Tag Archives: branislav

Picture jokes about Luis Suarez biting Branslav Ivanovic already on Twitter

Fancy a bit of All-Branislav Photoshop pranksters take to Twitter after Suarez bites Chelsea defender Ivanovic

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

01:21 GMT, 22 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:23 GMT, 22 April 2013

You've got to feel dorry for Branislav Ivanovic. No sooner have you calmed down from being bitten by Luis Suarez, now pictures making fun of your pain have been posted all over Twitter.

Chelsea defender Ivanovic was subject to a shocking attack by Suarez, who sunk his teeth into his opponent in the second half of the 2-2 draw at Anfield.

Collar: Perhaps this would stop Suarez biting, while (below) there's a cereal and a new film for the incident

Collar: Perhaps this would stop Suarez biting, while (below) there's a cereal and a new film for the incident

Bran

Gnaws

Chez Suarez: Which other footballers could be on the menu

Chez Suarez: Which other footballers could be on the menu

Not only did Suarez stay on the pitch, he scored an equaliser in the dying seconds of the match to snatch Liverpool a point.

To rub salt in the wound, Photoshop pranksters have taken to Twitter to make light of the incident with different mock-ups.

One shows the Chelsea defender on a packet of cereal – All-Branislav, of course – while another has the controversial Liverpool striker on the cover of shark flick 'Gnaws.'

That's not likely to be popular viewing in the Ivanovic household…

Spot the difference: Luis Suarez sinks his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic

Spot the difference: Luis Suarez sinks his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic

Luis Suarez appears to bite Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic

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Luis Suarez followed by Mike Tyson on Twitter after biting Branislav Ivanovic

Iron Mike shows solidarity with fellow infamous biter Suarez… by following him on Twitter!

PUBLISHED:

00:52 GMT, 22 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:30 GMT, 22 April 2013

Luis Suarez might have had a sleepless night after facing the furore over his shocking bite of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, but he does have some good news – he's gained a new follower on Twitter.

His new subscriber is none other than Mike Tyson, who surely would have felt sympathy for the Liverpool striker, having sparked a biting storm of his own after the former heavyweight champion bit Evander Holyfield on the ear in 1997.

Spot the difference: Luis Suarez bites Branislav Ivanovic, while Mike Tyson gets a taste of Evander Holyfield

Spot the difference: Luis Suarez bites Branislav Ivanovic, while Mike Tyson gets a taste of Evander Holyfield

MIKE TYSON BITES EVANDER HOLYFIELD EAR DURING THEIR FIGHT

Suarez sank his teeth into Ivanovic's arm midway through the second half of the 2-2 draw, before going on to score in the dying seconds to steal Liverpool a point.

Liverpool have confirmed the striker will face a club sanction while the Uruguayan faces a wait to hear of any disciplinary action from the FA.

Tyson knows all about the fall-out of
biting an opponent, being disqualified from the world title fight and
fined 2 million after taking a chunk out of Holyfield's ear.

Perhaps he could Tweet Suarez a few tips on how to stop all the cannibal jokes…

Following: Tyson's profile revealed he had subscribed to Suarez's page just after the biting incident

Following: Tyson's profile revealed he had subscribed to Suarez's page just after the biting incident

Holyfield

Ivanovic

Victims: Evander Holyfield grimaces after Tyson's attack (left), while Ivanovic points out the incident (right)

VIDEO Mike Tyson bites off a chunk of Evander Holyfield's ear

Luis Suarez appears to bite Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic

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John Terry snubs David Bernstein as Chelsea hand back the Champions League Trophy to UEFA

Champions of Europe, we know what we were: Chelsea boys feeling blue as they hand back trophy… and axed England captain Terry snubs handshake from FA chief Bernstein

amidst racism allegations made against him after a clash with QPR defender Anton Ferdinand in October 2011.

The 32-year-old defender later retired from international football in September 2012 after being charged by the FA for the incident after he had been found not guilty of racist abuse in court.

