By Ali Rampling
Emma Hayes has promised Chelsea have learned their lessons from last year’s Champions League group stage elimination ahead of their final group match against PSG on Thursday.
The Blues have already secured safe passage to the quarter-finals with a game to spare, but they can top the group should they avoid defeat on Thursday night. A 1-0 defeat to second place PSG would also see Chelsea as group winners on goal difference.
Hayes’ side went into their final group game last season knowing a draw or narrow defeat by Wolfsburg would be enough to advance to the knockout stages.
However, they lost 4-0 and exited the competition – and Hayes insists his side will not go into Thursday night’s clash with PSG with the mentality of simply avoiding defeat.
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“We play to win every game, that’s what we learn over the years,” the Chelsea said the manager. “I think last year was such a learning curve for the team. When you start a game where you go ‘oh, as long as we don’t lose by a certain number [of goals]’- [that’s a] catastrophic headspace, one I wouldn’t entertain at all.
“I think the training was tough, and it was tough for many reasons because if the team aspires to bigger things then they need to train with that application. I’ve definitely paced several overloads this week with that in mind. I expect that my team has the right approach and I would be disappointed if it were otherwise.”
PSG also secured a place in the quarter-finals, with a 2-1 win over Real Madrid last time out seeing them through at the expense of the Spanish side.
This article was originally posted on 90min.com as Emma Hayes insists Chelsea have learned from Champions League anguish.