Persie brace helps Man United to narrow victory over Cluj

sir_alex_fergusonManchester United maintained their 100% winning record in this year’s Champions League as they secured a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Romanian Champions CFR Cluj on Matchday Two. Ioan Andone’s side showed great spirit against the mighty Red Devils, even taking a deserved early lead.

The Man United defenders seemingly didn’t tune into Sir Alex Ferguson’s press conference yesterday as they made a typically slow start to the game and conceded a goal after just 14 minutes as Pantelis Kapetanos capped off a brilliant move. The English giants were level before the break through as Robin van Persie opened his Champions League account in a Man United shirt with a fortuitous goal on 29 minute as he turned in Wayne Rooney’s free-kick with his shoulder.

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England return doesn't hinge on Sir Alex's retirement claims Mourinho

The latest sound bite regarding the future of Jose Mourinho has arrived and unsurprisingly it is from the ‘Special One’ himself as the Real Madrid once again spoke of his desire to return to England in a long-ranging interview with CNN. The Portuguese revealed that he wasn’t solely focussed on replacing Sir Alex Ferguson while also disclosing that he still enjoyed a good relationship with Roman Abramovich.

Despite taking over at Madrid only in 2010 and having a contract at the Santiago Bernabeu until 2016, Mourinho has continually been linked with a move away from the Spanish Champions. Like his tempered stay in Italy, Mourinho has enjoyed a fractious relationship with the press and the fans in Spain. But the ‘Special One’ is unlikely to leave the Spanish capital until he clinches Europe’s biggest crown, a trophy that has always dictated the tenure of any Madrid manager.

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Sir Alex demands Man United to get back on track ahead of tricky trip to Cluj

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Manchester United's indifferent start to the season has finally gotten the veteran Scot at the helm of Old Trafford as Sir Alex Ferguson offered a scathing critique of his players ahead of tonight's Champions League contest against CFR Cluj. United succumbed to their 2nd league defeat of the season against Tottenham on Saturday, going down 2-0 before the half-time break and although they recovered in the 2nd half they eventually lost 3-2, their first defeat at home to Spurs since 1989.

Sir Alex admitted to being worried after the shocking 1st half showing as he told the gathered press: After the first half on Saturday I had plenty of concerns. You have to be concerned losing goals the way we did. We were well off the pace of the game. I don't think we won a tackle in the first half." With United going behind in five of their six games so far, he highlighted the slow starts as an area that need immediate rectification.

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Chelsea to move UEFA over Bonucci's stamp on Oscar

Oscar was the star of the night for Chelsea as he scored a stunning brace against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday. However, Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo is furious after he was forced to take the Brazilian off the pitch at 75 minutes after a stamp from Juve enforcer Leonardo Bonucci. The Italian manager has appealed to UEFA to reprimand Bonucci for his action on the night.

Oscar handed Chelsea the lead scoring twice within the span of 3 minutes. However, the Italians responded with goals from Arturo Vidal and Fabio Quagliarella to clinch a well-deserved draw. The Brazilian youngster's full debut for the Blues was marred by Bonucci, who appeared to land on Oscar's foot after a challenge.

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