No mercy expected from Chelsea

2013-03-09 00:00

CHELSEA defender David Luiz has warned Manchester United that his team are determined to add to their rivals’ misery when they clash in the FA Cup quarter-finals tomorrow.

United are still reeling from their agonising Champions League last-16 exit against Real Madrid on Tuesday, prompting Luiz to admit he would love to increase United’s distress by knocking them out of the Cup at Old Trafford.

“It’s a big game. All the world wants to watch this game and Chelsea go to Manchester to win,” Luiz said.

Chelsea have little chance of catching United in the Premier League title race and winning the Cup for the fifth time in seven seasons would offer some solace for the holders and their beleaguered interim manager Rafael Benitez.

And with Benitez in charge only until May, Brazil star Luiz believes it is imperative the players, dogged by reports of dressing room unrest, work together to salvage the campaign.

“This is the key for big clubs to win titles and win games,” said Luiz. “In Chelsea we have a strong team, strong changing room. It’s difficult sometimes when we’ve lost games, but I think in Chelsea we have great players and the players to support this pressure.”

Things did not improve for Chelsea on Thursday when they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League.

For United’s bitter rivals Manchester City, who host Championship strugglers Barnsley, the FA Cup is their last realistic chance to win some silverware in a disappointing season.

City boss Roberto Mancini admits his team have only a faint opportunity of making up the 12-point gap to United in the league, but the club’s Argentine defender Pablo Zabaleta offered hope for a positive end to the campaign as he hailed the revitalised Carlos Tevez.

Tevez missed most of last season after going into exile following a touchline row with Mancini, but he has finally recaptured peak form of late, scoring the winner at Aston Villa on Monday after notching a fine strike against Chelsea the previous week.

Meanwhile, Everton midfielder Leon Osman has warned his team-mates not to underestimate struggling Wigan when they meet at Goodison Park.

David Moyes’ team are 21 points ahead of Wigan in the Premier League, but Osman believes that will count for nothing in the Cup, especially after two testing league encounters with the Latics this season.

“The two games we have had against Wigan have been right up there with the toughest we have had,” Osman said. “We have taken four points from the games but they haven’t come easily.”

There will be at least one second-tier team in the semi-finals as Millwall face fellow Championship club Blackburn at the Den.

Both sides have struggled of late, but Blackburn manager Michael Appleton believes the return to fitness of former Newcastle striker Leon Best could make the difference against 2004 Cup runners-up Millwall.

“Having him available week-in and week-out certainly whets the appetite and he is a player opposition teams won’t fancy coming up against,” Appleton said.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.