Snub: The moment Chelsea captain John Terry (second left) sensationally snubbed FA Chairman David Bernstein (second right) by refusing to shake his hand

Snub: The moment Chelsea captain John Terry (second left) sensationally snubbed FA Chairman David Bernstein (second right) by refusing to shake his hand

Walking away: After Bernstein talks with Branislav Ivanovic and Petr Cech Terry walks away to avoid having to speak with him

Walking away: After Bernstein talks with Branislav Ivanovic and Petr Cech Terry walks away to avoid having to speak with him

Snub: Chelsea captain John Terry (right), pictured with UEFA President Michel Platini, sensationally snubbed FA Chairman David Bernstein (below, right) by refusing to shake his hand

Snub: Chelsea captain John Terry (right), pictured with UEFA President Michel Platini, sensationally snubbed FA Chairman David Bernstein (below, right) by refusing to shake his hand

Didn't notice: FA Chairman David Bernstein (right) said he wasn't aware he had been snubbed

Didn't notice: FA Chairman David Bernstein (right) claimed he wasn't aware he had been snubbed

Charles Sale predicted trouble

In his Sports Agenda column, Charles Sale revealed that Terry and Bernstein were set to share the stage together. Click here for the story.

bernstein has been speaking to Terry's Chelsea team-mates Branislav Ivanovic and Petr Cech, but when it was his turn, Terry took a step away to avoid speaking to the FA chairman.

Asked about the incident, Bernstein told Sky Sports News: I didn't notice anything, my relationships with everyone in here are really fantastic so I didn't notice a thing. I

'think we should talk about more positive things than that sort of nonsense'

When asked about his relationship
with Terry, Bernstein – who leaves his post as FA chairman in July –
added: 'A little distant.'

He seemed cool on making any attempt to kiss and make up with the Chelsea captain.

'I'm not really terribly concerned,' he add. 'I have other things to think about. In my last three months, I have other priorities.'

Terry was joined by team-mates Frank
Lampard, Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic as Chelsea handed back
the trophy they famously won last May.

We'll have that back: Eleven months to the day after their famous night in Munich, Chelsea have returned the Champions League trophy to UEFA

We'll have that back: Eleven months to the day after their famous night in Munich, Chelsea have returned the Champions League trophy to UEFA

Terry is also unhappy with Bernstein's role in his court case last year where he was cleared of a racism offence though later banned for four matches by the FA.

Terry, also speaking to Sky Sports News, said: 'No, listen it's a difficult one for me. Obviously, he was the one who spoke about me in the court case and said things I don't want to talk on air. It's probably a subject that we should maybe just avoid.'

Asked if he shook Bernstein's hand during before the ceremony, Terry replied: 'No.'

Say goodbye: Chelsea players Petr Cech, John Terry, Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic (left to right) with UEFA President Michel Platini (centre)

Say goodbye: Chelsea players Petr Cech, John Terry, Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic (left to right) with UEFA President Michel Platini (centre)

Perfect Moment: Didier Drogba hits the penalty that won Chelsea the Champions League last season

Perfect Moment: Didier Drogba hits the penalty that won Chelsea the Champions League last season

It was the moment that all Chelsea fans have been dreading, but 11 months to the day after Didier Drogba's penalty completed the most famous night in their history, Chelsea finally relinquished their hold on the Champions League trophy.

In an official ceremony in London, members of the Blues' heroic squad, John Terry, Frank Lampard, Petr Cech, Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres, gave the trophy back to UEFA President Michel Platini ahead of the 2013 final that will be played at Wembley on May 25.

Since that night Chelsea have undergone a tumultuous transformation.

Jubilant: Chelsea players celebrate their victory in Munich

Jubilant: Chelsea players celebrate their victory in Munich

Drogba, the talismanic striker who scored the equalising goal in the dying minutes of normal time before scoring the winning penalty, left the club along with Salomon Kalou and Jose Bosingwa, who played prominent roles in the final, and Raul Meireles, who was excellent in the semi-final win over Barcelona in the Nou Camp, as Chelsea looked add youth to an ageing squad.

Of course, Chelsea also got rid of their Champions League winning manager, Roberto Di Matteo, just six months after lifting the trophy in Germany.

