Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | FA Cup

Chelsea © Action Images

Mata calls for Chelsea Cup reaction



Juan Mata says Chelsea must use recent disappointments as a source of motivation as they bid to set up an FA Cup quarterfinal glamour tie with Manchester United.

The European champions visit second-tier Middlesbrough in the fifth round on Wednesday, three days after a 2-0 loss at Manchester City that left them seven points adrift of the top two in the Premier League.

It leaves Champions League qualification as Chelsea's only realistic objective in the league this season, but they remain in contention for honours in both the FA Cup and the Europa League.

The draw for the last eight in the FA Cup dealt Rafael Benitez's side a possible trip to Old Trafford in the next round and Mata believes that should provide enough motivation to cast recent setbacks into the shade.

Writing on his official blog, blogs.grada360.com/juanmata, the Spain midfielder said: "We're sorry for our fans.

"The way to overcome the disappointment is winning again, and this coming Wednesday we have an opportunity to move one step forward in the FA Cup.

"We can still win two titles. That, plus getting a ticket to play the next Champions League, is our motivation with a view to the rest of the season and we will fight for those goals until the end, like this club has always done."

Interim Chelsea coach Benitez has complained that his club are "playing too many games" at the moment and he seems likely to shuffle his pack for the trip to the Riverside Stadium.

Striker Fernando Torres and club captain John Terry will both hope to start, having been named on the substitutes' bench for the defeat at City.

Middlesbrough, FA Cup quarterfinalists five times since the turn of the century, are also seeking distraction from poor league form.

The north-east club have lost seven of their nine Championship games to date this year and slipped out of the play-off places after losing 2-1 at home to Millwall on Saturday.

"I'm looking forward to it. It is a one-off that will lift the tensions of the Championship season," said manager Tony Mowbray.

"I hope the supporters turn up, but it's their hard-earned money and you can't tell them that they have to come.

"However, we will need a great atmosphere and hope the players find a performance to make the fans proud."

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Sunday Oliseh
What Chelsea has that Man City lacks
When Jose Mourinho celebrated winning the Capital One Cup many asked if he was putting on a show.

Neil Tovey
I still bleed black and gold
I believe the Soweto derby ranks among the ten best derbies within world football.

Dr Errol Sweeney
Referee inconsistency - true or false?
No one ever said refereeing is easy. No one ever said arbitrating between two “warring” factions...

Segun Odegbami
Barcelona on my mind
I guess every reader of this column knows by now that I am a fan of Barcelona.

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Jose's feeling the heat
Many of my regular readers here will know I am neither a Jose Mourinho apologist nor a cult...

John Dykes
Make the call, ref!
Here’s an excerpt from an alternative, purely fictitious match report from Saturday’s Barclays...