DON'T BLOW IT NOW; Guus Lays Down Law: 'History Tells Us If We Take Reds for Granted We're in Big Trouble'

The Mirror (London, England), April 14, 2009 | Go to article overview

DON'T BLOW IT NOW; Guus Lays Down Law: 'History Tells Us If We Take Reds for Granted We're in Big Trouble'


Byline: MARTIN LIPTON

GUUS HIDDINK last night laid down the law for his Chelsea side as he told them: "You must NEVER underestimate Liverpool."

Chelsea run out against Rafa Benitez's Reds as odds-on favourites to complete their passage to a fifth Champions League semi-final in six years after their Anfield masterclass.

Champions League history makes even grimmer reading for the Merseysiders, with 24 of the 25 sides who have lost the home first leg in the competition having been eliminated.

Yet, as Hiddink ordered his men to go for the jugular again and not give Liverpool even a glimmer of hope of a momentous comeback, the Dutchman admitted Benitez's team are the one side in Europe you cannot afford to write off.

Hiddink said: "There is no room for complacency, whatever the team you are playing against.

"But when you are playing Liverpool, especially with what they did in the past, you know you cannot have any at all.

"I don't like to depend on luck. It gives you an excuse most of the time and we've prepared very seriously.

"A lot of people have said that if you win an away game in Europe like we did, you won't have any concerns for the second game.

"But we're not thinking like that and we must not think like that. Liverpool are a very good team who play beautiful football, and we're very aware of that."

Fernando Torres scored against Chelsea to take last season's semi-final meeting into extra-time and also opened the scoring last week before Branislav Ivanovic's set-piece threat and Didier Drogba's super finish put the Blues in control.

And while Hiddink hopes Michael Essien can again bottle up Steven Gerrard, he thinks keeping Torres under wraps is the key to progress.

"We know about Torres, of course," added Hiddink. "He scored a beautiful goal against Blackburn and he's very dangerous, but also the supply to him is very important. If you can stop that, you will stop him.

"But it's not just him. There are several players capable of harming you if you don't close them down. …

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DON'T BLOW IT NOW; Guus Lays Down Law: 'History Tells Us If We Take Reds for Granted We're in Big Trouble'
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