Friday, 16 March 2012

Di Matteo expects tough test

Roberto Di Matteo expects Benfica to provide a stiff examination of Chelsea's credentials in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
The Blues were paired alongside Portuguese opposition in Friday's draw, with their route to the final having been mapped out in front of them.
A two-legged tie with Benfica will see them travel to Estadio da Luz for the first leg, before returning to Stamford Bridge for what they hope will be another memorable night in Europe.
Caretaker coach Di Matteo, who has helped to steady the Chelsea ship since inheriting the reins from Andre Villas-Boas, is taking nothing for granted, though, and appreciates that Benfica will demand the utmost respect.
On a side who have already helped to send Manchester United tumbling out of the Champions League this season, the Italian said: "When you get down to the last eight teams, any draw is difficult.
"I've seen Benfica many times. They were in Man United's group.


"It's a tough game for us.
"I think the fact that we play the first game away for us is good."
Should Chelsea see off Benfica, a semi-final with either reigning champions Barcelona or Serie A leaders AC Milan awaits.
It has already been suggested that the Blues will meet Barca in the last four, but Di Matteo has been around long enough to know that it is foolish to expect anything in football.
"Are you writing off AC Milan straight away, as easy as that - the leaders of Serie A?" he said.
"(We will take it) game by game. That's what I've learnt in my playing career and my coaching career."