Football: Champions League - `We want to win in style,' says Vialli

Chelsea manager deflects chairman's criticism and allays Milan fears that he will take the safe option

WILL IT be a contest or a night of collusion? Milan are optimistic about the nature of tonight's Champions' League tie between Chelsea and Hertha Berlin at Stamford Bridge, but also fearful.

The belief that "it is not the English style" and that "Vialli would not want the stain on his reputation" give them hope. But like the bookies they remember matches such as West Germany's with Austria, in the 1982 World Cup, and worry. Then Horst Hrubesch's early goal was followed by 80 minutes of inaction, enabling both sides to go through to the next round at the expense, on goal difference, of Algeria.

Tonight Chelsea and Hertha do not even have to bother with a goal: a scoreless draw would send both into the next lucrative stage of the Champions' League at the expense of Milan. The Italian champions, who must beat Galatasaray in Turkey to stand any chance of progressing, would then have to settle for a Uefa Cup place alongside Arsenal, assuming they do not lose in Istanbul.

That Milan could well pose a threat in the later stages of the Champions' League - should they survive - is an added incentive to Chelsea to see them depart but, for the reasons expressed above, the presence of 34,000 fans wanting good value for their expensive seats, and, above all, the intervention of the chairman Ken Bates, suggests they will approach the match intent on winning it.

Bates' input, made to Chelsea Clubcall, dominated yesterday's press conference. The chairman accused the team of "surrendering" during the 3-2 home defeat to Arsenal and said there had been "errors of selection" in recent weeks, during which Chelsea also lost to Watford, Liverpool and Derby.

Gianluca Vialli, like his team at Pride Park, offered no defence but defused the comments with masterful diplomacy. He said: "I respect his opinion and accept the criticism. I have made mistakes. With the team we have, if you are perfect it is quite difficult to lose games, so I must have done something wrong.

"Against Arsenal we were the better team, but it was a very bad performance against Derby. It is not on purpose but in the back of our minds we approach games at the San Siro differently to the games at Watford or Derby. Now we have to make up for it with a good performance.

"Players sometimes react to criticism with better performances, but if we lose the chairman will not be happy and neither will I. We want to win and I want us to do so in style. A fake match would annoy me. It is nothing to do with my being Italian; our supporters have paid for their tickets and expect us to do our best and a fake match is not good for football."

The scenario is similar to that when Manchester United drew at home to Bayern Munich in the group stages last year. Though the formula for qualifying was different then, when both sides realised, late in the game, that the 1-1 score would put both of them through, and attempts on goal dried up completely.

That may be the case tonight. Jurgen Rober, the Hertha coach, said: "I think we will be put under pressure as it is not the English way to play for a draw. But, maybe in the second half, if it is a draw with 15 minutes to go, everybody will be happy."

Indeed, as Vialli added: "Do not expect us to be silly and attack with 11 men just to show we are trying to win."

Not that winning will be easy. Chelsea were comprehensively out-thought and largely out-fought when losing 2-1 in Berlin in September. The right- back Albert Ferrer intimated yesterday that they had underestimated Berlin and they will probably pay closer attention to the Iranian international Ali Daei, who scored both goals, this time.

Like Chelsea, Berlin have only won once in five matches, but the astute Rober, a former Nottingham Forest player, is likely to have his team well organised with the accent, as in Berlin, on defence and counter-attack. Rober added: "I am surprised Milan have struggled but I hope they lose in Galatasaray. That way it does not matter what happens here."

Chelsea (probable): De Goey; Ferrer, Desailly, Leboeuf, Babayaro; Petrescu, Deschamps, Wise, Poyet; Zola, Flo.

Hertha Berlin (probable): Kiraly; Herzog, Rekdal, Van Burik; Sannah, Deisler, Sverrisson, Wosz, Michalke; Preetz, Daei.

Referee: K E Nilsson (Sweden).

Sport
footballLIVE City face Stoke, while Warnock returns to Palace dugout
Arts and Entertainment
books
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior VB.NET Application Developer (ASP.NET, SQL, Graduate)

£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...

C# .NET Web Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery, XML, XLST)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...

Clinical Negligence Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: HAMPSHIRE MARKET TOWN - A highly attr...

Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF, BGP, Multicast, WAN)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone