Chelsea's knockout success threatens København
Monday, January 3, 2011
Chelsea FC have reached the semi-finals five times in the past seven years and represent a tough challenge for FC København as they prepare for their debut appearance in the last 16.
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A year ago, an away defeat in the round of 16 first leg paved the way for Chelsea FC's exit from the UEFA Champions League; this time round, the London club will be keen for a positive result at FC København.
• The Danish champions are appearing at this stage for the first time whereas Chelsea are in the last 16 for the eighth successive season. In five of the last seven campaigns they have gone on to reach the semi-finals or better, although in 2009/10 they lost 2-1 at FC Internazionale Milano at this stage, subsequently going down 1-0 at home to bow out of the competition.
• The teams have only met on one previous occasion – in the 1998/99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup second round, Chelsea winning the decisive second leg in Copenhagen with a single goal from legendary Danish striker Brian Laudrup. It was his only goal for the London club in the final game of his brief stay, Laudrup moving back to his homeland to join FCK in 1999, scoring twice in 12 league appearances.
• The first leg of that UEFA Cup Winners' Cup tie had ended 1-1, Marcel Desailly equalising with just a minute remaining to cancel out Bjarne Goldbæk's 81st-minute opener. The Danish midfielder took the opposite path to Laudrup when he joined Chelsea shortly after the tie and scored five times in 29 league appearances before joining Fulham FC in 2000.
• While those matches are Chelsea's only experience of Danish opposition, FCK's four other fixtures against English teams have brought one win, a draw and two defeats – both reverses coming away from home. The Copenhagen club were 1-0 winners at home to Manchester United FC in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League group stage and drew 2-2 at home to Manchester City FC in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup round of 32, but lost 3-0 at United and 2-1 at City.
• The Danish champions' group campaign was in stark contrast to their only previous participation in 2006/07 when they finished bottom of their section. This time they won their first two games, at home to FC Rubin Kazan (1-0) and away to Panathinaikos FC (2-0).
• Their other home matches resulted in a 1-1 draw with FC Barcelona and a 3-1 defeat of Panathinaikos on Matchday 6 to secure second place in Group D. Away from home they went down 2-0 to Barça and 1-0 at Rubin. In their qualifying games, FCK overcame FC BATE Borisov (3-2) and Rosenborg BK (1-0) at home.
• København are unbeaten in five European home games – winning four – stretching back to a 3-1 reverse against Olympique de Marseille in last season's UEFA Europa League round of 32.
• A 1-0 defeat at Marseille on Matchday 6 put an end to Chelsea's ambition of becoming only the fifth team to win all six games in a UEFA Champions League group.
• Chelsea began with a 4-1 win at MŠK Žilina and also triumphed 2-0 away to FC Spartak Moskva. At Stamford Bridge they won all three games with an aggregate score of 8-2, finishing as group winners for the sixth time in eight seasons.
• The 2-1 defeat in Milan 12 months ago put Carlo Ancelotti's team on the back foot against José Mourinho's Inter and that 1-0 home loss in the return meant that Chelsea's dream of lifting European football's greatest club prize had ended for another year. It was the third successive season that they had lost to the eventual winners and the first time they had missed out on the semi-finals since 2005/06.
• Jesper Grønkjær was a Chelsea player between 2000 and 2004, scoring one of their goals in a 5-3 aggregate defeat by AS Monaco FC in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League semi-final. He scored seven times in 87 Premier League games.
• Grønkjær and Ashley Cole were on opposite sides at the 2002 FIFA World Cup when England beat Denmark 3-0 in the last 16 in Niigata.
• Zdeněk Pospěch and Petr Čech are team-mates with the Czech Republic national team.
• On 9 February a Denmark team including Mathias Zanka Jørgensen, William Kvist and Martin Vingaard were beaten 2-1 at home by England in a friendly international at FCK's Parken Stadion. Captain Frank Lampard, Cole and John Terry appeared for the visitors.