BLUES CAN’T AF­FORD DE­FEAT

CHELSEA v MANCH­ESTER UNITED Live on Sky Sports 2 – 7.45pm

Midweek Sport - - THURSDAY NOVEMBER 1 - By MIKE MCGRATH

ROBERTO DI MAT­TEO has backed Chelsea to come out fight­ing as he pre­pares for yet an­other red-hot clash against Man United tonight.

Sparks are set to fly again in the Cap­i­tal One Cup fol­low­ing the mother of all grudge matches on Sun­day – with the fall-out still rum­bling on.

Ref Mark Clat­ten­burg is now be­ing probed by the po­lice AND the FA af­ter claims he racially abused Chelsea play­ers.

Football au­thor­i­ties are also look­ing at how a stew­ard was injured dur­ing United’s goal cel­e­bra­tions.

Reds boss Sir Alex Fer­gu­son has al­ready wished “good luck” to ref Lee Ma­son for tonight’s Stam­ford Bridge bat­tle.

But Blues man­ager Di Mat­teo is look­ing at the big­ger pic­ture, as two de­feats in three days to United would be a dev­as­tat­ing blow to his sea­son. “This is a team that’s a lot of qual­i­ties,” said the Ital­ian. “Even though we might find mo­ments like this, we know that we can come out of it once we get ev­ery­body back.

“We know we can play good football and cre­ate chances and take them, and that’s what we have to do.”

Chelsea mid­fielder Oriol Romeu says fel­low Spa­niards Juan Mata and Fer­nando Tor­res did NOT hear Clat­ten­burg’s re­ported lan­guage.

Prob­lem

He ex­plained: “From what I have un­der­stood they didn’t hear any­thing. It was some­one else who heard it but not di­rectly at them.

“It was an­other player who heard it and that is what they told me.

“I didn’t hear any­thing as I left quickly to go home, but af­ter talk­ing to Juan he told me there was some prob­lem and he had to stay.”

Blues tar­get Radamel Fal­cao ad­mits his fu­ture is out of his hands.

The Atletico Madrid striker is the hottest prop­erty in Europe af­ter bag­ging 13 goals in nine games to leave his side sec­ond to Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

And Chelsea will have to fight off com­pe­ti­tion from Real Madrid to get their man.

Fal­cao him­self is in the dark about where he will be play­ing next sea­son.

He said: “I’m calm. I don’t even know what I’m do­ing to­mor­row. I’m happy here – I am not think­ing about leav­ing, only play­ing this sea­son.

“Later, Atletico and the re­spon­si­ble peo­ple will de­cide what to do with my fu­ture. Many times play­ers are the last to know.”

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