Chelsea need the spirit of last season, says Di Matteo

Roberto Di Matteo has attempted to invoke the spirit that took Chelsea to a first-ever Champions League victory last season as he tries to prevent his side becoming the first holders to be eliminated at the group stage of the competition, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Wednesday’s meeting with Shakhtar Donetsk will go a long way towards deciding if Chelsea reach the next round or suffer the ignominy of that unwanted record. The Premier League side are second in Group E but could drop to third if they do not beat Shakhtar at Stamford Bridge.

Juventus, the side currently in third place, host Danish outfit Nordsjaelland in Turin and should they prove victorious, would be in a position to capitalise on any dropped Chelsea points by leapfrogging Di Matteo’s team into second place.

That would increase the importance of Chelsea’s forthcoming trip to Italy, with the Blues then needing no less than a victory at the home of the Italian champions, who have lost just once in their last 50 games.

Di Matteo said: “ There are some comparisons certainly to last season, when we had must-win games. [This game] is another like that. Fortunately we have players with the experience who have been through that before. We’ll be fired up for this game to win it.

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