Chelsea FC defender Gary Cahill spoke after his side’s scoreless draw in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals against Atletico Madrdid and said the Blues can look to the 2012 campaign for inspiration. The Blues lost goalkeeeper Petr Cech and captain John Terry through injury and will miss Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel through suspension in the second leg. The similarities to the 2012 campaign grow everyday as Chelsea overcame significant injuries and suspensions to lift the Champions League trophy for the first time.
“It is a huge blow to lose so many players. We look back at how we coped with a similar situation on the way to winning it in 2012 and it gives us confidence. It’s never ideal to lose players but we have the squad to cope with it. I’m sure the manager would prefer to have every single player fit and healthy for selection but that’s not going to be the case. We seem to be able to grind out results when we need to in this competition. We’re really, really close to the final now, we have one more game at home and have to give it every single thing we’ve got. Then we have a good few weeks to get some of the players back but we can’t think too far ahead. We have one huge game to go, we have to focus and give everything next week.” – Gary Cahill
The primary difference between this year and the 2012 campaign is that the Blues were sitting outside of the top four of the Premier League at the time rather than challenging for the title. In 2012, Chelsea had to win the trophy in order to qualify for the competition next year so then manager Roberto Di Matteo completely de-emphasized the Premier League and focused solely on Europe.
Of course the Blues won in dramatic fashion and maintained their place in Europe’s premier cup competition against all the odds. Gary Cahill and the rest of the Chelsea boys, especially those who were around in 2012, would do well to take inspiration from that magical run to the top.
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