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Chelsea Fc Thread

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Or, a Ciddy fan that likes buying washed up bin dippers...........! :D:D:o

redrus

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Mourinho missing Gallas

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has conceded he misses having William Gallas at Stamford Bridge.

Gallas left Chelsea for Arsenal as part of the deal that took Ashley Cole to West London just before the close of the transfer window in August.

The Frenchman left Chelsea in acrimonious circumstances after a war of words between the club and player.

However, Mourinho admits he misses having the versatile Gallas available to him as he could play anywhere across the back four.

"Every team misses very good players," admitted Mourinho. "In Ashley Cole we have a fantastic player who is improving and improving.

"He plays at the highest level.

"I could say that we don't miss Gallas because we're performing, but I respect the quality of the player and his contribution to Chelsea's success over the last two years.

"You always miss good players and he is a good player."

Mourinho also rejected suggestions that Wednesday's UEFA Champions League game is not an important game for Chelsea.

It has been suggested a Chelsea defeat to Bremen would have its upside if arch-rivals Barcelona were then eliminated from Group A, but Mourinho has blasted the talk and insists his side will be going out for victory in Germany.

"This game against Bremen can influence the future of the Champions League so we have responsibilities," added Mourinho.

"We cannot go there, as some people said, with a second team so that Bremen beat Chelsea and Barcelona are out of the competition. That's not our war, that's not our problem.

"We go there to get a result. We look to win the competition and go to Bremen to try and solve the situation.

"I'd love it to be a game without influence on the competition."

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Essien set for new Blues deal

Michael Essien's agent has confirmed the Chelsea ace is set for a new improved deal.

Chelsea are keen to reward the powerful midfielder with a lucrative new contract as reward for his fine form this season.

Essien has arguably been Chelsea's best performer this season with a number of impressive performances.

Chelsea are now looking to secure his long-term future by offering him new improved terms to bring him in line with some of their other top stars.

Essien's agent Fabien Piveteau has revealed he has held talks with Chelsea and is set for another meeting with the Stamford Bridge hierarchy next month to try and thrash out a deal.

"I am in negotiations with Chelsea regarding Michael's contract,"

"I have a new meeting planned with them in December to talk about a new improved deal.

"They are happy with Michael and he is happy to stay in England."

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Or, a Ciddy fan that likes buying washed up bin dippers...........! :D:D:o

redrus

We usually do quite well against the scousers, except in the Champions league, they are one of the most boring teams to watch in the league though, if they had a couple of nancy boys like C. Ronaldo that might spark them up a bit!

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Webb gets Old Trafford clash

Howard Webb has been named as the referee for Sunday's mouth-watering clash between Manchester United and Chelsea

The 35-year-old will take charge of the game at Old Trafford as the top two in The Premiership lock horns.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had raised concerns over who would officiate the game calling for a strong referee to take charge.

The Yorkshire-based official is regarded as one of the best young referees in England.

Meanwhile, Webb has revealed he would like to see referees give press conferences to try and clear up any controversy in games.

Referees have again been in the spotlight in the last few days with Mark Hughes and Martin Jol slamming Phil Dowd for his officiating of the 1-1 draw between Tottenham and Blackburn last weekend.

Webb insists he would have no problem giving a press conference to explain his performance.

"I'd have no problems presenting myself after a game talking about some of the decisions," said Webb.

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Werder Bremen v Chelsea

There’s an unusually subdued build-up to this Champions League match for Chelsea, what with Man Utd looming like the Eiger on the horizon.

It’s partly because José Mourinho has the luxury of knowing that a point at Bremen’s Weserstadion will guarantee first place in Group A because of head-to-head results against the other contenders.

And it’s partly because the media monster that is Barcelona-Chelsea has been silenced for the moment.

The tension surrounds Werder Bremen and Barça now. Werder scent an upset if Barça — stripped, remember, of Messi, Saviola and Eto’o — don’t win both their remaining games.

The Catalunyans play Levski Sofia, beaten home and away by the Germans. Of course, it might benefit Chelsea should our next opponents progress at the expense of our old Iberian enemies.

Whatever the paranoids of northeast Spain think, losing to Bremen would not suit the Blues. Defeat might open up the possibility of a freak result in the final match at home to Levski ditching us from the competition, or at least the prospect of finishing second in the group — which was not to our benefit last season.

