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|A||Man. United||Shakhtar Donetsk|
After a weekend league defeat, José Mourinho said he would prefer Chelsea FC won their final UEFA Champions League Group E game against rock-bottom FC Steaua Bucureşti even if it did not guarantee them top spot and a potentially less troublesome tie in the round of 16. As it happens it would, but Steaua aim to "make a good game" of their last fixture before they exit the competition in fourth place.
José Mourinho, manager
I'm going to give a little rest to a couple of players – but we need to win and our team for certain positions is a very strong squad.
[Steaua have] got three draws. They didn't lose against Schalke once and against Basel twice – and they are going to try to do the same tomorrow.
We have to win, not just to finish first but to have the good feeling to win at home and finish with 12 points. If you told me now that tomorrow we finish first with one point because of the other result I don't want it. I want to have the feeling of winning the game tomorrow. Difficult, but I think we can.
We are creating a lot, we are playing very nice football – but we have to kill opponents. We have to score goals.
Saturday: Stoke City FC 3-2 Chelsea (Crouch 42, Ireland 50, Assaidi 90; Schürrle 9 53)
Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Ramires, Mikel (Lampard 70); Schurrle (Eto'o 70), Mata, Hazard; Torres (Ba 59).
• Oussama Assaidi's late goal denied Chelsea a point; the west Londoners have kept only one clean sheet in their last ten Premier League matches. Chelsea have conceded 17 in the league this term, whereas they let in 15 all season in winning the title under Mourinho in 2004/05.
Samuel Eto'o was a used substitute at Stoke after two games sidelined with a groin problem but David Luiz (knee) and Oscar (ankle) missed out with knocks. Mourinho said: "I'm not going to play with the same team as in the last game and will give two or three players a rest."
Laurenţiu Reghecampf, coach
We expect a difficult game, it's the last of this group phase but I know we have no pressure on us – I just hope our players make a good game of it.
Often when you have no pressure there can be a bit of a danger in that you can relax – but I think my players have understood this and I am sure they have taken it into consideration and will give a good account of themselves. I know Chelsea very well and I can only say I hope my players have a very good game tomorrow.
It is a pity we are in this situation. Initially I was hoping this would be an important game where we had the chance to qualify for the next round or the Europa League, but of course now the priority is the domestic league – that is not to say we will not give everything tomorrow though.
We know it will be very difficult because Chelsea want to finish top of the group and they know they have to win to do that. But I just hope we give them a good game.
First we want to play a good game here and not repeat the mistakes we made in the first leg. I think for all of us, my team and Romanian football, it is very important to have a positive game and a positive result.
We are also going through a difficult period, we have not been able to win league games of late. This is a very welcome opportunity for us to play here, against one of the best teams in the world. I know we will all be very motivated and we will seek our chance.
I don't think we really have a lot to learn. In Germany we had good chances and we played very well. Against Basel we also played very well and only conceded in the last minute. So I don't know if it is bad luck or maybe a lack of concentration. I still think this has been a great opportunity and a great chance to learn in this competition – because it is the best in the world.
Next year if we play in the Champions League again, I'm sure we will get different results.
Sunday: FC Oţelul Galaţi 1-1 Steaua (Tudorie 77; Varela 38)
Tătăruşanu; Szukała, Varela, Gardoş, Pîrvulescu; Prepeliţă, Bourceanu, Chipciu (Iancu 65), Tănase, Pintilii (Stanciu 46); Piovaccari (Kapetanos 81).
• Fernando Varela's first goal for Steaua was enough to earn only a fourth successive 1-1 draw in the First Division, against an Oţelul side they had beaten 2-0 in Bucharest in the Romanian Cup three days earlier. Steaua have not won a league game since October.
Reghecampf rested several players for Thursday's cup tie but did welcome back Mihai Pintilii as a substitute on his return from a muscle strain which had kept him out since matchday four. Alexandru Bourceanu is suspended while Lucian Filip is absent with a broken leg suffered in training last month.
• The Romanian club have not won for 22 games in the UEFA Champions League proper, since a 4-1 success at FC Dynamo Kyiv on 13 September 2006. Steaua's failure to beat FC Schalke 04 on matchday five equalled the longest UEFA Champions League run without a victory, set by FC Spartak Moskva between 5 December 2000 and 22 November 2006.
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