RDM calls for calm from the stands

Roberto Di Matteo attempted to defuse the tension between Chelsea and Liverpool over the behaviour of their supporters ahead of their latest clash.

Football News: Chelsea vs Shakhtar Donetsk

The two clubs have developed a bitter rivalry since the turn of the millennium which has led to some sickening chants at games between them.

But it was in a fixture involving only one of them that this reached a new low, last season's FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Tottenham.

The match was played on the 23rd anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster and a moment's silence before kick-off was marred by an outbreak of derogatory chanting and catcalls from a section of Blues supporters.

Both the club and manager Di Matteo were quick to condemn the abuse but the Italian was keen to point out on Friday such behaviour was not endemic.

"To be honest, here in England when the fans are singing - and it's mostly the whole stadium - they're supporting the team," he said.

"Sometimes, there's a bit of taking the mickey out of the opposition.

"As long as it's not bad language or abusive...

"It's been actually very good in England in general compared to the Continent.

"There's an unique atmosphere in England. The atmosphere that's created is quite magnificent.

"We obviously don't want to hear any bad language, because there are a lot of families with children in the stadium, but it's not too bad."

Chelsea fans have arguably been too busy trying to catch their breath to focus too much on winding up the opposition this season.

Wednesday's Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk was the latest rollercoaster ride at Stamford Bridge, which has witnessed a crazy 43 goals in nine matches there this season.

Di Matteo admitted even he had been on the edge of his seat, with Chelsea attacking with almost reckless abandon as they continue their transformation from dogs of war to the great entertainers.

"Changes need time, and we know how, in football, time is very precious," Di Matteo said.

"I believe in something, and I want to continue to go that way. I think the players believe in it, which is the most important factor.

"Hopefully, the future will be that Chelsea continue to play in this style."

Even if it means shipping 14 goals in just six matches?

"There's a compromise you have to make, but I'm 100% sure we'll improve that part of the game as well," Di Matteo said.

"Personnel also helps, but also the players playing regularly with each other, game after game, and the work we do will improve that."

As will the return of John Terry on Sunday.

"His experience is very important," Di Matteo said.

"We maybe lacked a bit of experience on Wednesday without Ashley (Cole), Lamps (Frank Lampard) and JT."



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