Mourinho has never taken anything for granted. Although Frank Lampard is suspended, Ricardo Carvalho is injured and Michael Ballack (who scored one of the best penalties seen at Stamford Bridge in the first game against Werder) is available again, it is unlikely the team will differ greatly from the one that beat the Hammers.

It’s in José’s nature to consider every possibility, balancing risk management with the need to maintain fierce momentum. He will have selected a team for Wednesday based on the needs against West Ham, Werder and Man Utd.

Something he will also have considered is our post-Champions League form. Chelsea have dropped Premiership points after eight of the 24 European games we’ve played since 2004: six draws and two defeats.

Those losses (both away of course) were to Tottenham earlier this month and Man Utd just over a year ago. Among those teams we drew with were Arsenal, Everton, Birmingham and Spurs.

Nevertheless we’ve won 16 League games after European exertions, including the important 4-1 over Liverpool at Anfield last season, as well as the League Cup final in 2005.

José and his staff will be well aware how much each of his squad of players can offer to ensure two good team performances.

Longer term, a good result in Germany would allow the Chelsea manager to give younger squad players some invaluable experience against the Bulgarians in a fortnight.

Domestic form — especially at home — has not been great recently for Werder, for whom the influential Tim Borowski returns again after injury. They laboured to a 2-2 draw at struggling Alemania Aachen on Saturday and have ceded top slot to Schalke.

Thomas Schaaf’s Germans have enough attacking dynamism, especially in Borowski, Miroslav Klose and Diego, to cause problems, but that gung-ho approach may play into Chelsea’s hands, creating counterattacking possibilities.

It should be another fascinating evening; the prelude, perhaps, to a more vital clash on Sunday.

WERDER BREMEN V CHELSEA — Paul Dutton looks at the records of Group A’s top two.

Bremen have been undefeated at home in the Champions League since Barcelona won there 2-1 in the group stages last season. the five games since have seen Bremen score fifteen goals in five games, winning four and drawing one. (Udinese 4-3, Panathinaikos 5-1, Juventus 3-2, Barcelona 1-1, Levski Sofia 2-0.)

Chelsea have won two (Anderlecht and Levski Sofia) and lost five (Porto, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Betis) of our last ten away Champions League games. The draws were against Liverpool and Barcelona twice.

We are hoping to extend our unbeaten record in the Champions League to six games. Our last defeat was at home to Barcelona last season.

Didier Drogba is the leading Champions League scorer this season with five in 335 minutes of play. AC Milan’s Kaká has also scored five but has spent longer (360 minutes) on the pitch. Morientes of Valencia has four.

Werder Bremen’s last five years in Europe:

2001/02 UEFA InterToto Cup — third round

2002/03 UEFA Cup — second round

2003/04 UEFA InterToto Cup — semi-finals

2004/05 UEFA Champions League — round of 16

2005/06 UEFA Champions League — round of 16

Chelsea’s last five years in Europe:

2001/02 UEFA Cup — second round

2002/03 UEFA Cup — first round

2003/04 UEFA Champions League — semi-finals

2004/05 UEFA Champions League — semi-finals

2005/06 UEFA Champions League — round of 16

Chelsea have played 50 games in the Champions League proper (excluding qualifying games). We have won 25, drawn 13 and lost 12.

Bremen’s Champions League results this season

Matchday 1 Chelsea (a) L0-2

Matchday 2 Barcelona (h) D1-1

Matchday 3 Levski Sofia (h) W2-0

Matchday 4 Levski Sofia (a) W3-0

Appearances Diego 4, Frings 4, Fritz 4, Klose 4, Naldo 4, Baumann 3, Hunt 3, Mertesacker 3, Wiese 3, Wome 3, Borowski 2, Schulz 2, Vranjes 2, Klasnic 1+3, Pasanen 1+1, Reinke 1, Almeida 0+2, Andreasen 0+2, Owomoyela 0+1, Zidan 0+1.

Scorers Own goals 2, Baumann 1, Diego 1, Frings 1, Naldo 1.

Chelsea top group A with ten points from four games with Werder Bremen on seven, Barcelona on five and Levski Sofia none.

Werder Bremen’s last six games have been:

Oct 27 Mainz (a) W6-1

Oct 31 Levski Sofia (UCL a) W3-0

Nov 4 Energie Cottbus (h) D1-1

Nov 7 Nurnberg (a) W2-1

Nov 10 Borussia Dortmund (h) L1-3

Nov 18 Alemania Aachen (a) D2-2

The team for their last Bundesliga outing against thirteenth placed Alemania Aachen on Saturday was: Wiese; Rodriques, Fritz, Mertesacker, Wome; Borowski (Almeida 70), Frings, Diego, Vranjes (D Jensen h-t); Hunt, Klose. They had to come from behind twice to equalize with goals from Mertesacker (47) and Klose (79). They had seventeen shots on goal (seven on target).