What should have been a glorious campaign as Champions League holders became a disaster for the club as they crashed out of the group stages, becoming the first holders to ever exit the competition that early.

Gone but not forgotten: Roberto Di Matteo (centre) was sacked from the Chelsea jobs just six months after lifting the trophy

Gone but not forgotten: Roberto Di Matteo (centre) was sacked from the Chelsea jobs just six months after lifting the trophy

Mr Chelsea: John Terry was banned from the final but that didn't stop his exuberant celebrations

Mr Chelsea: John Terry was banned from the final but that didn't stop his exuberant celebrations

The board's decision to replace Di Matteo with former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez was met with loud opposition from Chelsea fans.

Benitez had appealed to fans to get off his back and support the team, and this seems to have happened in recent weeks, leading to an upturn in league form – Chelsea now sit third in the table with a game in hand over fourth placed Arsenal.

Chelsea travel to Anfield this weekend in what will be an emotional return for the current manager – he spent six years at Liverpool, winning the Champions League trophy in 2005 after one of the best comebacks ever seen against AC Milan in Istanbul.

Preparation: Rafa Benitez (second left) prepares to take a team to former club Liverpool for the first time on Sunday

Preparation: Rafa Benitez (second left) prepares to take a team to former club Liverpool for the first time on Sunday

No bearing: Benitez has said that his ties with Anfield will have no bearing on the match - he will be going for three points

No bearing: Benitez has said that his ties with Anfield will have no bearing on the match – he will be going for three points

But Benitez has insisted that his emotional ties with Liverpool will have no bearing on him going for the three points.

I will try to do the best for my team and that is Chelsea,’ said Benitez. ‘I am a professional and that is what I have to do. I cannot forget the time I spent there and the feeling, the atmosphere, the success, the link with the fans and the city — it is my home — but I will try to win. That is what I have to do.

‘This will be quite emotional but I have to concentrate. It will not be easy when you see so many friends around but I will try to concentrate on the game. The players have to believe I can manage the situation and give them help if they need it. Normally, I am not too emotional but now I’m getting older it happens sometimes.’

PS.

This isn't the first time Terry has been involved in handbags over a handshake, although he's usually on the receiving end of the snub…

Wayne Bridge and John Terry

Anton Ferdinand snubs John Terry

Who could forget Wayne Bridge snubs a handshake from Terry after rumours Terry had had an affair with Bridge's former fiance Vanessa Perroncel (left); and Anton Ferdinand snubs Terry after last year's race storm

Football's other hand-shaking controversies

WAYNE BRIDGE & JOHN TERRY: In January 2010 claims Terry had had an alleged relationship with the former partner of one-time team-mate Wayne Bridge emerged, despite Terry being behind a gagging injunction. He was axed as England captain and Manchester City defender Bridge quit international football saying his position in the team – potentially alongside Terry – was 'untenable and potentially divisive'. The teams met just a few weeks later on February 27 but in the traditional pre-match handshake, Bridge refused Terry's outstretched hand.

QPR & CHELSEA: The teams met at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011, after which Terry was accused of racially abusing Ferdinand. The sides were then drawn to face each other in an FA Cup tie in January 2012 with intense focus on whether the pair would or would not shake hands. The then QPR boss Mark Hughes held a meeting with his players and officials over the handshake. Ultimately, the FA decided to scrap the ritual. The Premier League took the same action in April in the first league game between the two since the original incident after Ferdinand's lawyers advised him not to shake Terry's hand. In September 2012, Ferdinand snubbed both Terry and Ashley Cole, who testified for the former at his trial, as did Park Ji-sung, former team-mate of Rio Ferdinand.

PATRICE EVRA & LUIS SUAREZ: Liverpool striker Suarez was given an eight-match ban after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Evra in October 2011. The Reds were vocal in their defence of the Uruguayan, a move that did little to endear either them or the player to the general public. Suarez's first start after the suspension happened to be at Old Trafford but it was he who refused the hand of Evra. The Red Devils captain offered his hand to the Uruguay international but he bypassed the Frenchman. Evra did not accept that and attempted to grab Suarez's arm to complete the formalities, but the striker shrugged him off. Rio Ferdinand, further down the line, then refused to shake Suarez's hand.

