Archive for febbraio 24th, 2011
John Terry insists Manchester United could yet bottle it in the Barclays Premier League title race, starting against his Chelsea side on Tuesday.
Chelsea have all but surrendered their mantle of English champions, having slipped back to fifth place in the table, 12 points behind long-time leaders United.
But captain Terry has vowed to fight to the bitter end and reckons beating United at Stamford Bridge next week would help sow the seeds of doubt in the minds of their perennial title rivals.
Terry acknowledges the chances of Chelsea retaining their crown are “really small” but he is well aware 12-point leads have been frittered away before at this stage of a season, not least by United themselves in 1998, as well as by Newcastle two years earlier.
“It’s been done. Man United did it to Newcastle many years ago,” the England defender said. “It’s possible and a little bit of pressure.
“Even those games at the end of last year, us knowing we needed to win, there’s an awful lot of pressure on those games,” said Terry, whose side won a vital title decider against United last April. Going to Old Trafford and winning can only do us the world of good in years to come and this year.”
United have lost only one of their 26 league games all season, although they have dropped plenty of points away from home, winning just three of 12 matches. Terry said: “At times, we see that they can be beaten, they can be got at.
“They’re certainly not invincible. Blackpool, they got in their faces and did very well for 60, 70 minutes. But what did show, once again, was their experience. That experience, we’ve also got here as well. They’re a very good side but I don’t think anybody should be fearful of them.”
Branding Tuesday’s match “must-win”, he added: “Who knows what game plan they’re going to come down with? They’re playing well, so they’ll probably be confident of coming down and getting something, which will hopefully suit us.”
Terry reckons they are now ready to rescue their ailing league campaign. “We’ve been there, we’ve seen it, we’ve done it, we’ve got the t-shirt,” he said. “When we do go on a bad run, people pinpoint the age.
“But what we have got is an awful lot of experience, a lot of trust in each other and belief that we can still do it. Look at last year as well, the experience we showed last year in a lot of big games in the run-in.
“We went away to Liverpool, went away to Man United and won very big games – which proved to be very crucial in us doing the double.”
Terry agreed with manager Ancelotti that United would be facing a Chelsea side now boasting a forward line to be feared all over Europe with new £50 million man Fernando Torres joining Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka.
“To play against them must put the fear into defenders,” he said. “The two guys who started, showing their pace, playing on people’s shoulders, there’s probably none better in the league. Hopefully this is the start of them all clicking together.”
He added of Torres: “The only thing that was missing from his performance was a goal. It would’ve been very nice for him, but he played a massive part in our performance.”
And Terry would not be surprised at all to see the Spaniard finally break his duck against United, adding: “We hope so. It’d be an ideal time, and what a way to get going.”
Wesley Sneijder believes Inter deserved to beat Bayern Munich after seeing Mario Gomez snatch a late 1-0 victory at the San Siro.
In a re-run of last year’s final, Bayern made a positive impression against the reigning champions, with Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben both hitting the post before Gomez took advantage of a Julio Cesar error late on.
The away goal leaves Inter with a huge task ahead of the second leg but, having been frustrated by what he considers an unfair result, Sneijder is determined to turn things round in Germany.
“We deserved the victory,” he told RAI. “We deserved to win – we played well and created a lot of chances – but the reality is that we lost, even if it’s not over yet.
“We all knew they had quality players, especially in attack. We did well – we just lacked goals. In Munich it will be difficult, but it’s not over.”
Inter boss Leonardo refused to blame his goalkeeper for the result.
“Julio Cesar has no need to apologise,” he said. “There were many chances in this game and it’s part of the sport. He parried it and the goal could’ve come in other moves, just as we had the opportunities to score.
“It’s true that this loss is even more disappointing because it came right at the end, but it’s all wide open for me, as we played on level terms tonight.”
Inter’s defeat followed home losses for AC Milan and Roma in the Champions League, but Leonardo dismissed suggestions Italy was falling behind other countries.
“Serie A sides remain competitive, as I didn’t see any enormous difference and the competition remains very balanced. We’ll go to Munich with optimism and the desire to go through.”
Bayern boss Louis van Gaal said he had been surprised by Inter’s attacking approach during the game.
“It was an entertaining match with many scoring opportunities,” he said. “Perhaps we created a few more, so I am satisfied, then at the death we got a bit of luck. I really liked the second-half performance, as Inter worked hard without achieving much and we held possession well.
“Inter surprised me, as they played a very attacking and creative style of football, but our goalkeeper, Thomas Kraft, also had a great game.”