Schalke top the Bundesliga with 26 points from thirteen games. Bremen are second on goal difference with Stuttgart on 24 points. Bayern Munich are fourth on 23 and Hertha Berlin fifth with 21. Werder Bremen are the Bundesliga’s top scorers with 33.

Man Utd came from behind to win at Sheffield United on Saturday and remain three points ahead of us on 34 points from 13 games. Portsmouth moved up to third on 23, Arsenal with a game in hand and Aston Villa are now on 22.

Bremen have played 20 games this season in all competitions, won 10, drawn 5 and lost 5 with 5 clean sheets. They have failed to score on only two occasions (including at Stamford Bridge). Chelsea’s 20 games have seen 15 wins, 2 draws, 3 defeats and 12 clean sheets. We have scored at least one in every game.

Werder Bremen’s overall record in European competition is

Played 153, won 72, drawn 32, lost 49

Chelsea’s overall record in European competition is

Played 122, won 66, drawn 30, lost 26. This is our tenth season in succession in Europe.

Werder Bremen’s European Cup record is: played 42, won 19, drawn 8, lost 15. This is their sixth appearance. In 1965/66 they lost to Partizan Belgrade in the second round, in 1988/89 AC Milan defeated them in the quarter-finals, 1993/94 they reached the group stage and in 2004/05 Lyon beat them 10-2 on aggregate in the round of 16. and last season Bremen were again eliminated at the last 16 stage this time by Juventus.

This is our fifth appearance in the Champions League. We have been semi-finalists twice in 2003/04 and 2004/05, quarter-finalists in 1999/2000 and the Round of 16 last season. In all we have played 54 games, won 28, drawn 14, lost 12.

Prior to this season Werder Bremen had played an English team only once in European competition. Arsenal beat them 2-0 at Highbury and 4-2 in Bremen in the UEFA Cup quarter-final in 1999/2000.

Chelsea have played four games on German soil against local opposition. In 1965/66 in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup quarter-final we drew 2-2 at TSV Munich 1860 (Tambling 2) and won 3-2 on aggregate. We lost to Barcelona in the semi-final.

In the 1999/2000 Champions League group stage we lost at Hertha Berlin 1-2 but still progressed to the quarter-final where we lost again to Barcelona. Frank Lebœuf was our scorer with a penalty.

Three seasons ago we defeated Stuttgart in the last sixteen of the Champions League 1-0 (Meira own goal) and went on to lose out to Monaco in the semi-final.

Our last game in Germany was in 2005 at Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final. Two late goals from the home side secured a 3-2 victory for Bayern after Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba had put Chelsea 2-1 up with twelve minutes to go. We lost to Liverpool in the semi-final.

Bremen’s honours include the German Bundesliga four times and the German Cup five times including the League and Cup double in 2004. They’ve also won the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1992.

Chelsea’s have won the European Cup Winners’ Cup twice in 1971 and 1998 and the UEFA Super Cup in 1998.

Match referee is Lubos Michel of Slovakia, who officiated Man Utd’s 3-2 win over Celtic back in September.

Bremen captain Frank Baumann is suspended having picked up a yellow card in each of his three games so far. His first booking was at Stamford Bridge following a foul on Michael Essien. Frings, Fritz, Rodrigues, Vranjes and Wome are all on one yellow.

Frank Lampard is suspended after his third booking at the Nou Camp against Barcelona. Both Joe Cole and John Terry are one caution off a suspension. They both have two and Ashley Cole, Drogba, Essien, Mikel and Robben are all on one.

Fritz, Naldo, Diego and Frings for Bremen and Ballack, Carvalho, Drogba, Essien, Lampard and Terry for Chelsea have played every minute of all four Champions League games so far.

OUR PREVIOUS MEETING

Chelsea 2 Werder Bremen 0

UEFA Champions League, Group Matchday 1, Tuesday September 12th 2006, Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea (4-1-2-1-2) Cech; Boulahrouz, Carvalho, Terry ©, A Cole; Makelele; Essien, Lampard; Ballack (Mikel 90); Drogba (Kalou 85), Shevchenko (J Cole 80).