JOHN TERRY & DAVID BERNSTEIN: Terry's simmering resentment showed itself again today as he confirmed he had rejected the FA chairman's attempt to shake hands. Bernstein was the man who stripped Terry of the England captaincy and despite being cleared at Westminster Magistrates' Court of making a racist insult, he was charged by the FA and banned for four matches. Bernstein insisted he was unaware of the Chelsea player's snub while admitting his relationship with Terry was 'a little distant'. He told Sky Sports News: 'I didn't notice a thing and I think we should talk about more positive things than that sort of nonsense. I'm not really terribly concerned.'

Football matches postponed due to snow

Big freeze wipes out football fixtures as snow wreaks havoc with schedule

By
Tom Sheen

PUBLISHED:

11:02 GMT, 18 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:07 GMT, 18 January 2013

Football fixtures up and down the country are being called off as the adverse weather conditions wreak havoc with the schedule.

But Chelsea players John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic didn't seem overly concerned with the cold weather, as they took their tops off and signed them for fans who were waiting at Chelsea's training ground, Cobham.

Five nPower League One and two nPower League Two matches have already suffered with more expected to be called off as snow blankets the UK.

One Premier League game is also at risk with Southampton reported to have suffered burst pipes to their undersoil heating.

But with heavy snow affecting all parts of the UK, many more games are expected to fall foul of the weather.

At Harlington, QPR's training ground, a lone groundsman had the sorry job of clearing the pitch, while Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini did not look to happy as he arrived at a snow covered Carrington.

Meanwhile, horse racing meetings have also been affected. Today's meetings at Chepstow, Liungfield, and Wolverhampton have all been called off.

Also gone are Saturday's cards at Taunton and Haydock with the one remaining jump meeting, Ascot, also under threat.

Sportsmail will continue to keep up to date with all the latest news as games get cancelled throughout the day.

Scroll down for a full list of the football games called off

Bit cold, boys: Chelsea's John Terry (left) and Branislav Ivanovic (right) donate their shirts to waiting fans in the snow at Cobham training ground

Bit cold, boys: Chelsea's John Terry (left) and Branislav Ivanovic (right) donate their shirts to waiting fans in the snow at Cobham training ground

Tackling the weather: A lone QPR groundsman attempts to clear the snow at the training ground

Tackling the weather: A lone QPR groundsman attempts to clear the snow at their training ground, Harlington

Cold welcome: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini (pictured) arrives at Carrington

Cold welcome: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini (pictured) arrives at Carrington

Cancellations: Newcastle United's Fabricio Coliccini (left) and Jonas Gutierrez (right) train in the snow earlier this week

Cancellations: Newcastle United's Fabricio Coliccini (left) and Jonas Gutierrez (right) train in the snow earlier this week

Adverse: Chelsea cancelled a match a couple of years ago because of dangerous conditions around the ground

Adverse: Chelsea cancelled a match a couple of years ago because of dangerous conditions around the ground

Matches off so far:

NPOWER LEAGUE ONE

Scunthorpe v Portsmouth

Crawley Town v Carlisle

Bury v Stevenage

Southend v Plymouth

Hartlepool v Colchester

NPOWER LEAGUE TWO

Accrington Stanley v AFC Wimbledon

Rochdale v Gillingham

More to follow…

Chelsea 0 Swansea 2 – Capital One Cup match report

Chelsea 0 Swansea 2: Marvellous Michu makes sloppy Chelsea pay before Graham adds late second

By
Matt Barlow

PUBLISHED:

21:37 GMT, 9 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:37 GMT, 9 January 2013

Michu once again underlined exactly why he is being touted as signing of the summer as he plundered his 15th goal of the season to give Swansea the advantage at half-time in the Capital One Cup semi-final.

The 2million man proved to be the best Spanish striker on the pitch as his goal late in the first-half won the match in which 50million Fernando Torres struggled badly to find any rhythm.

Chelsea enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges but failed to beat an inspired Gerhard Tremmel.

