Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Such a Relief for Chelsea Misfits Shaun and Sheva; Wright-Phillips Vows to Stay and [Pounds Sterling]31m Striker Edges Closer to Euro Record as Blues March On

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Such a Relief for Chelsea Misfits Shaun and Sheva; Wright-Phillips Vows to Stay and [Pounds Sterling]31m Striker Edges Closer to Euro Record as Blues March On

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL HART;LEO SPALL

(Shevchenko 27 W-Phillips 83)

Sofia 0 Chelsea 2

THERE was a tanglible sense of relief around Stamford Bridge at fulltime last night after Chelsea had, as expected, beaten whipping-boys Levski Sofia and finished top of their Champions League group.

The relief was felt most keenly by Shaun Wright-Phillips, who finally scored his first goal for the club, 17 months after his [pounds sterling]21million move from Manchester City.

But is was also felt by Andriy Shevchenko, who opened the scoring and was then told by coach Jose Mourinho that he can become the greatest striker in the history of European football.

For that to happen, the striker will need the kind of service that Wright-Phillips can provide and that remains a possibility after the winger insisted he does not want to leave Chelsea in the transfer window in January.

The forward has been linked with a move to West Ham, but said: "I am not going anywhere. No one wants me to leave and I don't want to leave so why should I go anywhere?

"It means a lot to me to get my first Chelsea goal. I have worked hard in training, doing extra shooting, and it paid off.

"I have stayed confident and that is down to the other players and the people - my family and friends - who have always believed in me when times have been tough."

Wright-Phillips' 83rd-minute strike from the edge of the area doubled the first-half lead Shevchenko had given Chelsea and ensured they won Group A ahead of holders Barcelona, who also made the last 16 with a 2-0 win over Werder Bremen.

The knockout rounds of the competition are where Shevchenko came to life when playing for AC Milan and while he has still to convince many that he represents good value for money, the Chelsea manager has no doubt that his extravagantly-priced striker can play a key role.

The goal that nudged [pounds sterling]31m Shevchenko to within sight of a new scoring record was his first for Chelsea in Europe and means that he now has a total of 57 in UEFA club competitions.

That lifts him clear of Mourinho's countryman Eusebio (Benfica) and Spanish striker Raul (Real Madrid), who both have 56, and leaves him just five behind the all-time record holder, Gerd Muller, who scored 62 for Bayern Munich.

"Sheva is 30, so with a few years of Champions League football in front of him, he has the chance to become the best ever," said Mourinho.

"Hopefully he will score more for us in the knockout stages and help us progress further in the competition."

Mourinho has never lost faith in the Ukranian who has struggled to cope with the intensity of the Premiership.

He has scored just five goals in 19 firstteam appearances and rarely finishes a match. Last night he was substituted after 69 minutes. …

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