Chelsea begin their quest to become the first team to win back-to-back Champions League titles on Wednesday when they entertain a Juventus side still getting used to matchdays without their coach.
The Londoners ended a long wait to become kings of Europe for the first time by beating Bayern Munich on penalties on a memorable night in the German club’s Allianz Arena in May but manager Roberto Di Matteo said their thirst for trophies remained unquenched.
“The owner [Roman Abramovich] has never lost his ambition,” Di Matteo said ahead of the Group E opener at Stamford Bridge. “He always wants to win with this club and continue to drive for excellence.
“As long as he is at the helm his ambition to win will never diminish.”
Chelsea have made a good start to their domestic season and are riding high at the top of the Premier League with three wins and one draw from their opening four games.
However, they have failed to win their last two matches, suffering an embarrassing 4-1 defeat by Atletico Madrid in the European Super Cup in Monaco and being held to a 0-0 draw at neighbors Queens Park Rangers in a feisty Premier League encounter on Saturday.
“Handshake-gate” took centre stage at Loftus Road, with QPR defender Anton Ferdinand refusing to acknowledge Chelsea pair John Terry and Ashley Cole before kickoff, but it was also apparent that the European champions were some way short of their best.
The performance of Fernando Torres was also a cause for concern for Chelsea fans as he spent most of the match arguing with the officials over perceived refereeing injustices. The Spain striker was replaced by Daniel Sturridge with 10 minutes to go and prompted several raised eyebrows when he ran straight down the tunnel.