• Champions League

Mata: Shakhtar game like a final for Chelsea

ESPN staff
November 5, 2012
Graeme Le Saux previews big game for Chelsea

Juan Mata has fired a warning to his Chelsea team-mates that they must treat Wednesday's Champions League meeting with Shakhtar Donetsk like a final.

Roberto Di Matteo's side slipped to a 2-1 defeat against the Ukrainian Premier League champions a fortnight ago, and Mata knows a repeat of that result will leave Chelsea with an uphill task to make it to the knockout stage.

But the Spaniard is confident that home comforts can help Chelsea avoid becoming the first reigning Champions League winners to not make it out of their group.

"It's time to move on and to focus on the Champions League match this Wednesday. It's like a final for us if we want to finish first in our group," he wrote on his official online blog.

"Besides, in Ukraine, Shakhtar proved to be a top team who are able to beat anyone. Even so, we always have a great support at the Bridge and I'm confident that we will get a victory to face the last two games in a good position. Champions League nights at the Bridge are always special."

Mata sat out the 1-1 draw with Swansea at the weekend, and explained that after playing the full 120 minutes in Chelsea's epic 5-4 Capital One Cup victory over Manchester United he needed to rest.

"After such a huge effort during 120 minutes I was forced to rest a few days with a hamstring injury," he said. "That's why I missed our game in Wales versus Swansea."

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