Match: Chelsea vs Girondins de Bordeaux, Group A, Champions League 2008-2009
Date: 16 September 2008, Tuesday
Venue: Stamford Bridge, London
Kick off: 19:45 BST (British Standard Time)
Chelsea’s recent form has been in evident of their current level of confidence. The Blues outclassed Manchester City 3-1 on Saturday away at Eastlands. Chelsea is currently leading in the premier league on goal difference with 10 points from 4 matches. Girondins de Bordeaux, on the other hand, has not been at their best so far this season as they could manage to pick up seven points from five matches in League 1 in France. The French club finished second last season after Olympique Lyonnais in League 1, but they are yet to find their right form this season. However, the performance of Bordeaux was pretty much satisfactory in their recent draw against League 1 rival Olympique Marseille.
Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari will have to face his first Europe test tonight when Bordeaux will travel North London tonight. The world cup winning Brazilian coach has not managed any European club before taking over the job at Chelsea, but Scolari had two success stories in South America’s Copa Libertadores, the equivalent club competition of Europe’s Champions League, with Gremio and Palmeiras. However, the Chelsea manager has recently said that their target was to win all the things coming in their way; not just Champions League. Chelsea has not won any Champions League title yet, but they did see their best performance last season when they reached the final for the first time and went as close as a penalty kick to clinch the European title. However, they could not capitalize on that opportunity and lost in the Moscow final to Manchester United.
Chelsea boss Scolari said that Chelsea knew a lot about Bordeaux and had a lots of information about the French club. The manager also said that Chelsea’s primary target in to match last season’s success-meaning to reach the final.
Luiz Felipe Scolari - "We know quite a lot about Bordeaux. We've seen tapes of their games and have some additional information from other people. They've warned us to be careful, especially in this first match."
Luiz Felipe Scolari - "The primary objective is to reach the final again."
Girondins de Bordeaux saw their best ever performance in Champions League in 1985 when they reached the semi final of the tournament, but failed to make it to the final being defeated by Juventus. Bordeaux had an excellent last season in domestic league, but still tonight’s encounter could be termed as a David and Goliath fight. However, Bordeaux manager Laurent Blanc has recently said that Chelsea has enough money and a strong squad, but still they could not manage to win Champions League yet, indicating how tough Champions League is. He has also stated that money can not bring success all the time. In order to succeed, a club needs talent and performance. He has also added that Chelsea looks so strong that you might think it would be easy game for Chelsea. Besides admitting the strength of the North London club, Blanc still thinks that clinching a point from the match is possible for Bordeaux.
"If you look at the strength Chelsea have compared to us you would think it would be an easy game for them, but that is one of the great things about football, and the Champions League especially, because smaller teams can upset the bigger ones," Blanc said.
"We didn't spend long looking for their weaknesses because there aren't many. And if we had looked at their strengths we wouldn't have slept because they have so many. But can we get a point? Why not?
"It is always the case that you learn from every game and gain experience but we don't just come for that. It would be a bad state of affairs if we came just for experience.
"We might start in a reserved manner but hopefully we will be able to become more audacious as the game goes on."
Chelsea will be without their injured midfielder Michael Essien in the match. Essien will be out of action for at least six months after picking up a major knee injury during his international duty for Ghana recently. However, Michael Ballack is expected to be available for the match against Girondins de Bordeaux after shaking off his ankle/foot injury. Ivorian striker Didier Drogba made a substitute appearance in their recent premier league victory over Manchester City at Eastlands. It was his first appearance for Chelsea this season as he was suffering from a niggling knee injury since the Champions League final of the last season. Girondins de Bordeaux does not need to contend with any injury, even through the club featured a full-strength side in their latest League 1 match against Marseille, but the good news is that Bordeaux did not suffer any injury woe from the match.
Online Live Score and Updates
Fans of both sides are now eagerly waiting for the match. However, if you are not lucky enough to manage your time to watch the match on television, then you can visit the online live score sites for the updates of the match. Here, I am giving some websites names from where you can get online live score and updates of the match:
Live Football Scores
Chelsea is clearly favorite against Girondins de Bordeaux, but Bordeaux might show some spirited performance considering the fact that they have nothing to lose in the match. Even a point will be considered as a victory for the French side, while anything less than a victory will be considered as a failure for Chelsea. So, the pressure will be on Chelsea. No doubt, they will have home advantage, but I think, Bordeaux is going to throw some tough challenges for the home team, and any kind of negligence in the match could be lethal for Chelsea.