Scorers Essien (23), Ballack (pen 64)

Booked Terry, Drogba, Lampard, J Cole

Werder Bremen (4-4-2) Reinke; Fritz, Pasanen, Naldo, Wome; Frings, Baumann © (Zidan 85), Diego, Borowski; Klose, Klasnic (Almeida 64).

Booked Baumann

Referee Kyros Vassaras (Greece).

Crowd 32,135.

Werder Bremen bring 3,000 very noisy fans.

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Essien set for new Blues deal

Michael Essien's agent has confirmed the Chelsea ace is set for a new improved deal.

Chelsea are keen to reward the powerful midfielder with a lucrative new contract as reward for his fine form this season.

Essien has arguably been Chelsea's best performer this season with a number of impressive performances.

Chelsea are now looking to secure his long-term future by offering him new improved terms to bring him in line with some of their other top stars.

Essien's agent Fabien Piveteau has revealed he has held talks with Chelsea and is set for another meeting with the Stamford Bridge hierarchy next month to try and thrash out a deal.

"I am in negotiations with Chelsea regarding Michael's contract,"

"I have a new meeting planned with them in December to talk about a new improved deal.

"They are happy with Michael and he is happy to stay in England."

Essien looked a real class act on saturday against West Ham, would be great to see him sign

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Hi all.

Enjoy reading the thread , yes I used to stand in the old shed,been a Chelsea fan for many years , used to take me and my mates about 25 minutes to walk from Battersea High St to the ground, Really enjoyed the way they played in the old 2nd division with the Doc . Chelsea to win on Sunday. phupaman.

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Essien set for new Blues deal

Michael Essien's agent has confirmed the Chelsea ace is set for a new improved deal.

Chelsea are keen to reward the powerful midfielder with a lucrative new contract as reward for his fine form this season.

Essien has arguably been Chelsea's best performer this season with a number of impressive performances.

Chelsea are now looking to secure his long-term future by offering him new improved terms to bring him in line with some of their other top stars.

Essien's agent Fabien Piveteau has revealed he has held talks with Chelsea and is set for another meeting with the Stamford Bridge hierarchy next month to try and thrash out a deal.

"I am in negotiations with Chelsea regarding Michael's contract,"

"I have a new meeting planned with them in December to talk about a new improved deal.

"They are happy with Michael and he is happy to stay in England."

Essien looked a real class act on saturday against West Ham, would be great to see him sign

I very much agree Tingnongnoi, he has probably been our most consistant player this season, along with Drogba, its good to finally see both of them playing at the top of their game!

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Hi all.

Enjoy reading the thread , yes I used to stand in the old shed,been a Chelsea fan for many years , used to take me and my mates about 25 minutes to walk from Battersea High St to the ground, Really enjoyed the way they played in the old 2nd division with the Doc . Chelsea to win on Sunday. phupaman.

Welcome aboard Phupaman, I'm glad your enjoying the thread, feel free to post any stories from the past or ask any questions and I'm sure your fellow blue brothers will be more than willing to help out.

Seapok

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Mourinho targets crucial victory

Champions League Group A: Werder Bremen v Chelsea

Date: Wednesday 22 November

Kick off: 1945 GMT

Venue: Weserstadion

Coverage: BBC Radio Five Live and this website

Jose Mourinho insists Chelsea will go for a win against Werder Bremen in the Champions League - even though defeat would damage arch-rivals Barcelona.

Chelsea lead Group A on 10 points, with Bremen on seven and Barcelona five.

But Mourinho said: "You play to lose only to make your children happy. Every other time you play to win, whether it is a friendly or the Champions League.

"You have to respect your opponents and respect the opposition and respect yourself, and that is what we will do."

Mourinho added: "We still need something to qualify and finish first in the group. I know our position is magnificent and we have done very well to be in this position.

"We are going to play the best we can to get the best result."

Mourinho refused to say who he would prefer to qualify for the knock-out phase out of Bremen or Barcelona.

He said: "I can't say that. Imagine if I said Bremen and they beat us later in the competition. You would laugh at me."

And he insisted the Champions League clash took priority over Sunday's Premiership showdown with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

He said: "Barcelona is a great team and one of the favourites for the competition while Bremen is the outsider.

"Bremen don't have the pressure to win the competition the way we, Barcelona, Inter or AC Milan have. I can tell you that I want to win.