And they made to pay the ultimate price when a Branislav Ivanovic mistake was pounced on by Michu.

Danny Graham then doubled the lead in stoppage time.

More to follow….

Red action: Swansea have the lead at half-time in their Capital One Cup clash with Chelsea

Red action: Swansea have the lead at half-time in their Capital One Cup clash with Chelsea

MATCH FACTS

CHELSEA: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole, Luiz, Ramires (Lampard 71), Hazard, Oscar (Marin 83), Mata, Torres (Ba 81). Subs: Hilario, Ferreira, Bertrand, Ake.

SWANSEA: Tremmel, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Britton, De Guzman, Ki, Routledge (Tiendalli 63), Hernandez, Michu (Graham 84).
Subs: Vorm, Dyer, Monk, Shechter, Agustien.

Goal: Michu 39, Graham 90

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

Star man: Michu proved to be the difference, as so often he has been since he joined the Swans

Star man: Michu proved to be the difference, as so often he has been since he joined the Swans

Star man: Michu proved to be the difference, as so often he has been since he joined the Swans

Rough and ready: Swansea matched Chelsea every step of the way at Stamford Bridge

Rough and ready: Swansea matched Chelsea every step of the way at Stamford Bridge

Rough and ready: Swansea matched Chelsea every step of the way at Stamford Bridge

Rough and ready: Swansea matched Chelsea every step of the way at Stamford Bridge

Rafa Benitez demands more from Chelsea after 8-0 win over Aston Villa

Room for improvement! Benitez demands more from Chelsea despite their Christmas stuffing of hapless Aston Villa

|

UPDATED:

22:16 GMT, 23 December 2012

Rafa Benitez claimed there was ‘room for improvement’ last night even after his rampant Chelsea side had thrashed Aston Villa 8-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Benitez produced a series of scribbled notes to explain why his free-scoring Blues can get better as they soared into third place in the Barclays Premier League table.

‘I can see the team improving with the little things we wanted to improve, but we can still improve some things,’ said Benitez. ‘I say that after winning by eight.’

Work won't stop: Rafa Benitez said parts of Chelsea's performance still need improvement

Work won't stop: Rafa Benitez said parts of Chelsea's performance still need improvement

Christmas stuffing: Chelsea thrashed Aston Villa 8-0 at Stamford Bridge

Christmas stuffing: Chelsea thrashed Aston Villa 8-0 at Stamford Bridge

It was Chelsea’s biggest win since they clinched the title under Carlo Ancelotti on the final day of the season in May 2010 with a thumping 8-0 victory over Wigan.

Goals from Fernando Torres, Branislav Ivanovic, David Luiz, Frank Lampard, Eden Hazard, Oscar and two from Ramires put away Paul Lambert’s shell-shocked Villa side.

Benitez said: ‘We have to try to adjust things in every training session, but I was impressed with the way we played. The players have been really focused since I arrived. They knew they had a new manager and they had to perform.

‘From day one, they were keen to learn and to improve. Chelsea were a top side before I came here — and they still are.

‘You can see the team has confidence in themselves. They believe, they have good movement and they create chances.’

Tuned in: Benitez believes the Chelsea players - young and old - are taking to his methods

Tuned in: Benitez believes the Chelsea players – young and old – are taking to his methods

Chelsea are 11 points behind league leaders Manchester United with a game in hand. Benitez insists they will never give up on the title.

‘Now we have to sustain this run and it will be easier for me to say we can compete. We had a game-plan and it all came together. To win is always special, but the mentality of the players was good. Even after we scored our sixth goal, we kept pushing forward for more.’

Villa, who won 3-1 at Liverpool last weekend and were unbeaten in six games before the rout at Stamford Bridge, were embarrassing.

Chelsea are beginning to open teams up, following up a 5-1 victory at Leeds in the Capital One Cup quarter-final with this win.

Villa manager Lambert said: ‘There are no excuses. Nothing surprises me in football, but I’d expect a reaction against Spurs on Wednesday from those who play. We are a really young side, but sometimes getting beaten tells you a lot about people.

