Champions League

Matic knew it wouldn't be easy

2014-11-06 14:27
Nemanja Matic (AFP)

Cape Town - Nemanja Matic tapped in the equaliser after 73 minutes in the Blues 1-1 draw away at Maribor in Champions League action on Wednesday.

The Londoners went on to create a series of chances in the closing stages including a rare missed penalty from Hazard after yet another mazy dribble from the Belgium winger but had to settle for a point.

"Maybe everybody else expected an easy game but we didn’t,"  Matic told chelseafc.com

"We knew before the game that Maribor can play very well, and they drew with Sporting at home and with Schalke away. They showed before that they can play good football and the manager prepared us some videos before the game to show us where Maribor could be dangerous.

"I thought that in the first 10 to 15 minutes we controlled the game and we played good, but after that Maribor began to play well and they created some chances. They started to control it a little and we had some difficulty in the last 20 to 25 minutes of the first half.

"In the second half they scored a nice goal and with their supporters, they were stronger but after the goal we woke up and had three or four good chances. We scored but we didn’t take our chances to win at the end. We didn’t use the penalty and some other chances but I think that 1-1 is an okay result for this game."

The 26-year-old said his happiness at finding the net following a corner had far more to do with putting his side back on level terms than raising his personal tally for the season to three.

"John Terry jumped very well but I think without my touch it was a goal also," said the Serbian midfielder.  

"This is the space that I like to go and I just used the good ball that John gave me. I will try to continue like this and hope that I will score some more goals.  

"Of course we are not happy with the draw.

"We know that we did not play very well but we are first in the group and before the game we had two more points than Schalke and now we have three.

"I am sure we will use our quality in the last two games and we will stay in the first position."

Chelsea's next Champions League match is a trip to Schalke (five points) in three weeks' time and a victory there will secure their place in the last 16.

Maribor, back in the group stages for the first time in 15 years, can also still qualify for the knockout rounds for the first time.

The Slovenians, who have three points from four games, travel to Sporting (four) for their next match.

Read more on:    chelsea  |  champions league  |  nemanja matic  |  soccer
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