"Manchester United is Sunday and the result in Champions League is no relation to that game and we are very calm and playing very well.

"For United we will have Ricardo Carvalho and Frank Lampard back. It's a different team and a different game but Manchester United is not special.

"What I feel in relation to that game is that we are in second place and there is a long way to go.

"We do not want to be second in the league. We go there to leave again in first place in the table."

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Jose targets top spot

Jose Mourinho has admitted he is disappointed Chelsea are trailing Manchester United in The Premiership.

The two big guns have set a scorching pace and have opened up an eight-point gap over the chasing pack.

Chelsea, who have been peerless for two seasons, find themselves three points adrift of The Red Devils and it is a position Mourinho is uncomfortable with.

"What I feel in relation to Man United is we are second in The Premiership and there is still a long, long time to play,"

"But even with a lot of months to play for The Premiership, we are not happy to be second in this moment.

"We want to be first all the time."

Mourinho's Blues could go top of the table with a heavy victory over United on Sunday, so the stakes at Old Trafford are extremely high.

Howard Webb has been chosen to take charge of the game and Mourinho feels he has the mental strength to cope with a game of such importance.

"Every time I see Mr Webb he looks like a very solid referee," Mourinho said.

"He is the type of referee that the big decisions of the game, normally the ones that decide the game, are the right ones.

"I don't choose referees. I accept the referee the committee sends. I always wish them well before the game starts. After the game, sometimes I'm disappointed, but before the game I always trust them."

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Werder Bremen 1-0 Chelsea

Chelsea qualified for the Champions League knockout stage despite defeat against Werder Bremen - but have injury concerns over top scorer Didier Drogba.

Per Mertesacker's powerful 26th minute header kept Bremen's hopes of finishing ahead of Barcelona in Group A alive.

But Chelsea's delight was tempered by the sight of Drogba limping off with an ankle injury early in the second half.

He will now face a race against time to be fit for Sunday's Premiership clash with leaders Manchester United.

Chelsea recalled teenager Mikel Jon Obi for the suspended Frank Lampard, with Andriy Shevchenko kept in reserve on the bench.

Although we lost to Werder we are still through and that is all that matters

Obi wasted the perfect opportunity to put Chelsea ahead after eight minutes, heading over an open goal after John Terry nodded Michael Essien's free-kick into his path.

Bremen still harbour hopes of overhauling Barcelona to reach the knockout phase, and talented midfield man Diego tested Carlo Cudicini with a right-foot shot after 13 minutes.

Diego then slipped an astute pass through to Hugo Almeida, but he shot wide under pressure from Geremi.

But there was no reprieve for Chelsea after 26 minutes when slack marking allowed Mertesacker to power a header beyond Cudicini.

Chelsea's Champions League ambitions were not going to be derailed by defeat, but they responded in typical fashion.

Joe Cole's cross was met by Michael Ballack, but he was denied a goal on his return to Germany by a fine save from Tim Wiese.

Cole then turned inside the area four minutes before half-time, but shot straight at Wiese.

Chelsea suffered a setback 13 minutes after the interval when Drogba, who had already taken a knock on the ankle, fell awkwardly and limped off.

Shevchenko came on as part of a double substitution, with Arjen Robben also replacing the disappointing Obi.

The £30m striker was quickly in the action, testing Wiese with a 25-yard free-kick.

Chelsea had another anxious moment when Essien fell to the floor clutching his face after a collision with Pierre Wome, but he was able to continue.

Mourinho's side were on top after the break, but were unable to make the breakthrough.

And captain Terry's frustration was demonstrated when he was booked for dissent - but Chelsea will hardly be unhappy at their hugely influential captain missing the final game against Levski Sofia.

The home crowd's nerves were on edge as the closed in on a vital victory, and Essien almost delivered the nightmare finish for Bremen with a stunning rising drive that was only inches off target.

Bremen now just need a draw in Barcelona in their final group game to go through to the last 16.

Chelsea have qualified as they cannot finish below Bremen in the table because they have the better head-to-head record in the group games between the two sides.

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Blues through despite defeat

Chelsea's trip to Germany was supposed to conclude with progression to the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League as Group A winners, but what transpired saw Werder Bremen toasting a just about deserved 1-0 success.

Poor defending in the 26th minute saw Per Mertesacker expose a makeshift Chelsea back four and in the process give Werder a chance of qualification heading into the final week of group matches.

