Corinthians vs. Chelsea  1 - 0


Missed chances costly in Japan, says Mata

17 December 2012 15:13

Juan Mata has rued the missed chances that cost Chelsea the Club World Cup title after they were beaten 1-0 by Corinthians.

Paolo Guerrero scored the only goal in Yokohama on Sunday with just over 20 minutes to play to consign Rafael Benitez's side to defeat.

Chelsea had overcome Monterrey in the semi-finals to face the Copa Libertadores holders and Mata said he felt optimistic about their chances during the match.

"It couldn't be done," Mata wrote on his Grada 360 blog.

"The dream of becoming the club world champions vanished with the final whistle.

"I had a feeling that we were close to clinching the trophy; that we created enough chances to, at least, score; that, although our performance was not brilliant, we were competitive until the very end.

"In fact, it was their goalkeeper, Cassio, who was awarded man of the match thanks to those saves I'm talking about. We knew that Corinthians was a great team: a very physical and competitive side."

Chelsea will now return to England to attempt to revive their fading challenge for the Premier League title.

The European champions raced into top spot in the early weeks of the new campaign but a disappointing run of form led to the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo and a drop to third place.

"It's a tough moment, especially for the Chelsea fans that came to Japan and those who were supporting us from home," Mata continued.

"Thank you so much to all of you for your unconditional support.

"I hope we can enjoy good moments and lift more trophies for the club and for you very soon. We're still playing to win four trophies and we will give everything we have to success in each of them."


Piazon: Chelsea displayed ´no will´

16 December 2012 18:05

Chelsea forward Lucas Piazon has criticised his team-mates following their Club World Cup final defeat to Corinthians.

The 10-man Blues lost 1-0 to the South American side through a Paolo Guerrero header in the 69th minute which was followed by a number of missed opportunities to equalise, Fernando Torres squandering the easier of the chances.

Gary Cahill was sent off late for a stray elbow, and it was a miserable way to finish the tournament for the European champions.

"We played without any determination, without a love for the shirt. Nobody wanted to play football. At least Oscar did try," Piazon said.

"I won't name names, but the team played with no will. You can't play a final like this without the will to play. That's unacceptable.

"We lacked a lot of things, especially the will to be a champion. I think Ramires, David Luiz, just the Brazilians were the only ones that gave their everything, showed character and that is why they are sad.

"I haven't spoken to anybody, but I've noticed David Luiz was upset. It's not a coincidence, he was one of the few that cared about the match, that gave his all."


Benitez unfazed by Chelsea fans

16 December 2012 17:18

Rafa Benitez is not worried about the fans' reaction after Chelsea's 1-0 Club World Cup final defeat to Corinthians on Sunday.

Jose Paolo Guerrero's second-half strike secured victory for the Brazilian side in Japan as Gary Cahill capped a miserable end to the tournament for Chelsea with a late red card.

Benitez has faced a hostile welcome to his reign at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea fans displaying their objection to the Spaniard's appointment during several Premier League games.

"I don't think I am worried about what the reception of supporters will be back in England, we played a very good game against Monterrey and today we did well too," Benitez told reporters.

"It is still early, we need to improve day after day, and week after week, and win games.

"As we return we have Leeds and Villa, we will go back fighting for the next challenges. We'll begin to prepare seeing who is available, we'll study the opposition, see what we have to do.

"We must work on the positives and I have seen lot of positives here, we played against a good team, but still had plenty of chances, still we need to improve.

"There were five trophies now only four, but I saw a good game (against Monterrey) the other day good things today as well. But, sure, we must improve."

Benitez admits his side paid the price for failing to finish against Corinthians but was buoyed by the number of opportunities Chelsea created.

"We knew it would have been a tough game, they are a good team, they created one chance, and scored. We did not take our chances, and that in the end made the difference," he said.

"They were physically strong, well organised, experience. They were wasting time, surrounding the ref, managing the game well. I don't say that as a negative thing, I mean they were experienced, but we still could have won."

Meanwhile, Corinthians coach Tite has hailed the 15,000 supporters who travelled to Japan from Brazil for the match.

"The supporters have been great since we left Brazil. All the way into the stadium we heard them the whole time, we really made it this far because of them," Tite said.

"The supporters played with us, they are like players. I don't know where they get the energy, but when the team is running out of stamina, the supporters inject energy into us. They really are so passionate."

Corinthians had been the underdogs going into the final against the European champions, but Tite insists his side's recent defensive record left them full of confidence.

"We respected Chelsea, but we charged into the game confident that we conceded very few goals in recent games," he said.

