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Cucurella sends message to Chelsea fans after abuse as Loftus-Cheek makes huge Champions League claim



IMAGO / Sebastian Frej

Marc Cucurella has hailed the importance of Chelsea’s Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund which has seen Ruben Loftus-Cheek outline his view of their chances of going all the way.

Chelsea overturned a one-nil deficit from the first leg to win 2-0 against Dortmund at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night to book their place in the quarter-finals, thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz.

It saw the Blues deliver when the pressure was on, claiming their second win in a row following a period of six without victory in all competition.

Cucurella was called into the starting XI to replace the ineligible Benoit Badiashile and he played his part on another special European night in west London.

“This win is for everyone,” Cucurella told the official Chelsea website. “In the bad moments we stayed together. Inside the dressing room the relationship between us is very good. You could see we played together, we ran for everyone, we had a team.

“This is very important because when the team wins it’s easy to stay together, but it’s in the difficult moments when you need to stay together. That is a real team.”

Potter confirmed he kept Cucurella out of the side to protect the Spain international after difficult times off the pitch – his house was broken into after joining Chelsea – which affected his performances for Chelsea.

Cucurella, who has been heavily criticised – some of which has overstepped the mark – delivered a Man of the Match performance against Dortmund in midweek, and he called for Chelsea calm and understanding after problems in his personal life.

He added: “It’s easy when things aren’t good to criticise the players, but we are humans.

“Maybe we have some problems in our personal lives. This is part of life, and sometimes people need to understand this.

“But we need to stay calm, keep working hard, and when you have the opportunity, put everything on the pitch for the team.”

The mood in the Chelsea dressing room has lifted, a result which Loftus-Cheek admitted was brewing ahead of the game.

He added: “We’re absolutely delighted to go through. It’s funny because we spoke in the dressing room before the game and we all had a funny feeling that it was going to be a good night for us.

“I think getting a win (against Leeds) in the game before definitely helped with morale and we just felt confident coming into this one.”

Chelsea will learn their quarter-final fate in next Friday’s draw and Loftus-Cheek believes the Blues have what it takes to win the competition for a third time.

“Winning two games on the bounce has really given us a lift and plenty of confidence. Hopefully that can be a jumpstart for us to keep winning and keep performing.

“You put in a couple of good performances and get a couple of victories and suddenly everything is feeling a lot more positive. It’s given everyone a lift and we need to maintain that now.

“We’re through to the next round of the Champions League and although we need to transform that into our league form, who is to say we can’t go all the way in Europe?”