Chelsea still qualify courtesy of a better head-to-head record against their German counterparts, but on an unsuccessful away day, the English champions failed to ever really hit top gear.

Rivals Barcelona may look on this result with more than a little scepticism but Chelsea were committed if not convincing at the back, energetic if not fluid in attack and there can be few complaints from the Catalan giants.

Chelsea's start at the Weser Stadion was not exactly lethargic but it certainly lacked the poise and bite that normally characterises foreign excursions.

Shorn of the rejuvenate Andrei Shevchenko, who had to settle for a place on the bench, Chelsea crammed their midfield but still looked narrow as Werder worked the flanks well.

With Diego dominating the battle of the number tens, as Joe Cole laboured somewhat on his return, Werder's creative epicentre looked to add craft to Torsten Frings' incessant work-rate at every opportunity.

It was, though, the latter that fired the first warning shot as his drive from the edge of the area required an important block before John Obi Mikel had a glorious chance to mark a rare start with a goal, only to horribly head over after being found free six yards from goal courtesy of John Terry's nod-back.

Carlo Cudicini was brought into action as he gathered Diego's first time snap shot and as the half drew to its midway point, Chelsea were left to rue a dubious piece of officiating.

Frings did not appear to be touched as he went down under a non-existent challenge but referee Lubos Michel ruled a foul. From the resulting setpiece, Mertesacker's header was blocked for a corner. Chelsea would not heed the warning.

Frings swung in from the left and after somehow ghosting in between Michael Ballack and Didier Drogba, the giant Mertesacker powered his header beyond Cudicini.

Mourinho was incensed on the touchline and, on the field, the rough the justice meted out to them seemed to galvanise Chelsea's players, as Joe Cole in particular stepped from the periphery.

A sublime jab with the outside of his right foot presented a chance to Ballack but his flicked finish from close range was meek and Tim Wiese was allowed to save, before, on the stroke of half time, Cole turned his man Pierre Wome cleverly and then ruined his good work with a soft shot straight at Werder's previously underworked goalkeeper.

After the interval and Mourinho needed just over ten minutes to call upon the lexicon of talent available to him on the bench as Arjen Robben and Shevchenko were summoned from the cold.

Chelsea's start to the second 45 minutes mirrored that of the first as a strong running Werder conjured an early chance through Diego's clever run and pass that played in Daniel Jensen, only for Khalid Boulahrouz to spare his side's blushes by hurling himself at the ball in a brave block.

Drogba just failed to get in a shot after a clever one-two with Cole, but of greater concern will be the sight of the Ivorian limping to the touchline, with an injury that could have major repercussions for Sunday's clash with Manchester United.

Shevchenko's first touch could and should perhaps have played in his fellow substitute Robben, but his cross was poor and the chance was lost. As Chelsea began to boss possession, with Werder content to sit and counter, the Ukrainian brought Wiese into action again with a daisy cutter of a free-kick that troubled the unsighted German.

Chelsea showed plenty of endeavour but other than a Michael Essien jackhammer of a strike that went just wide of Wiese's far post, Werder were not forced to suffer too many moments of genuine consternation.

The final minutes saw Chelsea bomb Werder's box with a string of high balls but the Germans stood defiant and at the game's conclusion, it was the home side that yielded what could prove to be a crucial three points in this season's Champions League story.

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Mourinho plays down injury fears

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has made light of injury worries over Michael Ballack and Didier Droga after the 1-0 Champions League loss to Werder Bremen.

The Blues reached the knock-out stages despite losing, but Ballack and Drogba suffered knocks ahead of the trip to Manchester United on Sunday.

"Ballack's injury is nothing special. It is just pain, the opponent put his studs on his muscle," he said.

"Didier is the same. He has a pain in the ankle but it is nothing serious."

Mourinho admitted their first defeat of the season in Europe "was not a super game by Chelsea", but said the fact they had secured their place in the next round was more important.

"I am never happy with a defeat but this is different because we have still qualified for the second stage of the competition," he said.

"But to go into the last game of the group stage having already qualified is an achievement. That is very important."

"I think we showed that we wanted to get something in every moment of the game. Nobody can say we didn't come here and play this seriously.

"I felt we were not lucky with the small details.

"It was not a free-kick that led to the corner and their goal, and maybe we deserved a draw, but Bremen showed spirit and enthusiasm and got the three points."

In the final round of group games, Chelsea are at home to Levski Sofia, while Barcelona must beat Bremen to join the Blues in the knock-out stages.

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