Juan Mata confident Chelsea can lift trophy this season

 

Juan Mata believes Chelsea have what it takes to win a trophy this season.

The Blues have an FA Cup semi-final with Tottenham coming up and are on course to reach the Champions League last four after beating Benfica 1-0 in their quarter-final first leg on Tuesday.

It is quite a turnaround in fortunes for Chelsea after replacing Andre Villas-Boas with Roberto Di Matteo less than a month ago, and Mata is confident he could now end his first season in English football with some silverware.

Asked if the Blues are good enough to win a trophy, he said: "Why not, why not?

"It will not be easy, but we are alive and are fighting for the Champions League and FA Cup.

"We will try to finish the Premier League in third or fourth position and will fight for that.

"Every player is involved to achieve our objectives in the FA Cup, Champions League and Premier League.

"We have a lot of games every week and I think it is a clever decision [to rotate the squad]."

 

That rotation saw Di Matteo make six alterations for Tuesday's Champions League match at the Estadio da Luz.

The changes paid dividends as Chelsea will head into next week's second leg against Benfica in a comfortable position, which pleased Mata.

"It was a good result for us," the Spain international said. "It was a very, very important game, away, and a very important goal from Salomon Kalou.

"It is very important for us. The most important thing when you play away is to try and keep your clean sheet and then try and score.

"We did that but we have not finished the elimination and we have to fight at Stamford Bridge.

"It was fast, I tried to score and hit the post.

"I think we had a lot of chances to score and for us the 0-1 is a very, very good result.

"In the second half we had chances to score like mine. I hit the post, it was unlucky, but we got the goal.

"It is not over yet. Benfica for sure will come to our stadium to try to score. It's not over, we have to fight again."

Meanwhile, Chelsea's rearranged Barclays Premier League game against Newcastle will be played on Wednesday, May 2 (kick-off 7.45pm).

The match was originally scheduled for FA Cup semi-final weekend.

Should the Blues therefore reach the last four of the Champions League, they will have played 19 times in 65 days up to and including their penulimate league game of the season at Liverpool on May 6.

PA

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