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'Lucky' Chelsea out to defend title
Published : 18 Sep 2012 18:48:31
John Obi Mikel admitted Chelsea were "kind of lucky" to win the Champions League but insisted they now had a team capable of historic back-to-back triumphs.
The Blues kick off the defence of their European crown on Wednesday night, with many still pinching themselves at the manner in which they finally ended their agonising wait for club football's biggest prize.
Chelsea's astonishing run has led some to dismiss their triumph as being down to nothing more than blind luck, with Liverpool legend Graeme Souness declaring: "Nobody in the history of football has ever had that much luck."
Mikel, who was crucial to their success after playing every minute from the quarter-finals onwards, said: "When people say that, sometimes it's actually not true.
"I think we worked very hard for what we achieved last season. But, at the same time, you need luck in everything you do. So, yeah, we were kind of lucky but, this season, it's a different story altogether.
"We brought in new players that are going to help us in this campaign. So, hopefully this season, we can play good football and win games. And hopefully, we can go very, very far in this tournament - hopefully get to the final again."
Manager Roberto Di Matteo, whose appointment as caretaker was the catalyst for a sensational turnaround in Chelsea's fortunes back in March, shrugged off being branded "lucky".
"They said the same about many other managers when they won," he said.
"You need to deserve everything you get, and I think we worked very hard for it. We prepared ourselves very well against our opposition. It can't just be that [luck].
"You might need, and you will need, a portion of luck during a competition like this. But every team has it to be able to achieve the final target to win it. That's a minor part of it."