Can't watch: Paul Lambert had no excuse for why his team were so bad, and demanded a reaction

Can't watch: Paul Lambert had no excuse for why his team were so bad, and demanded a reaction

Can't watch: Paul Lambert had no excuse for why his team were so bad, and demanded a reaction

‘It’s a heavy beating, but I can’t allow one defeat to mask what’s happened of late.

‘Chelsea are a really top side. Maybe they haven’t been in great form, but it wasn’t long ago they were lifting the Champions League. They still have a lot of the same players.’

Lampard left the field in the 59th minute to chants of ‘sign him up’ just moments after scoring their fourth. Benitez said: ‘Frank is an important player for us. He’s training well, he’s doing well and his commitment is there.’

Petr Cech returns to Sparta Prague in Chelsea"s Europa League campaign

Cech returns to Prague but there's little else for Chelsea to look forward to in Europe

|

UPDATED:

22:59 GMT, 20 December 2012

Life outside Europe’s elite began for Chelsea on Thursday when they were paired with Sparta Prague in the last 32 of the Europa League.

Goalkeeper Petr Cech will return to his old club, but there is little else about Thursday night football in February for Chelsea’s players to look forward to after they became the first Champions League holders to fail to reach the knockout stage.

Back home: Petr Cech will return to Sparta Prague

Back home: Petr Cech will return to Sparta Prague

Back in the day: A young Cech while at Sparta

Back in the day: A young Cech while at Sparta

The reward, should they beat the Czechs
over two legs on February 14 and 21, is a round-of-16 tie against either
Ajax or Steaua Bucharest in March.

Boss Rafael Benitez and his players have more pressing concerns before then after reaching the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup and with Manchester United 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Wednesday’s 5-1 cup win at Leeds came just three days after Benitez’s side had lost a Club World Cup final to Corinthians in Japan, but defender Branislav Ivanovic believes Chelsea are over the worst of their jetlag.

‘I think we were a little bit scared in the opening minutes because we didn’t know how we would react to the flight back,’ Ivanovic said.

‘But we improved as the game wore on and we have some time now to recover.

‘We need to win the next couple of games and only by doing that will we get back the winning mentality we had before.’

Chelsea could be 16 points behind United by the time they kick off against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, although they will have two games in hand.

Frank Lampard says half-time discussion was key to beating Leeds

Half-time discussion was the key, says Lampard after Chelsea smash Leeds

|

UPDATED:

22:58 GMT, 19 December 2012

Frank Lampard revealed a dressing-room discussion at half-time sparked Chelsea's revival as they came from behind to beat Leeds 5-1 in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals.

Chelsea had trailed to a Luciano Becchio strike but turned the match at Elland Road around with goals from Juan Mata, Branislav Ivanovic, Victor Moses, Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres.

'We upped it,' said Lampard on Sky Sports News. 'In the first half we weren't at our best, a bit slow with the tempo of the game and we gave a away silly goal that allowed them to score.

Turnaround: Frank Lampard (right) said Chelsea knew they had to up their game after the break

Turnaround: Frank Lampard (right) said Chelsea knew they had to up their game after the break

'Once we upped it with a bit of pace in our game you could see a big difference. We had a word with ourselves at half-time.'

Chelsea flew back into London from the Club World Cup on Monday, but the journey from Japan did not appear to take any toll in the second half, especially once Mata equalised just a minute after the restart.

Lampard said: 'We didn't make the greatest preparation but there's no excuse, we had to up it.

'The early goal gave us the impetus, we believed from then on and we didn't think we could lose the game.

'Some of the football we played, we opened them up and showed what we could do.'

Leeds manager Neil Warnock saw his team end the first half on top.

'But to concede as early as that (in the second half) against world-class players you're going to be in trouble,' Warnock said.

'It was such a relief from them to get back into the game. Then they took over and were too good for us.'

Mata's goal owed a lot to a fumbled attempt at a save from Jamie Ashdown in the Leeds goal.

'When you're a goalie you make a mistake and it counts. When you're anywhere else on the pitch you get away with it,' Warnock said.

'I don't think the scoreline reflects the game but I've got no complaints. I thought it was a great cup tie for an hour.'

