Injuries to hurt Chelsea's hopes in Champions League
Chelsea may have eked out a goalless draw in the first leg clash against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semis, but injuries and suspensions to key players are huge concerns in the return leg for Jose Mourinho
Madrid: Atletico Madrid and Chelsea will have it all to play for when they meet in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final in London next Wednesday after a 0-0 draw in the first leg at the Vicente Calderon on Tuesday.
Chelsea's goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer (right) and Chelsea's midfielder John Mikel Obi look at an injured John Terry (on the ground) at the Vicente Calderon Stadium on Tuesday. Pic/AFP
Chances were far and few between as Chelsea set up to stifle the hosts with two late headers from Raul Garcia the closest Atletico came to breaking the deadlock.
The English side did suffer two significant injuries, however, as both goalkeeper Petr Cech and captain John Terry were forced off ruling them out of the second leg.
Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel will also be missing for Chelsea, along with Atletico captain Gabi at Stamford Bridge as they all received yellow cards that means they are suspended for the second leg.
"Petr Cech's season is over, don't ask me technically but his season is over. For John, we'll have to make the final for him to play again."
'Game of our lives'
Mourinho hailed his players defensive efforts which allows them to play "the game of their life" when they host Atletico in eight days time.
Petr Cech walks off the pitch after being injured at the Vicente Calderon Stadium on Tuesday. Pic/Getty Images
"This result means even more that the game will be decided by fine details in the second leg. We had problems before the game and during the game, we lost four players; two with injuries and 2 with yellow cards, but we will fight.
"We were speaking about playing the game of our lives before and now the game of the lives is at Stamford Bridge."
'Tie completely open'
Atletico boss Diego Simeone, though, remains confident his side can reach only their second ever Champions League final next week.
"It was a classic example of a Champions League semi-final with both teams playing with their own objectives," he said.
"Ours was to score, but they have a very good defence and defended very well. The tie is completely open. They are playing at home and will feel better after tonight, but we will see what happens."
1. John Terry Defender
An ankle injury will see him miss Blues' remaining matches. However, he could play if they reach the May 24 final
2. Petr Cech Goalkeeper
A dislocated shoulder will see the experienced goalkeeper miss the rest of the season
3. Eden Hazard Winger
The mercurial winger, who missed the first leg on Tuesday, is doubtful for the trip to Anfield (EPL) due to a calf injury
4. Samuel Eto'o Striker
A knee injury meant that Eto'o did not even travel to Madrid on Tuesday. It is uncertain when he will return
5. Frank Lampard Midfielder
The midfielder will be missing from the Champions League second leg clash after picking up a yellow card
6. John Obi Mikel Midfielder
Mikel too will be missing from the Champions League second leg clash after picking up a yellow card
Why Chelsea will miss Cech...
No of matches Cech played for Chelsea in the Champions League. He was on the pitch for 828 minutes this season
No of goals Chelsea have conceded with Cech under the bar in the Champions League this season
No of saves Cech has made in the Champions League this season. The Czech 'keeper has made a save every 30 minutes in the tournament
In Cech's absence, Chelsea will be forced to play with Mark Schwarzer (41), the oldest player to ever feature in the knockout stages of the Champions League, who has barely featured for Chelsea since moving from Fulham