Luiz Felipe Scolari might have been joking when he said he’d be better going home to Brazil if Chelsea fail to beat Cluj in their final Champions League group match, but there won’t be too many Blues fans disagreeing if the unthinkable happens.
The former Brazil and Portugal coach watched his side put in another inept performance in Europe on Wednesday and now they must defeat group minnows Cluj to progress into the knockout stage.
Chelsea were lacklustre in their 1-1 draw with Bordeaux and after the previous goalless draw with Cluj and the defeat against Roma, Scolari’s men have to wait until matchday six at Stamford Bridge to seal qualification.
It looked as though Chelsea had got out of jail in France when Nicolas Anelka fired them ahead, but even that couldn’t lift them and an unmarked Alou Diarra headed an 82nd-minute equaliser to claim a 1-1 draw for Bordeaux.
We need to win at home. I think if my team do not have the quality to win against Cluj at home, it’s better that I go home to Brazil.
It was a bad goal to concede, because we are training hard every time on this. I think that is the first time since I’ve been here that we have conceded from a corner.
We have detailed who marks the first post, who marks the second, who marks man to man, but we made a mistake.
The Blues will be heavy favourites with the football odds compilers to record the victory they require on December 9th, but after failing to score against Cluj away and leaving it late at home to Roma in the 1-0 win maybe the jitters will set in if the men from Transylvania get to half-time all square.
Scolari has certainly brought a smile to many in his pre and post-match briefings and it will be interesting to see how he copes with the pressure in two weeks’ time.
By Phil Tomlinson