Congratulations: Rafa Benitez speaks to his troops as they walk off the pitch at full-time

Congratulations: Rafa Benitez speaks to his troops as they walk off the pitch at full-time

Interim Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez was delighted by his side's performance in the second half, especially after their exertions in Japan.

'The team was quite good in the first half and the reaction of the team in the second half was fantastic after coming back from Japan, jet lag, changing some players… the reaction was amazing,' Benitez said.

'We were looking for character and we talked about it at half-time.'

Tucked away: Juan Mata equalised but Jamie Ashdown should have done better

Tucked away: Juan Mata equalised but Jamie Ashdown should have done better

Chelsea"s opponents Monterrey aim to make history against European champions

Chelsea warned not to expect an easy ride as Monterrey bid to make history and beat European champions on way to world title

|

UPDATED:

10:31 GMT, 12 December 2012

Chelsea will expect to brush aside the Mexicans of Monterrey but they will be aware this football-obsessed nation of 114 million is finally stirring from beneath its sombrero.

Mexico dazzled briefly in the last World Cup – as they often do – before losing to Argentina and a year later were crowned world U17 champions.

Also in 2011, they were beaten by Brazil in semi-finals of the U20 World Cup and the senior team won the CONCACAF Gold Cup, all capped by the Olympic gold in London, in August, when their U23 team beat a strong Brazilian team including Neymar and Chelsea’s Oscar.

At full stretch: The Chelsea players including Gary Cahill stop to warm up while on a walk around Yokohama

At full stretch: The Chelsea players including Gary Cahill stop to warm up while on a walk around Yokohama

Out and about: The Chelsea players prepare for their game with CF Monterrey

Out and about: The Chelsea players prepare for their game with CF Monterrey

In their stride: Chelsea team walk around Yokohama

In their stride: Chelsea team walk around Yokohama

'Mexico is growing, doing well and getting better,' said Monterrey coach Victor Vucetich. 'In international tournaments, we’re doing well. The Under 17s too and in the CONCACAF, including Monterrey.

So Mexican football is doing well and this is a good opportunity to demonstrate that.' The team which started the Olympic final at Wembley all play in Mexico and included two of Monterrey’s promising defenders – Hiram Mier and Darvin Chavez – both 23 years old and attracting attention from European scouts.

'Outside Mexico we’ve been able to play a high level of football and that’s because of the confidence we gained in London,' said centre-half Mier. 'In this tournament, the matches and the opponents are tough but we want to fulfil our responsibilities and do our best.'

Talking a good game: Chelsea's Marko Marin, Branislav Ivanovic, Fernando Torres during a team walk around Yokohama

Talking a good game: Chelsea's Marko Marin, Branislav Ivanovic, Fernando Torres during a team walk around Yokohama

Taking it easy: Rafael Benitez and Paco De Miguel and the rest of Chelsea's coaching team take a stroll

Taking it easy: Rafael Benitez and Paco De Miguel and the rest of Chelsea's coaching team take a stroll

Taking in the sights: Chelsea's Gary Cahill looks at the scenery

Taking in the sights: Chelsea's Gary Cahill looks at the scenery

Monterrey may be off the pace in their domestic league but internationally they are strong and have already improved on last year’s achievements in this competition, when they were beaten in the first round by Japanese club Kashiwa Reysol.

This year, they have prepared differently, arranging strong warm-up friendlies and travelling to Japan sooner in order to adjust to the 15-hour time difference. They beat Asian champions Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea to set up Thursday's date with Chelsea.

Vucetich admits it will be the biggest game of his long and successful coaching career and is seeking to emulate Necaxa, the Mexican team who held Manchester United to a draw in the Club World Cup in 2000.

Pitch perfect: Mexico's CF Monterrey players get ready for the Chelsea game

Pitch perfect: Mexico's CF Monterrey players get ready for the Chelsea game

Mastermind: Monterrey head coach Victor Vucetich aims to topple Chelsea

Mastermind: Monterrey head coach Victor Vucetich aims to topple Chelsea

'We want to make history,' said Vucetich. 'I remember that game in Rio. I know our rivals very well but we believe in our own strengths. I believe we can win and we will try our best.