"The first half was quite balanced, we had opportunities and Chelsea have agile players who counter-attacked well. Also they used long balls.

"They ran a lot and quickly, so we adjusted our marking system to stop them, as we did not want to give them space to run. We had to stop Lampard and their fast players.

"In the second half we were getting tired, but we were able to score. We could have killed the game, but we did not, but we stayed calm."


Chelsea wasted chances, says Lampard

16 December 2012 15:59

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard lamented his side's poor finishing as they fell to a 1-0 defeat in the Club World Cup final to Corinthians.

Paolo Guerrero's header in the second half was enough to seal a second title for the Brazilian outfit, even though Chelsea threatened with a number of late efforts on goal.

Lampard said the players will leave Japan with a 'bad feeling' because of the amount of chances they wasted after going behind.

"It was always going to be a tough game, they're a very good team," Lampard said.

"We've come away with that bad feeling that we had enough chances to at least draw the game.

"They're very organised, Brazilian teams in club football can be like that, they're very organised and they counter attack. We knew what they were going to bring and we knew it was going to be a tough game. We're just disappointed to get all the way here and not win it."

Chelsea's attention is now solely focused on domestic matters and Lampard insists the club must kick on despite this latest setback.

He continued: "We have to go and win a run of games in the league, keep ourselves in the hunt in the league, we've got the Europa League, the FA Cup, the Capital One Cup all coming up so we really have to keep pushing on everything."

The England midfielder also thanked the travelling Chelsea fans for making the trip to Japan to support Benitez's men.

"(The fans were) absolutely fantastic - I said it after the first game, the way they supported the team. They were all in Munich to celebrate the best night in Chelsea's history. They follow us everywhere, they're the best fans."


Club World Cup: Corinthians 1 Chelsea 0

16 December 2012 13:57

Corinthians became only the second team to win the Club World Cup twice after defeating Chelsea 1-0 in Sunday's final in Yokohama.

In an even first half, which saw both sides have spells of dominance, the Londoners had the better of the chances with Cassio brilliantly denying both Gary Cahill and Victor Moses.

There was a similar feel to the second half, with both teams mostly cancelling each other out.

But Paolo Guerrero nodded home with 20 minutes left to secure the victory for the Brazilians, and Cassio again coming to Corinthians' rescue late on - with Cahill receiving a red card and Fernando Torres having a goal disallowed in injury time.

The Premier League side went close to taking the lead, and to testing the goal-line technology, after 10 minutes. Juan Mata's corner fell to Cahill who poked the ball at goal from close range, however Cassio reacted quickly to smother the ball close to the line.

Chelsea began to look slightly dominant in possession, but, with Corinthians placing men behind the ball to soak up the pressure, Benitez's men struggled to create chances.

Guerrero started to cause problems as coach Tite's side took a foothold. He nutmegged Cahill with ease to skip into the box, however fell to the ground under little, if any, contact.

Moments after a delightful diagonal ball from Eden Hazard nearly sent Moses in on goal, Guerrero then ghosted past Cahill and Luiz into the box once more, but saw his strike flash across goal.

The west Londoners then came back into the clash with two openings before the break. Firstly, Torres' deft touch after Lampard's pass created a good chance, but the finish was weak.

Then, Moses cut in from the right-hand-side of the penalty box to curl a strike towards the far corner, but Cassio tipped it wide at full stretch.

Cassio's fantastic display continued after the interval as he blocked Hazard's effort in a one-on-one after 10 minutes.

Corinthians netted the breakthrough with just over 20 minutes remaining. Paulinho was allowed to run with the ball through the penalty box before shifting it to Danilo who cut inside to shoot.

The effort then deflected off Cahill into the air, leaving Petr Cech stranded on the floor and Guerrero with the simple task of heading past the three defenders on the line.

Torres should have sent the game into extra-time, though, with five minutes left. The ball fell to the Spaniard after a wicked deflection leaving the forward with plenty of time to pick his spot but Cassio produced a fabulous stop.

There was yet more late drama as Cahill was red carded for a coming together with Emerson in the 90th minute, before Torres had a header disallowed for offside and Mata hit the post in injury time.

Meanwhile, in the third-place playoff, CONCACAF representatives Monterrey defeated African champions Al Ahly 2-0.

Goals from Jesus Corona in the third minute and Cesar Delgado after 66 minutes helped Victor Vucetich's side seal victory.

Serie A table

# Team MP D P
3 1 +2 3
4 1 +2 3
5 1 +1 3
6 1 +1 3
7 1 +1 3

Premier League table

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3 34 +43 70
4 34 +35 68
5 34 +25 63
6 33 +17 54
7 34 +3 52
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