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Blues hit back in pitch battle
06 Oct 2006 - 08:43:43
Chelsea have hit back at claims suggesting they have dumped sand on their pitch just two weeks before they meet Barcelona in the Champions League at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues were criticised last season for the poor state of their pitch when they met the eventual Champions League winners in the knockout stages of the competition.
The Sun published pictures on Friday showing tractors spreading large amounts of sand on the playing surface but the club insist they are only trying to improve the Stamford Bridge playing surface.
The Blues said on their official website: "An 18-day break between home fixtures has allowed our groundstaff to carry out routine maintenance work on the Stamford Bridge pitch.
"The drainage system is being improved with additional drainage channels dug to ensure the pitch remains in top condition.
"The international break allows us to carry out this work towards our aim of maintaining our playing surface as one of the best in the league."
Last season Barca thought Chelsea were trying to gain an advantage by providing a poor playing surface, although they eventually went on to win the game 2-1.