'We come here wanting to be champions. That’s our biggest goal. We have cleared the first step and we’re at stage two, the semi-finals of the tournament.

'We’re up against the European champions. Compared to the last match, we are highly motivated.'

Rafa Benitez has been warned of the North and Central American champions, riding their Mexican wave of confidence.

Didier Drogba hosts Champions League party for Chelsea players but Fernando Torres does not show

Drogba hosts party for Chelsea players to celebrate last season's Champions League triumph… but Torres is a no show

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UPDATED:

00:25 GMT, 7 December 2012

Chelsea's hero Didier Drogba hosted a dinner tonight in honour of the Champions League title victory he secured with is former team-mates in May – although Fernando Torres was conspicuous by his absence.

Drogba organised the reunion at the Wyndham Hotel in Chelsea Harbour in recognition of last May’s amazing achievements, when they defeated Bayern Munich in their own stadium to lift the trophy.

Thanks Didier: Chelsea players show off their rings, (left-right) Paulo Ferreira, Drogba, Branislav Ivanovic, Daniel Sturridge, David Luiz

Thanks Didier: Chelsea players show off their rings, (left-right) Paulo Ferreira, Drogba, Branislav Ivanovic, Daniel Sturridge, David Luiz

Duo: John Terry laughing with Ashley Cole at the event Drogba put on at the Wyndham Hotel

Duo: John Terry laughing with Ashley Cole at the event Drogba put on at the Wyndham Hotel

Bling ring: The gifts featured a Champions League ball on the front and were believed to cost around 800k in total

Bling ring: The gifts featured a Champions League ball on the front and were believed to cost around 800k in total

Incredible: Great care and attention went into crafting the personalised rings which featured the players' faces, names and shirt numbers. This is Ashley Cole's

Incredible: Great care and attention went into crafting the personalised rings which featured the players' faces, names and shirt numbers. This is Ashley Cole's

He presented his old colleagues and
backroom staff with special commemorative rings to mark their
achievement – early reports suggest their total cost is around 800,000.

The Ivorian set up the special dinner to raise
spirits after they became the first Champions League winners to be
knocked out in the group stages the following season.

Spanish striker Torres, who is attempting to fill Drogba's boots at the club, was not in attendance.

However his son Leo turned two today and so he may have had an excuse for not showing up. Juan Mata and Petr Cech were also unable to make it to the event.

Drogba quit Chelsea at the end of last season to sign for Shanghai Shenhua but is back in London to train at Cobham before the African Cup of Nations early next year.

The Blues legend struck
the decisive penalty against Munich in the Allianz Arena in May – the kick his last in a Chelsea shirt – to send the fans into raptures and delight owner Roman Abramovich.

Earlier in the game he had hauled Chelsea level with a powerful header, just before the end, to send the match into extra time.

His fine performances helped them progress through the competition, and Drogba had a huge impact in particular during the home games against Valencia, Napoli and Barcelona.

This time around there was nobody who could drag the Blues out of the mire – they were eliminated on Tuesday night despite thumping Danish side Nordsjaelland 6-1.

Round up: Ferreria, Sturridge, Ryan Bertrand, Drogba, Terry, Luiz, Cole, Ivanovic

Round up: Ferreria, Sturridge, Ryan Bertrand, Drogba, Terry, Luiz, Cole, Ivanovic

Drogba with JT

Laughing matter

Inseparable: Drogba and Chelsea 'captain, leader, legend' Terry were close during their time at the club and they had a good laugh on Thursday night

Torres has been inconsistent at best in a Chelsea shirt and the club need to add a striker to their books in January.

They
had hoped to secure a deal for Drogba on a short-term loan, but FIFA
blocked the move as it was outside the transfer window.

Drogba and Luiz

A few words from Terry

Joking around: Drogba with David Luiz, while (right) Terry say a few words

All for this: Drogba with the prestigious Champions League trophy

All for this: Drogba with the prestigious Champions League trophy

Still loved: Drogba is adored at Stamford Bridge

Still loved: Drogba is adored at Stamford Bridge